Campaign for cycle lane on ‘accident black spot’ road between St Albans and Redbourn
PUBLISHED: 09:01 20 June 2020
A campaign has been launched to install a segregated cycle lane on a busy A-road – which has been deemed an ‘accident black spot’ – between St Albans and Redbourn.
Herts county councillor for Harpenden rural, Annie Brewster, is hoping to make the A5183 safer for cyclists post COVID-19.
She said: “The road was part of the A5 until the 1970s. It has been an accident black spot for many years due to it being historically very wide – effectively three lanes – where concentration is lost by motorists both in speed and control.
“As recently as last October two motorists were killed in a head on collision.”
The Department of Transport’s £250m Emergency Active Travel Fund is the first stage of a £2bn investment and part of a £5bn fund for cycling and buses announced in February.
Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps MP, has suggested in some places there is a 70 per cent rise in the number of people using bikes in lockdown and the government wants the money to be spent on new infrastructure such as pop up bike lanes to give protected space for cyclists.
He said: “When the country gets back to work, we need them to carry on cycling, and to be joined by millions more.”
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The proposed lane would link up the 14km Nickey Line – part of the Oxford to Welwyn Garden City National Cycle Network route – to the 9km Green Ring around St Albans.
The £1m Green Ring, which opened in 2018, already links cyclists to both the city’s stations and intersects the 10.5km Alban Way that continues all the way to Hatfield.
Councillor Brewster, who is also the county council’s deputy executive member for public health and prevention, continued: “If ever there was a time to take action on improving the safety of this incredibly dangerous stretch of road it is right now as more and more residents, indeed complete families, are taking to two wheels in a response to the coronavirus impact on our lives.
“It is absolutely fabulous to see so many people out on bikes in our district but we need many more safe connective routes, particularly as vehicular traffic starts to return.
“We now have a perfect opportunity to change travel habits before any real post COVID-19 restart takes place.
“The greater uptake of cycling around our district, not only aids our fitness and mental health, but also helps meet climate emergency pledges and reduces air pollution.
“Commuting to work or school by bike has also become more attractive to a wider proportion of the population with the accessibility to electric bikes. We even have our own electric bike shop in my village of Wheathampstead.
“I am confident a segregated cycle lane will be considered favourably should the grant funding become available to Hertfordshire County Council.”
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