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Campaigner wants more cycle lanes

Bournemouth needs more cycle lanes says an environmental campaigner after damning statistics reveal the dangers cyclists face in Bournemouth.

There were 689 casualties involving cyclists on Bournemouth roads last year and Bournemouth was named the second most dangerous place for cyclists in England and outside of London in 2013.

Angela Pooley, East Dorset Friends of the Earth Coordinator, said: “What is needed is a network of cross conurbation safe cycle routes suitable for all ages – something that is lacking at the moment.”

The £650,000 government funded cycle lane located on Castle Lane West, has provided a safe route for students from the local schools.

It was picked as the perfect location since 25 percent of the town’s children attend the primary and secondary schools nearby.

The improved cycle lane, which Mrs Pooley says is a “perfect example”, has encouraged children to cycle to school due to the lane being separate from the road. It also has its own traffic lights.

“That area has the biggest number of school children, with two grammar schools and an academy,” said Mrs Pooley

Sustrans, a charity who encourage better ways to travel, has been working with the council to initiate adult cycle training, which will help local residents commute by bike.

Sustrans have developed two cycle networks that run from Bournemouth to Longleat.

The National Cycle Network provides cyclists with traffic free paths.

There are over five million people using the network including school children, walkers and horse riders, with Bournemouth citizens also relying on the Network.

Bournemouth Borough Council said: “Cycling solves so many problems of modern living.

“It keeps you fit; it’s fast and cheap and it is a sustainable mode of transport which is good for the environment.”

Mrs Pooley said: “In this area cycling is increasing and Bournemouth council appear to be committed to making Bournemouth a safe place to cycle.”