Fife Council: Cycle lane could be approved despite community objections

A mandatory cycle lane on Dunfermline’s Aberdour Road could be approved despite 16 community objections
Aberdour Road, Dunfermline looking towards Hospital Hill (Google Maps)Aberdour Road, Dunfermline looking towards Hospital Hill (Google Maps)
Aberdour Road, Dunfermline looking towards Hospital Hill (Google Maps)

City of Dunfermline Area Committee councillors are due to consider setting aside 16 public objections to make way for a two-way cycle lane on the south side of Aberdour Road next week.

The proposed cycle lanes would be installed on the B916 between Blacklaw Road and Hospital Hill. And the works would be part of a much wider active travel project.

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The proposals have garnered 16 public objections during the council’s consultation period.

However, John Mitchell, Fife’s head of Roads & Transportation Services, has recommended that the committee agree to set aside the objections allowing the project to move forward.

“It is considered, in the interests of road safety and traffic management, that the objections should be set aside allowing for the introduction of a mandatory two-way cycle lane on B916 Aberdour Road, Dunfermline to proceed,” a report to committee said.

The proposed two-way cycle lane on B916 Aberdour Road is the last piece in a bigger active travel network.The city has been working to develop an active travel route along a longer stretch of the B916 – from Masterton Road to A823 Queensferry Road / Hospital Hill. The section from Masterton Road to Blacklaw Road is already completed. Now developers want to finish the route.

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However, introducing a two-way cycle lane on the south side of Aberdour Road between Blacklaw Road and Hospital Hill requires the area committee to rubber stamp a traffic regulation order and set aside the public objections.

Councillors already agreed to promote a traffic regulation order earlier this year, which triggered the public consultation. Now, the results of the consultation are in and councillors are being asked to consider the objections before setting them aside.

Residents were mostly concerned about road safety and the speed of traffic on Aberdour Road. Other concerns included the perceived difficulty of crossing the cycle track; restrictive bollards or islands; a preference for use of the north side; and concern about the physical appearance of segregated cycle tracks.

However, the Roads & Transportation report assured councillors that the cycle-lanes are not a safety concern.

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“There will be minimal effect on road capacity as a result of the installation of the cycle track. The introduction of a cycle route will, however, provide the public with sustainable and active travel options, as alternatives to using cars for short journeys,” the report said.

“An independent road safety audit was undertaken by an external road safety expert and all their recommendations are being incorporated into the final design.”

If the cycle track is built, it will make traffic lanes slightly narrower than before, despite the carriageway on the north side being extended by approximately 500mm.

Mr Mitchell expects that the narrower traffic lanes will have a positive effect on reducing traffic speed. But he said additional traffic calming measures could be promoted at a later date if there are still concerns in the future.

The City of Dunfermline Area Committee will consider the report next Tuesday and make a decision.