Bad drivers put cyclists’ lives at risk

NOT HAPPY: Chelle Austin and Annie Gray
NOT HAPPY: Chelle Austin and Annie Gray
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A keen cyclist and her partner fear being killed on the roads in Burnley because motorists are not adhering to cycle lanes.

Annie Gray and Chelle Austin, from Colne, cycle regularly to Burnley but say their route through Duke Bar in particular is becoming more dangerous.

There seems to be incident after incident, but the worrying thing is that the authorities, including the police and county council, don’t seem to enforce the issue

Cyclist Annie Gray

Annie (42) has had a number of accidents, most recently when a motorist parked in a cycle lane swung open a door and knocked her to the ground.

Annie said: “Neither of us drive so we cycle a lot, but it’s becoming increasingly dangerous.

“We go to Burnley a lot for shopping and cycle through Colne Road in the town but this is the worst area for people driving or parking in cycle lanes.

“There seems to be incident after incident, but the worrying thing is that the authorities, including the police and county council, don’t seem to enforce the issue.

“I know public bodies have had their funding cut in recent years, but the Government is always telling us to lead more healthy lifestyles, and yet won’t support cyclists’ safety. It is very frustrating.”

Annie, who suffered bruising and two slipped discs in her spine following her latest accident, said the state of the roads was also an issue.

Pot-holes and fading road markings were exacerbating the problem, she said.

She added: “I think there is a lot of ignorance about cycle lanes and towards cyclists in general. However, I feel Lancashire County Council in particular is not taking this problem seriously enough.”

Lancashire County Council said there was a mixture of single and double yellow lines in the Colne Road area, and people shouldn’t park on double yellows (unless they’re blue badge holders) but were not aware of an issue.

Clare Farrer, Lancashire County Council highways manager for Burnley, said: “The advisory cycle lane in this area improves safety for cyclists by indicating the space needed for drivers to safely pass cyclists.

“Vehicles can enter an advisory cycle lane when necessary, and are able to park temporarily on the single yellow line while loading and unloading.

“We will inspect the area following the concerns raised about faded lines and the road surface and consider any action that may be needed.”