The Daily Mail has shared the news that plans (pictured below) for a £1million cycle path extension along Clifton Drive will force residents living along Todmorden Road to drive half-a-mile to get to their homes and send up to 1,000 cars a day down a tiny residential street.
One resident, Damien Calderwood, has been pictured in the Daily Mail criticising the plans to extend a cycle path by 270 metres saying that the development is an ‘unnecessary waste of money’ and is a ‘ridiculous solution to a non-existent problem’.
The claims that the extension to the cycle route would mean drivers won’t be able to turn from Clifton Drive into Todmorden Road, the major link road onto St. Anne’s Promenade.
The Daily Mail says that according to Mr Calderwood’s survey, almost 2,000 cars use Todmorden Road to go to and from the Promenade each day but under the proposed plans, this road will be turned into a one-way street and half of those cars will have to squeeze down a smaller residential road instead. He argues that is going to ‘create problems rather than solve them’ and is consequently concerned that the roads will become ‘busy and dangerous’. Due to the one-way system, those living on Summerfields Estate down Todmorden Road will be forced to drive half-a-mile around just to get to their driveways – which are just 18 metres away from the road.
The Daily Mail reports that the existing £1 million cycle path was installed in 2021 – jointly funded by cycling charity Sustrans and the County Council. Lancashire County Council say the three-metre-wide cycle track has boosted the number of cyclists along the route, increasing by an average of 212 per cent between August 2021 and August 2022 – with the highest one-day count at 1,084.
Mr Calderwood, who lives on the Summerfields Estate, disputes this, telling the MailOnline: ‘The road between Blackpool and St Anne’s is quite long and busy. Two or three years ago they decided to narrow the road and put in a cycle path. Now they want to join it up and make it easier for cyclists.
They sent through the usage data for the cycle path and said there had been an increase in bikes. But they did the survey on the busiest weekend of the year – when the Blackpool Air Show was on – and compared it to the same time as the year before, when it was cancelled because of Covid. The locations where they chose to conduct these counts just happen to be at the bottom of the Airport’s runway where everyone congregates to see the Red Arrows take off and land.
It’s so disingenuous of them. So I did my own count. At the peak of the peak time, I counted six cyclists in one hour. If I did the survey now, I’d be lucky to get six in one day. It is used, but only occasionally. They want to narrow the road even more and put an extension on the cycle path which will go across people’s driveways. They’re also going to give cyclists priority over drivers turning into the beach’s car park – it’s dangerous. Drivers aren’t going to stop for them.
Todmorden Road is the main access point to the Promenade – which is what St Anne’s is all about. I live near there and it’s been turned into a one-way street. If I want to go into my house, I have to drive half-a-mile around. All of us who live here have this problem. All we can do now is make noise’.