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Reckless cyclists snub dedicated cycle routes

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Motorists swerve to avoid riders, with a safe cycle path just yards away

Reckless cyclists have been snubbing multi-million pound cycle lane upgrades and taking on high speed traffic on busy dual carriage-ways.

Public funds have been ploughed into making popular routes safer for commuters across the country.

But despite the improvement, a Sunday Post investigation has discovered cyclists riding alongside fast-flowing traffic, yards away from cycle paths that run parallel to the road.

It comes in the same weekend double Olympic champion Laura Trott accused cyclists of being reckless and causing accidents by failing to obey the Highway Code.

More than £1 million has been spent on the route between the Forth Road Bridge and Edinburgh. However, our reporters watched as cyclists instead opted to pedal on the arterial A90 route into the capital, leaving motorists with little choice but to swerve into the outside lane to avoid them.

Council chiefs last night urged cyclists to stop using the main road.

Cllr Jim Orr, of the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “It’s much safer for cyclists to use the path than the dual carriageway so we would urge them to do that.

“We have a major upgrading programme in place to further improve the route as part of our growing commitment to supporting cycling in and around Edinburgh. This route will be an even more attractive option once finished.”

Cyclists in Cumbria are also risking their lives snubbing a new path which takes riders off one of the most dangerous roads on the Hadrian’s Wall coast-to-coast ride.

The path along the A595 in West Cumbria is also popular with workers at the Sellafield nuclear plant but when we visited a section of the route near Egremont, the majority stuck to the road.

In 2007 it had a major £400,000 upgrade to create an extra two miles of path to keep riders off the road which carries high numbers of articulated lorries.

Linda McKenzie, 53, of Seascale, contacted The Sunday Post after becoming frustrated by the streams of cyclists ignoring the path.

She said: “It is said the cycleway is only for wimps and the only people using it are dog walkers. I’m not surprised that bikers get knocked off their bikes because they take such risks when out on the roads every day. It’s annoying. There have been quite a few near misses.

“I’m not against cyclists but they don’t pay any road tax so when they are given a cycleway they should all use it.”

Meanwhile in York, a debate is raging between furious motorists who see cyclists repeatedly snubbing major off-road paths and bikers who claim they are too poorly maintained to use.

Riders snubbing a path on the A19 from Rawcliffe to Skelton, which includes a cyclists-only underpass, sparked an angry reaction. But riders claim it is often strewn with broken glass and debris, while many other paths are also unsuitable.

Similar complaints about cyclists ignoring bike lanes and choosing to ride on the road were made when designated cycleways were installed at a cost of millions in and around Dublin and Sydney.

Hugh Bladon, of motoring campaign group, the Alliance of British Drivers said: “Cyclists don’t know how to behave, that’s their trouble.

“Some of them clearly believe the Highway Code is not for them, but it is. They then complain if they get knocked down by people in cars. It’s absurd.

“Money should not be spent on facilities like this if they are not going to be used.

“If they contributed through taxation then perhaps the money should be spent. But they don’t contribute anything to the maintenance of our roads.

“We are not anti-cyclist, we just want them to obey the rules of the road like everyone else, and they are not doing that at the moment.”

Last year 122 cyclists were killed and 3,222 were seriously injured on Britain’s roads and the figure has been rising steadily for eight years.

The Lib Dems are considering pushing for motorists to be automatically blamed if they’re involved in an accident with a cyclist.

A CYCLIST died on Friday making it 10 deaths on Scotland’s roads since the turn of the year.

The 46-year-old unnamed man had been cycling from Roslin to Rosewell in Midlothian.

It marks a worrying increase in cyclist deaths. There were more cyclists killed and injured on Scottish roads in 2012 than previous years.

Then, nine died and 898 cyclists were hurt. But this year looks set to eclipse those figures.

Last night, police in Midlothian were appealing for witnesses to the tragedy that took place at 5.35pm on Friday on the B7003.