A COUNCIL has been condemned for wasting taxpayer's money after painting "very narrow" cycle lanes in Reading.

Reading Borough Council (RBC) has built cycle lanes on Reading Bridge as a temporary measure during Covid-19 to encourage people to use bicycles and social-distance.

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Cyclists have expressed their concerns over the new cycle lanes calling it "worse than useless" and "dangerous" as they will be forced to ride too close to cars.

Oli on Twitter said: "Very narrow. How anyone could think this makes people on bicycles feel safer is baffling. Total waste of money and effort. To enable people to cycle we need protected infrastructure."

Dan Fernbank added: "This is literally worse than useless. It's dangerous - I can't believe this complies with any standards/good practice guidelines. If Reading Borough Council have taken a lane of traffic out, that surely means the cycle lane should be half the width of the lane. A wasted opportunity."

Reading Chronicle:

@TonyxBarbershop on twitter said: "That is terrible, deathly dangerous 'bike lane' and I'm hugely disappointed."

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However, RBC said the cycle lanes are within national safety and design standards.

A spokesman said: "The new north and southbound cycle lanes across Reading Bridge are temporary measures brought in as part of a wider Council scheme, funded by Central Government as a part of the Covid-19 response, to provide more options for cyclists and pedestrians at a time when social distancing remains in place and severe restrictions remain on public transport.

"These are advisory lanes. We would always urge all road users to be aware of other people’s movements, particularly where advisory signs are in place. All road schemes are designed with the safety of road users in mind and this new road layout is fully compliant with national safety and design standards.

Reading Chronicle:

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"In an ideal world there would be enough road space to make them mandatory, but that is not the case at Reading Bridge. The change of layout makes the best use of the limited road space available within the regulations, and it is worth noting a traffic lane has been removed to accommodate the new cycle lanes.

"The Council considered reducing pavement widths, but this would have reduced space for pedestrians trying to socially distance at this time. It would also have taken much longer to implement. Installing kerbs or posts would have further reduced the width of lanes for cyclists."