A NEW cycleway is dangerous and “could lead to someone getting hurt,” according to a councillor who was involved in planning for the scheme.
Coun Andrew Sherris, Conservative councillor for Yarm, said problems on the new cycle path, part of a £300,000 scheme, on the Levendale estate in his constituency needed to be resolved as a matter of urgency and it should be closed until then.
The new path has not yet been completed and is part of a joint scheme between Stockton Borough Council and cycling charity, Sustrans.
It provides a link between an existing footpath on Glaisdale Road and Mount Leven Road and passes Levendale Primary School, and Coun Sherris said he is broadly supportive of it. A road safety audit has not yet been completed.
Coun Sherris said serious safety concerns had been raised because at one point cyclists have priority over motorists but at another junction the role is reversed causing confusion. He also said there were visibility and signage problems.
He said: “As the path crosses Lingfield Road cyclists have priority and this is something new that I don`t think exists elsewhere. Such confusion could lead to a child or adult getting hurt or worse.
"The next crossing point is Mt Leven Road but here vehicular traffic has the priority. Signs are very close to the roads giving cyclists little time to stop and there are visibility issues for drivers travelling West along Lingfield Road and an absence of any safety barriers.
“I appreciate that the scheme has yet to have its safety audit and would hope that these problems can be reviewed. In the meantime this particular section should perhaps be closed off? I remain supportive but these teething problems need sorting urgently.”
Coun Mike Smith, Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport, said: “The scheme received a very positive consultation response with 75 per cent of respondents in favour and was developed and funded in partnership with Sustrans.
"Local ward councillors have been informed and involved from the start of the process.”
Tom Bailey Sustrans Network Manager for the North East said: “Though we are aware that concerns have been raised we understand that the work on the project is not yet complete. Cycling to school is proven to help kids show up alert and ready to learn.”