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Council agrees to consultation on Beeston cycle lane proposals after residents raise safety concerns

Nottinghamshire County Council has agreed to run a consultation on plans to ban cars from a Beeston road after the idea divided opinion among residents.

The proposal would see cars banned from using Dovecote Lane as a through route at its junction with Middle Street, although cycling would still be permitted.

The council originally said the ‘Experimental Traffic Regulation Order’ would initially be put in place for up to 18 months before residents were asked for feedback – but now it has agreed to delay the scheme after some people living in the area objected.

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It has been funded by Goverment transport improvement money via Nottinghamshire County Council.

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The authority says said it has now negotiated an extension of time on the proposed work with the Department for Transport, meaning a consultation can go ahead.

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A petition against the plans has gained almost 1,000 signatures and dozens of residents met with Darren Henry, the Conservative MP for the area, to share their views.

Peter Bone, who is leading the ‘Keep Dovecote Lane Open’ campaign, said he had “serious safety concerns”.

 

He said: “We are grateful for the delay but we hope that it allows an extension long enough for a proper consultation and for proper evidence to be gathered.

“We were concerned that we hadn’t been properly consulted.

“There was an online questionnaire last February but there was no provision for residents to suggest what could be done about the problems.

“We never got any feedback and suddenly in January a letter comes through telling us about the plans.”

Mr Bone, who is a regular cyclist, pedestrian and driver in the area and lives in Leslie Avenue, added: “I have lived here for 35 years and I have cycled up and down there hundreds of times.

“I have never really felt in danger. Cars naturally slow down where the road narrows.

“Our big worry is if the road is closed at the top and you’ve got a one-way system, all traffic has to go onto Queen’s Road which will be very dangerous for cyclists and add to congestion.”

He said the main issue in the area is around parked cars on the road.

Another resident who is in favour of the plans said the road is a “rat run” which drivers see as a through road.

He said: “During lockdown, I sat at my dining room window and watched as cyclists and pedestrians used the road.

“Children learned to ride their bikes and toddlers practised their walking.

“Obviously as life got back to normal, all that has stopped. Toddlers are strapped back in their buggies, cyclists are the confident lycra clad adult sort – not kids riding to play in the parks. I want the council to run the experiment.

“The residents of the surrounding roads have catastrophised the closure.”

Councillor Neil Clarke, Chairman of the Transport and Environment committee at the county council said: “The Department for Transport have agreed to extend their timeline for the Active Travel Fund which the Dovecote cycle lane proposal would be funded from.

“We spoke to them after a number of concerns were raised to us from the local community and these need to be considered very carefully.

“An update will be going to the next Transport and Environment committee on 9 February, and we will consult on this later this month. The feedback will be reviewed early spring.

“I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to get in touch so we can work together to reach the best solution.”

Mr Henry added: “I wrote to both Nottinghamshire County Council and the DfT last week pushing for an extension to the deadline. I am pleased to hear that an agreement has been reached allowing for more discussion and consultation with the local community.”

The county council’s Transport and Environment Committee will meet on February 9 and is expected to approve the proposals for further consultation.

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