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Lever's Causeway scheme a 'safety hazard' say objectors
A PLAN that forces walkers and cyclists to share a pathway flanking one of Wirral’s best-known roads has triggered a strong “anti” petition and letters of objection, as well as representations in support of the scheme.
One resident of Storeton Village told the local authority: “Currently Lever Causeway is nothing more a death trap for all who use it.”
The project – to be built behind the tree line on the west side of the road – has been designed to improve local cycling and walking links serving a key east-west commuter route for cyclists.
It is also aimed at improving access to local employment opportunities , links to tourism sites across the borough and connecting directly into the national cycle network.
Objectors claim however that the scheme is a “safety hazard” and it would destroy the habitat for local wildlife, including bats and bees.
Fears were also expressed that there would be insufficient space on the pathway to accommodate pedestrians, cyclist and horse riders, leading to potential conflict between the groups.
Council officers pointed out that walkers and cyclists travelling along Lever Causeway had to negotiate the rough grassed area behind the mature tree line and at certain times of the year ground conditions made it unpleasant for pedestrians and impassable for cyclists.
As a result they were forced to walk or cycle along the main highway where traffic sped along at speeds up to 60mph.
The officers pointed out that the scheme did not fall into any area formally designed for its wildlife interest and any impact on biodiversity was not considered to be significant.
The proposed pathway, they advised, would be two metres wide – the minimum recommended by national guidelines. It would be located discreetly behind the mature tree line and a two metre wide grassed areas running parallel to the path for the use of horse riding.
A member of the National Cycling Charity said the provision of a off-road shared path would “have the potential to save lives and serious injuries.”
And the secretary of Wirral Cycling Campaign told the local authority: “The WCC have long considered that cycling along Lever Causeway is unsafe, both for individual cyclists as well as cycling in a group, and that the proposals would form an important links for cyclists between east and west Wirral.”
Wirral Council’s highways and traffic panel will study the arguments when they meet next Wednesday.
Officers have recommended approval for the scheme.
They suggest it would provide a safe and attractive route for both cyclists and walkers and eliminate many dangers facing users of Lever Causeway.
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