Enhanced cycle trial will run for six more months

Cycle lanes installed on the B6530 in Corbridge last year to support the national Hadrian’s Cycleway are to be modified following local feedback and a road safety audit, as the trial is extended for a further six months.

Senior county council officers have agreed to remove the entire length of the downhill westbound advisory cycle lane, while retaining the entire length of the uphill eastbound advisory cycle lane, and erecting additional signage.

On-street car parking in the vicinity of the health centre has been creating a road safety hazard for cyclists and for motorists attempting to leave the centre car park. As a result, a Traffic Regulation Order is to be introduced on the western stretch of this road to keep it free from parked vehicles.

Due to traffic found to be breaking the 30mph speed restriction further enforcement work will also be carried out with Northumbria Police.

In November 2015, as part of resurfacing work to the B6530 Newcastle Road in the village, the council installed 1.5 metre wide advisory cycle lanes in each direction and removed the centre line.

The road markings were designed to highlight the presence of the national Hadrian’s Cycle Route 72 which passes through the village, and the greater likelihood of encountering cyclists on this section of road.

They also give the impression the carriageway has been narrowed to encourage motorists to reduce their speeds, and evidence suggests vehicle speeds have been lower during the trial period.

After listening to feedback from residents, the parish council and local county councillors, and after carrying out a road safety audit, a decision has been taken to amend the trial scheme and to run the amended scheme for a further six month period.

Councillor Ian Swithenbank, cabinet member for local services at Northumberland County Council, said:  “This busy road forms part of a very popular national cycle route and we put in the trial cycle lanes to warn motorists of its presence, to help slow down traffic and to make it safer for cyclists using this route.

“The advisory nature of the cycle lane means that vehicles are still able to use the  road space when no cyclists are present, however this has not been clear to some road users.  

“We are trying to make Northumberland more cycle friendly for both residents and visitors alike and schemes like this are a key part of improving road safety for cyclists and other road users, which is of paramount importance to us.  

“We’ve listened to local people and taken on board their comments and will be amending the scheme to make it clearer and safer for all road users before making a final decision on whether the trial should be made permanent.”
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