Last Updated on 20 July 2020 at 1:30pm
As a long time cyclist one of the few good things to come out of the pandemic was an upsurge in cycling especially amongst families helped in no small part by the reduction in traffic. Now that things are getting back to normal it would be a shame if that were to be squandered. Unfortunately the council have not built on this with a sufficiently ambitious bid to increase the number of cycle lanes.
Certainly in Knaresborough there is no sign of any additional cycling provision. There are still no advanced stop lines and cycle lanes are discontinuous and generally terminate at exactly the points where they are most needed. There are a few widened pavements for pedestrians but again these end suddenly as soon as there is any likelihood of motorists being inconvenienced.
The result is that traffic levels are back at pre-lockdown levels and a lot of car drivers are acting in an even more aggressive manner towards cyclists . The issues that were a problem for cyclists before have not gone away ,with minimal provision of safe cycle routes, for example traffic lights such as the one on Stockwell Road which do not register bikes and do not allow them sufficient time to get through the lights from a standing start.
There is also still no limit on unnecessary HGV traffic on Bond End and the High Street/York Place which are both Air Quality Management Areas because they breach limits on pollution. Despite this there are frequent lorries using this route from Treves UK on Farnham Lane who supply car components to factories in the midlands rather than the less polluting and damaging route through Minskip to the A1M.
If we are ever to discourage driving and encourage children and to cycle or walk with consequent health and environmental benefits, meaningful action needs to be taken now.