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Drivers block new mandatory cycle lanes – and could face fines

PUBLISHED: 16:01 07 November 2020 | UPDATED: 18:57 07 November 2020

Cyclists have found the new mandatory cycle lanes in High Road East, Old Felixstowe, blocked by parked cars Picture: ARCHANT

Cyclists have found the new mandatory cycle lanes in High Road East, Old Felixstowe, blocked by parked cars Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

Cyclists have found new cycle lanes blocked by parked cars just hours after the work to put them in place had been completed.

Cyclists forced to move out into the road to pass a car parked in the mandatory cycles lanes in High Road East, Old Felixstowe Picture: ARCHANTCyclists forced to move out into the road to pass a car parked in the mandatory cycles lanes in High Road East, Old Felixstowe Picture: ARCHANT

As part of a raft of projects across the county, Suffolk County Council has upgraded the cycle lanes in High Road East and High Road West, Felixstowe, from advisory to mandatory.

Where lanes are mandatory – with a solid white line – drivers must not drive in them or park across them, and will face a fine up to £70.

But hours after the lines were painted, cyclists found cars parked in them – forcing the riders out into the traffic.

The council said mandatory cycle lanes had only been put in place where householders had off-road parking and where there was no off-road parking the lines had been left broken and advisory.

Cars have been parking in the mandatory cycle lanes in Felixstowe Picture: ARCHANTCars have been parking in the mandatory cycle lanes in Felixstowe Picture: ARCHANT

A spokesman said: “Letters have been sent out to all residents in the immediately effected areas. The schemes will be delivered temporarily in the first instance for a minimum six-month trial period as part of the Government’s Emergency Active Travel Fund.

“During the implementation phase we are keen to hear from local residents and commuters before decisions are made on any permanent changes.”

East Suffolk Council’s parking enforcement team will take any action necessary over abuse of the cycle lanes.

A car parked in the mandatory cycle lane in High Road East, Felixstowe - cars are not allowed to drive in or park in mandatory cycle lanes Picture: ARCHANTA car parked in the mandatory cycle lane in High Road East, Felixstowe - cars are not allowed to drive in or park in mandatory cycle lanes Picture: ARCHANT

The Suffolk County Council spokesman added: “The temporary measures are intended to make active travel, walking and cycling, safer and easier to avoid overcrowding the transport network and to support the town through Covid-19. The interventions will ensure those people who need to and want to make essential journeys and take exercise by foot or bike can do so whilst maintaining social distancing – particularly those traveling to and from the town centre.

“If any of the schemes are not working as anticipated, Suffolk County Council can change their locations, add other measures or remove schemes at short notice. This can occur at anytime during the trial period.

“Local residents will be able to have their say by filling in a short survey at www.suffolk.gov.uk/walkingandcycling or via scanning the QR Code on the signage along High Road East and High Road West. The survey will be open from Monday, November 9.

“After the trial period, Suffolk County Council will then decide if the changes are going to become permanent. The feedback provided by local residents will help inform this decision.”

Anyone wanting to complain about a blocked cycle lane should contact www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/visitors/parking-services/parking-management-and-civil-parking-enforcement/

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