Nearly 60 people injured on ‘optical illusion’ cycle lane in just one year

GV of the cycle lane on High Street, Keynsham. See SWNS story SWLNlane. An 'optical illusion' has injured nearly 60 cyclists on poorly-designed cycle lane. A recent freedom of information request showed that a staggering 59 people were injured on the lane on Keynsham High Street in Bristol. Photos of the lane, which installed last March shows how the lane appears to be flat at a glance - but actually passes over an elevated pedestrian crossing. Cyclists have repeatedly missed the 'bump' in the road, throwing them off their bikes as they hit it at speed - which one City Councillor is warning could lead to deaths.
Many people have fallen over because the cycle lane looks so confusing (Picture: SWNS)

This ‘optical illusion’ cycle lane has caused quite the headache in a quiet west country town.

Up to 59 people have been injured on Keynsham’s High Street, near Bristol, after it was installed by Bath and North East Somerset Council last year.

Of those, 21 have pursued personal injury compensation claims against the council – seven of which were rejected and the rest remain under investigation.

The local authority, run by the Liberal Democrats, said no insurance claims have been settled and no other payments have been made to anyone.

Tory councillor Alan Hale said he’s been contacted by people falling over ever since the day the lane was installed.

He said: ‘There can be no other local authority in the country that has created a development that has succeeded in seriously injuring 59 people at least and have done nothing to address the situation.

‘We are elected to make our community safe, not to inflict significant injuries.

‘To make it safe we need the administration and officers to take positive action, not sit on their hands.’

optical illusion cycle lane
At total of 21 people have pursued personal injury claims (Picture: SWNS)
optical illusion cycle lane
The red tarmac has been added to help the situation (Picture: SWNS)

Some work has been done like painting the tarmac red instead of keeping it plain black, but Mr Hale said there’s since been no further action.

He has called for the cycle lane to be removed in the interests of public health and safety.

But Lib Dem councillor Mark Roper defended the cycle lane, adding: ‘The new Keynsham High Street cycle lane is built to the government’s current LTN120 standards, and when some early problems were identified with the double kerb down to the road surface, a series of mitigations were put in place which has had the effect of substantially reducing the number of reported incidents.

‘However, we have now commissioned a Stage 4 Road Safety to suggest further improvements and mitigations and prevent any further issues. This will report back early in the next administration.

‘All reported falls are carefully examined, including by CCTV, to establish where and why they happen. We have worked with the town council and local councillors to make sure we record all incidents.

‘The council takes this issue very seriously and is working hard to deliver further improvements.’

He said between January and March this year there had only been 2.3 recorded incidents per month.

He added: ‘We actively seek out details on incidents when we hear of them even if they have not been officially recorded.

‘The Keynsham High Street regeneration programme has been a great success, reducing traffic and making it a much more pleasant environment for shoppers and visitors, and as a result we are seeing increased footfall from pre-pandemic levels and strong demand for retail space.’

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Bristol – Metro