Making footpaths into cycle tracks

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THE CONVERSION of sections of footway to cycle track on the A935 Montrose to Brechin road is on the agenda of Angus Council’s infrastructure services committee.

The department sought agreement to send the terms of a Traffic Order to the Scottish Ministers for determination.

The matter was first raised in 2007, but there was concern then about verge encroachment by windblown soil, grass, etc., which reduced the width of available carriageway.

Remedial work has been done, and the traffic order is now being promoted.

An objection was received from Mr Ian McConnell, the local representative of CTC - Right to Ride Network.

The basis of the objection was that the proposed cycle track did not conform with national guidance and best practice, and the proposed track was unfit for purpose.

The head of roads said that acquiring land to provide a wider cycle track would involve considerable time and expense. He added that the physical work done had cost approximately £48,000.

Mr McConnell was anxious that motorists be aware that whilst a cycle track existed, cyclists were not obliged to use it, and could make use, legally, of the main carriageway.

He added: “A lot of motorised vehicle drivers who see a cycle facility next to the carriageway, are of the view that all cyclists must use it, and are therefore highly aggressive towards us. It is well known that the volume of motorised vehicle drivers who regularly update their knowledge of the Highway Code is ‘extremely low’.”

There was also disagreement over the exact definition of a ‘pedal cycle’.

On behalf of CTC - Right to Ride Network, Mr McConnell said that according to Section 192 of the Road Traffic Act, 1988: “Cycle means a bicycle, a tricycle, or a cycle having four or more wheels, not being in any case a motor vehicle.”

He said Angus Council is using the definition in the Road Traffic Regulation Act, 1984, as amended: “Cycle means a vehicle (not being mechanically propelled, and not being an invalid carriage) with fewer than four wheels.”

He asked which one was correct.