Residents wake up to find "shortest" cycle lane created outside their Longridge home

It’s a case of get on your bike and then get off your bike when Irene Prescott takes to the new cycle lane outside her home in Longridge.

By Fiona Finch
Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 12:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 4:03 pm

Irene reckons it is a mini road to nowhere.

She estimates the newly created markings on Inglewhite Road on the outskirts of the town stretch for approximately 6 yards/5.5m. They have prompted people to ask could this be the shortest cycle lane in Lancashire?

Irene, 76, said: “I thought it was a bit strange myself. One day we woke up and were quite surprised to see this cycle lane in front of the house. We were all a bit gobsmacked. I don’t really think there’s a need for it. I just can’t understand it.”

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On her bike - Irene Prescott cycles the entire new cycle lane in Longridge Photo: Neil Cross

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She acknowledged that it is a very busy stretch of road, with heavy and varied traffic, a junction and nearby pub and supermarket, but she maintains money should have been spent on resurfacing the road instead.

The former office worker said: “It’s just really very busy. It needs resurfacing….. I’m a bit flabbergasted. It’s just a bit silly I think just to put a short one like that. There’s room for a cycle lane but not like that one. I just want it to be all the way along. It’s common sense.”

Irene’s partner Steve Dewhurst, 83, said there were two positives to the new road set-up: “It hasn’t done any harm... It makes it easier for us to get out of our drive with that cycle lane in front.”

This is the length of the new cycle lane near The Alston pub on the outskirts of Longridge Photo: Neil Cross

At the moment Steve cannot cycle due to a recent cartilage operation, but hopes he and Irene will soon be out cycling again.

Local County Coun Rupert Swarbrick said he had not yet seen the new markings but believed they would be a safety measure.

He said: “I think the whole point about marking junctions up is to try and make it a bit more safer for cyclists of whom we get lots in this part of the world. When there is an opportunity to add more markings it’s perceived to be additional safety measures. I think it’s a sensible thing to be doing.”

He added that the council has “a certain amount of discretion at junctions” where markings can be added. He continued: “All these kind of things are a compromise between trying to do the right thing without overspending. At the moment we don’t want to be paying more Council Tax and we’re being massively stretched.”

Irene looks forward to a cup of tea after trying out the new cycle lane Photo: Neil Cross

Coun Swarbrick acknowledged: “I can understand why people might think it might be a bit short.”

County Coun Charlie Edwards the council’s cabinet member for highways and transport said: "The short section of cycle lane at the junction of Inglewhite Road and Chipping Lane is part of a small package of measures agreed with and funded by the developer as part of the planning conditions for the Inglewhite Meadow housing development, which has also included improvements to the pavement and road surface in this area.

"The cycle lane replaces an area of hatched markings which were previously at the same location and, by narrowing the road width for vehicles, encourages drivers approaching from Longridge to slow down as they enter the junction, as well as offering increased protection for cyclists.

“While I agree that this may not be a long cycle lane, sometimes it’s the smaller improvements we can make to junctions that have as much of an effect on everyone’s journeys as installing miles of cycle paths on country roads.”