The companies say the active commute scheme could endanger the lives of cyclists, due to the threat of trucks’ hanging mirrors hitting them on a new road.

The companies have urged a local council to reconsider an active commute scheme which they say could endanger the lives of cyclists and pedestrians who use it, due to the apparent threat of being struck by the mirrors of trucks driving by. stick out for the new shared use path.

Work is due to start this month on the latest phase of the Truro Loops project, a scheme that aims to enable “car-free connections” for communities in the Cornish county capital, and improve cycle and pedestrian links on the south side. from the city. .

The most recent plans, which form part of the Newham Trail, involve widening the existing pavement at Newham Road to create a shared path for pedestrians and cyclists.

However, the proposals have met with vocal opposition from local businesses, with Cornwall Live reporting that the new carpool route will narrow the only road with access to the Newham industrial estate, home to 180 businesses and 1,200 workers.

> The trucker who caused the death of a cyclist after a “dangerous overtaking maneuver” was saved from jail

Businesses located on the industrial estate, along with the Newham Business Improvement District (BID), an initiative that promotes Newham as a business location and gives businesses the power to raise funds to improve the local area, have told to Cornwall Council who, while supporting the Truro Loops in principle, believe that narrowing the road will endanger all its users.

They say the plans mean heavy vehicles, a prominent fixture on the road, will only have 10cm of clearance when they pass each other, forcing their drivers to pull closer to the road where the vehicles’ large rear-view mirrors could pose a threat. for cyclists and pedestrians

Cameron MacQuarrie, managing director of crane hire at Newham-based Macsalvors, told Cornwall Live: “The road needs to widen, not narrow. The average heavy vehicle measures 3.2 m across the exterior mirrors, which means that two trucks passing each other in a perfectly straight line will take up 6.4 m of space on the road, leaving 50 mm per driver as a margin of error .

“This is ridiculous on a road with such a high proportion of heavy vehicles driving on it every day.

“The inevitable result is that drivers will move onto the pavement to create a safe passage space with oncoming traffic and rear view mirrors will hang over the pavement bike lane causing extreme danger to anyone using it.”

> Controversies road works of bicycle lanes blamed for “killing Christmas trade”

A letter of opposition to the scheme, written by IDB President Leigh Ibbotson and signed by 24 companies including Tesco and Aldi, has called on the council to reconsider the plans and asks why an earlier proposal to make use of the road alongside the Newham river, far out of the way, fell down.

“We want to make it very clear that Newham BID believes that the proposals pose a safety hazard to Newham users, particularly the proposal to reduce the width of the carriageway on Newham Road,” Ibbotson said in the letter.

“We want formal notice that we expect accident statistics to increase if these proposals are implemented.”

In the letter, Ibbotson said the proposals were rushed to meet a deadline to spend the European funds, and that the IDB was happy to work with the council on another plan to widen the road at a supposedly notorious hotspot.

“The opportunity to spend the European funds before the deadline seems to be the main driver of this scheme instead of carrying out detailed investigation and safety studies to consider the best scheme,” the letter continues.

“We cannot see how these proposals are in any way secure and we urge you to consider the reality of daily movements in Newham rather than rely on ‘modeling’ as we understand to have been the case.”

> “Drivers have a responsibility to protect vulnerable road users”: a high-visibility police officer walks past the truck driver

In response to vocal criticism of the plan, Cornwall City Council has agreed to amend elements of it, including its original plan to remove the right-turn lane at Aldi, which the companies say would lead to traffic jams and “chaos” for motorists. .

However, in a letter to the IDB two weeks ago, the council said it would go ahead with the installation of the shared-use road.

“A road safety review carried out along this route has not raised any problems. The proposed narrowing has been tested by computer modeling with no indication that a conflict between HGVs will occur,” the council said.

Work on the scheme will begin next week, with the goal of finishing by the end of June, although the IDB has continued to call for construction to be halted until all alternatives are considered.

Commenting on the concerns, Liberal Democrat candidate for Truro and Falmouth Ruth Gripper said: “Serious security concerns have been raised by Newham BID over the proposals and it is vital that Cornwall Council get it right.

“Hasty decisions should not be made when the safety of people is at stake. I am also concerned by the suggestion that not all options have been explored, and I ask the council to pause and work with local businesses and other user groups to find a solution that works for all.

“Truro Loops is a really exciting project and I look forward to what it will do for Truro. It is important that these changes work for pedestrians, cyclists and the many successful businesses based in Newham.”


Leave a Reply