THE controversial cycle lane in Commercial Road has been axed by the council after less than a week.

It sparked an outcry from traders who said they had not been consulted and it made it impossible for them to get deliveries.

Now the council's roads boss Maureen Penny has told the Adver the lane will be removed immediately, saying it was unsafe because of people tampering with the lane dividers. But she said another scheme could be introduced.

The news comes after Labour councillors called upon the Conservative administration to abandon the scheme saying it is ill thought through and dangerous.

Western and Mannington councillor Jim Robbins said: “I was meeting with local businesses and witnessed a near-miss of a car and cyclist as there are no give way signs where car lanes cross the cycle lane on Commercial Road.

“I was shocked to hear how much the poorly-designed lanes have already cost local businesses, which are already struggling so much following months of being unable to trade due to the pandemic.”

“We are keen to support cycling in the town and want the council to urgently arrange a meeting between cyclists, businesses and councillors to look at the options for long-term safe and sustainable cycle lanes that will really encourage people to cycle more in the town.”

Coun Penny said the scheme had been made unsafe by people moving the barriers.

“Unfortunately, what has happened here is that members of the public have been interfering and illegally moving bollards and signs.

"This has ultimately made the scheme dangerous for everyone and I now have serious health and safety concerns due to the chaos caused by this interference.

“The scheme will be cancelled with immediate effect."

She added the council was determined to find ways of encouraging more people to cycle particularly in the town centre.

She said: “I am entirely committed to providing a scheme that improves cycling in and around the town centre as part of a comprehensive network of cycle routes.

"This current scheme was a trial and designed to ensure that cyclists have the opportunity to use Commercial Road safely.

“As with Station Road, the conditions were favourable in that it is a wide road with wide footpaths. Highways officers have been on site since Friday to make adjustments to the scheme as necessary and alternative arrangements for deliveries have been discussed with businesses.”

"The feedback from cyclists has been very positive and helpful to us and it is a shame that they will not enjoy the benefits of this route. However, I am determined to introduce safe cycle routes and will go back to the drawing board to find another way to introduce a scheme in this area.”