Government criticises Clevedon road markings in parliamentary debate

The wiggly lines (left) have been removed after a few weeks (right)

The North Somerset MP Liam Fox has branded changes to the road at Clevedon Seafront a 'ludicrous scheme' prompting a response from Transport Minister Jesse Norman.

In January, wiggly lines were painted onto the road as part of a new cycleway and parking scheme layout. 

North Somerset Council started work on the curved markings along the beach last autumn.

The council has previously said that the changes to the road are to allow a 'buffer strip' between the cycle lane and the car parking to ensure there is enough width between parked cars and the cycle lane.

Today (9 February) Dr Fox used a debate in the House of Commons to question the scheme and the consultation into it.

The MP said the initial consultation took place during a covid lockdown and therefore people weren't able to take part properly.

He added that parking spaces in the area have been reduced by around half to just over 30 spaces and that is having an impact on businesses in the area. 

Dr Fox told the Commons that there isn't a local want for the new road layout and that he believes it is a 'waste of money'.

In response to Dr Fox's comments Transport Minister Jesse Norman replied that ministers don't have the power to intervene in local decisions and that the Government wants to promote cycling and walking.

However, the minister criticised the wiggly lines on the road in Clevedon, saying any new road markings must be within regulations or be specifically approved by the Transport Secretary.

He said his Department hadn't been approached by North Somerset Council.

He also quoted the RAC's safety report on the scheme and questioned whether the markings made the road more unsafe. 

The minister confirmed Active Travel England will inspect the scheme but neither that body or the Government can force a change to the markings.

Following the debate, a spokesperson from North Somerset Council told ITV News West Country: “The Clevedon seafront scheme is part of the eagerly anticipated Pier to Pier Way opening later this year bringing more visitors, walkers and cyclists to the area.

"The works have made the area safer for all and also supports our commitment to provide sustainable travel routes across the area.

"Works have included resurfacing roads, a new 20mph zone as well as pedestrian crossing points and segregated cycle lanes.”