COUNCILLORS have voted to put off a decision over the future of Greenock’s bike route.
A further review of the route — which includes stretches of Eldon Street, Grey Place and Dalrymple Street — will take place in September.
The cycle lane was installed between Battery Park and Greenock town centre last year by Inverclyde Council through the nationwide Spaces for People scheme which was set up to fund temporary measures to make it safer for people to walk and cycle during the pandemic.
Councillor Jim McEleny urged the environment and regeneration committee to “bring the experiment to an end” as there was “no need for it”.
Councillor Graeme Brooks said people didn’t believe the bike usage statistics that had been produced and added: “[the bike lane] was never requested, it’s not wanted and it’s not needed.” His motion that the lane be removed by the end of May was defeated 9:2.
Councillor Chris Curley, an advocate of active travel, insisted: “Every aspect of travel should be provided for. Changing the way people travel takes time. Mistakes have been made and we have to learn from them but I don’t think there should be a kneejerk reaction.”
Councillor Drew McKenzie, whose house is on the route, said: “It is used regularly, including by parents with young kids. It would be folly to get rid it now. Extend it and get it working. We will attract people to leave the car and cycle but it has got to be in a safe environment.”
A report by officials stated that data collected by the council showed “anticipated usage in excess of 10,000 cyclists per year” and that traffic surveys indicate “less delay to vehicular traffic” on the route than in 2019.
Amendments were made to the path following feedback and further improvements may take place, officials state.
Councillors voted that monitoring should continue for a further six months to determine usage during the summer, with a further report to be considered in September, with councillors updated regularly in the meantime.
It was also agreed that reviewing the section between Grey Place and Laird Street should be paused until the completion of construction works at West Blackhall Street.
There will be a media campaign — ‘be courteous Inverclyde’ — to promote the benefits of respecting other road users and sharing the footway space. Another campaign will promote the use of the route and also highlight changes to the Highway Code.