Cllr Victoria Charleston writes to Cllr McClelland, Cabinet Member for Transport, Waste, Street Scene and Flooding, concerning the state of cycling infrastructure in and around Salisbury.
Dear Cllr McClelland, I'm writing concerning the state of cycling infrastructure in and around Salisbury.
Having returned to my bike after the birth of my son, I have been shocked at the aggressive, dangerous driving I have experienced in the last six weeks. Whilst I can fully appreciate that Wiltshire Council cannot control people's driving, the safety of vulnerable road users is made much worse by having to share the road with cars due to the lack of cycling infrastructure around the city.
I consulted other parents for their views on traveling around Salisbury by bike with children and 79% of the 240 respondents said either they did not cycle with their children as it is not safe, or they did but there needs to be better infrastructure. Just 1% of respondents cycle and feel the roads are suitable. I have included comments from people below.
After the cancellation of People Friendly Salisbury, and the removal of the Exeter Street cycle lane, I am very keen to understand what your plan is going forward to keep children safe whilst cycling and enable more families to travel in a healthier, more environmentally friendly way.
As for the infrastructure that is in place, I would be delighted to take a cycle with you around the city and discuss the barriers to families wanting to cycle safely. This includes bollards and street lighting in cycle lanes and a cycle crossing that directs you into moving traffic at Victoria Park. Please let me know when, as Cabinet Member for Transport, you would be available for this.
Comments from Facebook group "Mums Chat Salisbury"
"Would not dare take my children on the roads!! As a horse rider I haven't ridden on the roads since the children we born. I can't tell if people are ignorant to how to do things safely, or if they just don't care!"
"Husband used to cycle to and from work and with our first little one to nursery. But after one too many times of clipping wingmirrors because someone's over taken when he's indicating to turn, he's stopped. I couldn't take the constant worry about him being safe on the roads anymore."
"We cycle but not with children even in our small village it's not safe."
"I cycle to and from work 3 days a week (from off castle road into centre of town) and it's been mostly fine (except for one time in Victoria Park where a man jumped in front of me and literally growled at me it was terrifying) but I wouldn't do that same route with children. The infrastructure just isn't there and it infuriates me because as a country we should be prioritising cycling as an easy way to reduce carbon emissions etc."
"My husband was nearly knocked off his bike yesterday, he's so careful but unfortunately a lot of road driver are not. There wasn't room to overtake so the driver just pushed in anyway with my husband trying to avoid the ditch to his left - the driver just completely ignored he was there and then was rude too. I was furious when he told me, it could have been much worse. Its just very frustrating as it could be so much better."
"We witnessed a woman with a child in a crossbar mounted seat get knocked off her bike a couple of weeks ago coming onto devizes road. I wouldn't cycle on the road here with my children."
"We moved from Reading which has really aggressive drivers but my husband was able to take daughter to childminder by cycle along traffic free routes as cyclists had been catered for. I can't get over Salisbury being so unsafe for cyclists."