Businesses concerned plans for new cycle lanes in Dorset will impact trade

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Richard Slee

Some businesses in Dorset say they are worried about the impact proposed new cycle lanes are going to have on their trade.

The plans include a two metre wide cycle lane along the A35 Barrack Road in Christchurch, but there are concerns about access and congestion by narrowing the roads.

The plans mean parking spaces along the road will go, which is not good news for many local businesses which often rely on passing trade.

Business owner Carol Kennedy said: "The removal of the parking spaces from Barrack Road will mean there is no parking for our customers within a reasonable location of the shop and the proposal to re-locate parking to the side roads is flawed in that there really isn't anywhere for them to go, it's already very congested there."

Most people in the area support the idea of safer spaces for cyclists, but hundreds have now signed a petition claiming the needs of local businesses has not been properly considered. 

"They will lose all of their parking for a start, they don't know how they are going to get their deliveries in, there will also be issues just like that, of emergency vehicles where traffic has to pull over and they will be in the cycles lanes. There are a lot of issues to consider here."

Meanwhile the local council and campaigners for safer walking and cycling routes say it will encourage people to get active, while helping to tackle climate change.

BCP Council says the proposed scheme would alleviate pressure on an 'overstretched road network'.

A spokesperson said: "Part of the answer is to give people safe and attractive alternative transport choices. If we can persuade just a small percentage to choose a more sustainable mode of travel, this will have a significant impact on the level of congestion seen on our roads, allowing the road network to operate within its physical capacity and freeing the roads up for those who do still want or need to use their cars. There will also be environmental benefits from reduced carbon emissions and improved air quality.“The proposals underwent extensive consultation with two rounds of public engagement inNovember and December 2020 followed by formal public consultation which ran 10 May to14 June 2021.

"As well as positive feedback and support for the proposals, we have also received a petition and other responses which express concern about proposed parking reduction outside some Barrack Road businesses. We will, of course, consider these responses and look at whether there are any mitigating or alternative measures which might be included before reaching any decisions on the final design”