Keynsham 'optical illusion' cycle lane could be pedestrianised after nearly 80 reported injuries

There have been almost 80 reported trips and falls on the cycle lane since it opened in March 2022. Credit: John Wimperis/LDRS

An "optical illusion" cycle lane could be pedestrianised after nearly 80 reports of people tripping and falling in the cycle lane since it opened last year.

Keynsham High Street has been called "the most dangerous street in the UK" by local councillors due to hidden changes in the kerb heights around the street's cycle lane.

Bath and North East Council installed the cycle lane in March 2022.

As of August, there have been at least 76 reports of people injuring themselves after tripping and falling in the cycle lane.

The cycle lane was painted red in August last year in a bid to fix the issue, but falls have continued. Now, the council is considering pedestrianising the stretch of road and banning bikes from the High Street.

In a statement delivered to a council cabinet meeting on Thursday 9 November, Keynsham East Councillor Hal McFie said: "It was agreed that the best way out of the current impasse was to pedestrianise the High Street, with the ward councillors pushing to make it a cycle-free area.

"This could only happen if there was a positive attitude by shopkeepers and residents so the first step was to draw up an outline plan and present it to the Keynsham population in the 2024-2025 financial year.

Mr McFie, a Liberal Democrat councillor, has formed a cross-party alliance with Keynsham's other five councillors on Bath and North East Somerset Council over the issue of the cycle lane.

The group had planned to bring a motion before a full meeting of the council in September to force a vote on fixing the pavement levels, but the motion was pulled before the meeting amid fears it would be "torpedoed" by the Liberal Democrats administration.

Now the group have held a meeting with members of the council executive. The council agreed to paint more markings to warn people of the confusing kerbs, with the work expected to begin in January.

Council cabinet member for transport Manda Rigby said: "We are taking short-term measures via putting more painted lines to further mitigate any incorrect perception of pavement, bike lane and roadway levels.

"Longer term, there will be consultations around what any potential pedestrianisation of the High Street could look like as there has already been a desire for this expressed by ward councillors talking with the local community," she added.

Credit: John Wimperis, Local Democracy Reporting Service