My 20 minute drive to work now takes almost 2 HOURS due to huge roadworks for an £8.6m bike lane no one will even use | The Sun

My 20 minute drive to work now takes almost 2 HOURS due to huge roadworks for an £8.6m bike lane no one will even use | The Sun

October 21, 2022

FURIOUS locals have slammed council chiefs for nightmare year-long roadworks to build a huge four-mile cycle lane “that no-one will use”.

Businesses and commuters are up in arms at the £8.6million project in Coventry, West Mids, which they say is causing gridlock in the city.

Work began in March to build the ambitious 10ft-wide bike path from the centre to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire.

But residents have blasted the plan as a “waste of cash”, claiming the work has led to “unbearable” traffic and aggressive standoffs with motorists.

Hayley Ogden, 48, who runs Arcadia Florist, said: “It used to take me 30 minutes at most to get from my home to work.

“Now, some days, it can be the best part of an hour.


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“It’s just horrendous. I’ve got deliveries that are just a couple of minutes away, but it’s taking me 40 minutes to get there and back.

“From day to day, it’s a complete lottery. You just don’t know what you’re going to get.”

Hayley said customers are now so anxious about journey times they are avoiding the area completely.

“It’s a battle to get to work and once you get here and open up, you think ‘what's the point?’,” she added.

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“There’s just no end to it – and all just to install a bike lane which no-one will use.”

The horror tailbacks have been made even worse because the cycle project is happening at the same time as road resurfacing and work by utilities companies.

The perfect storm has led to traffic chaos at rush hour and on the school run, with locals saying that ambulances have struggled to get through.

One woman told how a 20-minute trip to work had taken one and a half hours.

Another revealed it took an hour to complete a four-minute journey on the ultra-busy Binley Road.

The hellish construction has led to trade plummeting at small businesses dotted along the street.

At vintage clothes shop Originals, Polly Perkins said: “At rush hour it is just gridlock – it’s carnage.

“There are cars for as far as you can see.

“All you hear are drivers beeping their horns because there’s so much friction.

“I can’t even drive to work now, it’s just not worth the grief.

“It’s only a 20-minute walk but it’s a pain if I want to bring some stock in.”

There’s just no end to it – and all just to install a bike lane which no-one will use.

The 68-year-old continued: “The roadworks are just never-ending and the worst bit is, I look out of the shop window and no-one’s ever doing anything.

“It looks like the workmen are just stood around, twiddling their thumbs.

“It’s having a huge effect on our trade because people are avoiding the area.

“I’d say it’s halved since the work began. And after Covid, it’s the last thing we need.”

Coventry City Council insists the cycleway will enable “thousands of people who live, work and study along this busy route to swap their car for a bike – easing congestion, improving air quality and reducing journey times; ultimately benefiting all road users”.

But residents say they have yet to see anyone use parts of the bike lane which have already been completed.

Kay Ross, 49, who runs Rossi’s Café and Sandwich Shop, said: “People are putting their wheelie bins in the cycle lane because it’s not being used.

“It’s just causing everyone around here a headache. Ambulances can’t get through, Uber drivers are struggling.

“We’ve got a car park but people can’t get into it.

“There are so many sets of temporary traffic lights, the whole area is just gridlocked.”


Freshest Greengrocers owner Gurmeet Bhinder, 56, added: “Why they’re put in a bike lane, I don’t know. I’ve never seen anyone use it.

“Today I saw two people on bikes, and both of them were using the road.

“It’s just ridiculous. This is such a lovely old road and the council has just ruined it.

“They’ve made these decisions without asking the people who live and work here.

“We’ve had to send staff home because it’s been so dead.”

The cycleway to the University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire is due to be completed by summer 2023.

A council spokesperson said: “Binley Cycleway spans 6.5km along a main arterial road connecting the city centre with the hospital.

“The works re-engineer 15 traffic signal junctions and crossings, renews drainage, pavements, street lighting and some road surface.

“Construction started in January 2022 and is expected to be completed in summer 2023.

“As with any major work, some delays are expected – but these are being co-ordinated to try to minimise disruption as much as possible and we are aiming to accelerate the works by putting more resource into it.

“The cycleway is being built to the minimum widths required by government guidelines.

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“It is already being used even though not compete.  It is all about offering people real choice and for those who do not have access to cars it offers a safe route to cycle. 

“Up to 50% of car trips are under two miles so there is real potential to reduce number of car tips for everyone’s benefit.”

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