A college in Reading has released photos of cyclists shunning a dedicated cycle lane in its formal objections to a council bid to make the cycle lane permanent.

Reading Borough Council recently launched a consultation into making temporary two way cycle lane in Sidmouth Street permanent, which required the closure of the northbound lane to regular traffic.

The proposal has already been hit with objections that emerged after the lane was closed and the cycle route was established in 2020.

READ MORE: Sidmouth Street cycle lane consultation blasted on Facebook 

Now, the University College of Estate Management (UCEM) has officially objected to the proposal, with studies showing cyclists refusing to use the route.

Photos show cyclists ride down the road rather than use the two way dedicated cycle lanes the council implemented.

Reading Chronicle: A Deliveroo cyclist chose not to use the Sidmouth Street cycle lane. Credit: KMC Transport PlanningA Deliveroo cyclist chose not to use the Sidmouth Street cycle lane. Credit: KMC Transport Planning

The images were taken in a transport study by KMC Transport Planning on behalf of UCEM, which was submitted to the council in February 2021.

A further study, conducted by Dr Graeme Larson observed cyclists going down Sidmouth Street to get to Queen’s Road in a two week period.

In the first week, more cyclists choose to use the cycle lane than the road, with 103 using the cycle lane and 55 choosing the road.

But in the second week, 70 chose the cycle lane and 102 chose the road, meaning almost 60 per cent chose the road instead of the cycle lane.

That study was sent to the council in December 2021.

UCEM will submit both these studies to the current consultation, which closes on Wednesday, August 10.

You can respond to the consultation here

A spokesperson for UCEM said: “We have already engaged with the council about this.

“Our argument is that these lanes are not safe for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers.

“These lanes appeared when the Government and the council were trying to encourage active travel, but this is not the best place for it.

READ MORE: Controversial Sidmouth Street cycle lanes could be made permanent as consultation begins 

“We are concerned about safety when we turn into our car park, we have to go across two cycle lanes and a stream of traffic.

“People who drive have to look both ways and make sure no cyclists are coming in either direction before turning into the car park.

“It’s increasingly difficult to get into the business. A sandwich company had to stop delivering to us because the one-way system was delaying their delivery to other clients.

“Watlington Street is much better. It’s on the national cycle network and links to Royal Berkshire Hospital and Queen’s Road, whereas Sidmouth Street has no link to other routes.”

In its own study, the council observed 76 cyclists use the cycle lanes over a 12 hour period.

Responding to the concerns raised, a council spokesperson said: “As per the public consultation details, if agreed for permanent implementation then reservations around connecting the Sidmouth Street cycle lane more widely will be resolved.

“We have committed to improving linking at both ends, and other strategies will also bring linking and greater strategic importance to this route, such as further active travel funding and Bus Service Improvement Plan.

“Reading Borough Council welcomes all feedback on the scheme to help create the most effective cycle network for users.”