THE councillor in charge of roads in Swindon has admitted that businesses in Commercial Road were not directly consulted before the construction of a controversial cycle lane.

Traders in the town centre street are up in arms about the division of the two-lane one-way road into two – one is a cycle lane running both ways, the other a lane for traffic from Milton Road to Regent Circus.

They say it is doing great damage to trade, particularly because they cannot get deliveries as there is nowhere for vans and lorries to stop.

Both Chris McKendrick who runs The Pharmacy and Marcus Kittridge, owner of Baristocats café, say they weren’t consulted on the changes before they were made.

Council leader David Renard told The Adver: “We spent some time consulting on a number of schemes with local businesses and residents.”

But cabinet member for highways Maureen Penny admitted there was no individual consultation of traders.

She said: “We did not carry out individual consultations with the businesses on Commercial Road prior to the trial.

"We used social media, the local press, and ward councillors for the area were all advised beforehand.

“We did use communications an awful lot and no-one complained about this at all.”

Coun Penny said individual consultations were not undertaken owing to coronavirus restrictions, and not wanting to put council staff at risk, but added: “In retrospect, in hindsight, we probably should have.”