Safety warning as cyclists steer clear of new cyclepath

09/05/12  news''The cycle path at Waterlooville which runs between Denmead and Waterlooville which is seeing little sign of use.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (121615-5)

09/05/12 news''The cycle path at Waterlooville which runs between Denmead and Waterlooville which is seeing little sign of use.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (121615-5)

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Picture Ian Hargreaves  (170623-1)

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DRIVERS have criticised cyclists for not using a designated cycleway – arguing it is a safety hazard and causes traffic jams.

Motorists say traffic queues are building up on Hambledon Road between Waterlooville and Denmead as cars wait to overtake cyclists.

A cycle route was laid down on the pavement in 2010 – but some cyclists choose to travel on the road instead.

Chris McGeady, 57, who has been using the road to get to work in Denmead for the last 11 years, is angry as she says it can cause big delays for motorists.

She said it was difficult for cars to overtake cyclists safely on the narrow country lane.

But cyclists have hit back and said they have a right to be on the highway.

Ms McGeady, of Linda Grove, Cowplain, said: ‘It’s not something that is happening every day, but when it does happen it does have a knock-on effect on traffic.

‘Drivers have to take their life into their own hands, zooming round bikes and worrying people coming in the other direction.

‘To me, it’s so frustrating when it’s a regular trip I do four times a day.

‘The other day there was a little old guy who was cycling almost in the gutter and there was a queue of cars trying to get round him.

‘Everyone was winding down their windows and asking him to use the cycleway.’

Ms McGeady made a complaint to Hampshire County Council after seeing a cyclist on a racing bike on the road.

She said: ‘There was a cyclist with a very expensive racing bike and the full kit.

‘He was not using the cycleway. You have to say why?’

But John Holland, chairman of Portsmouth Cycle Forum, said: ‘There’s all sorts of different cyclists, there are leisure cyclists, commuting cyclists and racing cyclists.

‘Cycle lanes are generally for utility or leisure cycling.

‘If you want to travel at 25mph on a racing bike, they are not very good.

‘A cyclist has a right to be on any highway, apart from a motorway, just like a horse and cart has.

‘A vehicle is there by licence.

‘If you are driving down a road and there is a cyclist and you have to slow down, by how long does it delay your journey? Twenty seconds, five seconds?

‘Let’s have a bit of give and take and respect each other.’

Councillor Mel Kendal, who is in charge of transport in Hampshire, said the council had tried to make cycling from Denmead to Waterlooville easier.

He added that folowing the criticisms, the council would consider if any additional measures could be made to encourage people to use the cycleway.

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