Cyclists have slammed a new cycle path that runs alongside the Luton and Dunstable Guided Busway as they claim it is not fit for purpose.
The busway, which the Herald & Post can reveal is due to open on September 25, has an adjacent cycle path with a “crushed limestone finish”.
Riders fear the surface will puncture road bike tyres and cause them to skid, and a council spokesperson admitted the surface is “best suited” to off-road or hybrid bikes and tyres.
James Hart tweeted: “Cyclists shouldn’t need to judge whether a ‘purpose built’ cycleway is suitable. Note: Sharp gravel CAN puncture tyre side walls.” Following cyclists’ comments, Deputy Leader of Luton Borough Council, Councillor Sian Timoney, is calling for a review of the path.
A council spokesperson said: “To reflect the fact that the disused railway corridor is a County Wildlife Site, it was always intended that the access track alongside the Busway would be surfaced using crushed limestone finish. The only section with a smooth blacktop finish (except where it ties into the footway at junctions) is alongside Hatters Way where it replaces the cycle lanes that used to exist on that road. However, discussions are continuing and we will advise if plans change.”
Prolific tweeter ‘Luton Eye’ said: “The cycleway was a great opportunity to add something actually worthwhile to the busway scheme, albeit added at the last minute. Now it transpires it was essentially a bit of a con. We’re left with a lane of shingle. It’s laughable to blame ‘environmental impact’ when they’ve already built a hulking great concrete busway next to it. A metre or so of Tarmac is hardly going to make a difference. It smacks of doing it on the cheap. Another wasted opportunity!”
Dave @leggydd A golden chance to provide a top class cycling facility through Luton and Dunstable & you’ve wasted it.
Simon Parker @sim0njp “Renders it useless in my opinion. Okay for mountain bikes, not so good for road bikes. Shall be sticking to the road.”
Martin Brennan @brennans12 “what a surprise Luton Council make a mess of it, I have a road bike, so can’t use it, the one thing I was looking forward to.”
Nick Daniels @goitsagch “Sounds like they just ran out of money. It will slowly get torn up by people riding on it and end up all over the road.”