Drivers group claims cycle path panders to ‘minority’

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PLANS to introduce a dedicated cycle lane on the A26 between Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells have been criticised by a motoring group who claim it panders to a ‘tiny vocal minority’.

The proposals will result in the loss of the southbound bus lane between the Hand and Sceptre and junction at Yew Tree Road and the introduction between of a 20mph speed limit between Pennington Road and Holden Park Road.

The scheme, which is currently under consolation and will be jointly implemented by Kent County Council and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has been welcomed by cycle groups and those campaigning for lower speed limits.

However, it has come under fire from the Kent branch of the Alliance of British Drivers.

Group regional organiser Terry Hudson said: “As this is a very congested main A-road, any further hindrances will only increase congestion and is not going to force people out of their chosen form of transport, cars, and onto what in government speak calls, ‘mode change’.

“At present, using the consultation figures, 85.7 per cent of daily traffic is cars and taxis with only 0.5 per cent of journeys by bicycle.

“We are told that public highways are to be shared by all and yet the percentage figures above, show the majority of users are being pushed aside for a tiny vocal minority.

“Hence 85.7 per cent are going to have their journeys even more delayed to appease 0.5 per cent.”

He also doubted the environmental reasoning behind the proposals, stating the ‘extra congestion’ that will result from the scheme will ‘negate’ any air quality improvements form a ‘few more people cycling’.

“Congestion benefits nobody and costs the economy billions of pounds,” he added.

The consultation runs until December 18.

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