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Baswich, Stafford, cycle path 'an accident waiting to happen'

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: May 16, 2014

  • A BRIDGE TOO FAR?..Philip Skeldon at the site of the new cycle path on Baswich Lane

  • The cycle path will cross Baswich Lane to this gate

  • The new cycle route will continue on a new bridge to be built over the river, and across the meadows to Tixall Road

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A NEW cycle path into Stafford is an accident waiting to happen, a concerned local resident has warned.

The path designed to link the Baswich area with Beaconside will mean cyclists having to cross one of the most dangerous sections of Baswich Lane, according to Philip Skelding, who lives next to the proposed crossing point.

The path, being built by the county council with government funding as part of the Sustrans network, takes cyclists through a mobile home park and over the canal at Baswich on a new cycle bridge being built alongside the existing road bridge.

But they will then have to cross the road on a bend below the hump-backed bridge.

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"I can't understand how this route got approval," said Mr Skelding, aged 66.

"It brings cyclists out into the path of traffic on a really busy road. There is traffic coming over the bridge on one side, and a bend on the other.

"The county council says it will put up signs warning road traffic to slow down and telling cyclists to dismount to cross the road. But I can't see children out on their bikes paying any attention to that and I really fear a child will be killed."

Mr Skelding, who has lived in one of the pair of cottages next to the bridge for 20 years, says cars have crashed into the hedge bordering the properties several times, and one ended up overturned in the front garden. A van also demolished the telegraph pole next to the cottages.

Staffordshire County Councillor, Mark Winnington, Cabinet Member for Economy and Infrastructure, who visited the site on Tuesday said it was an "exciting" project that would improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians, benefit the wider community and support the local economy.

"The plans have been approved in line with national safety standards and have also been reviewed by an independent road safety company," he said.

"Additional street lighting and road markings are also being introduced and once the bridge is open we will carry out a further review to see if any changes need to be made."

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