Dorset

Bournemouth Spur Road cycle lanes refused despite death

Christopher Gibbs Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Christopher Gibbs was killed in October 2017

A council has said it will not install cycle lanes on a dual carriageway, despite a coroner saying it would prevent deaths in the future.

Dorset Assistant Coroner Richard Middleton urged the upgrade after cyclist Christopher Gibbs was killed on the A338 Bournemouth Spur Road in 2017.

The road should also have signs to warn drivers of cyclists, he said.

Dorset Council said it did not want to "actively encourage" cycling on dual carriageways.

Image copyright Dorset Police
Image caption Van driver Kevin Johnson pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving

Mr Gibbs was hit from behind by a van at about 22:15 BST on 3 October 2017.

Driver Kevin Johnson, 58, of Thatcham, Berkshire, later pleaded guilty at Bournemouth Crown Court to causing death by careless driving and was ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work.

In his Prevention of Future Deaths report, Mr Middleton said witnesses at the inquest had "expressed surprise that in light of such a fast, busy and unlit road there appeared to be little protection to vulnerable road users, particularly cyclists".

Image caption Work to upgrade the spur road has been going on since September 2018

The council said measures for cyclists were not being considered on the road, which has been undergoing renovation and upgrades since September 2018.

"While there are no regulations that prevent a cyclist from using dual carriageways such as the A338, it is not something that Dorset Council actively encourages," road safety manager Mike Potter said.

"Dorset Council will not be supporting the installation of cycle warning signs as, not only would it go against the prescribed use of such signs, they could generate a false sense of security."

Cycling campaigners said they had been asking for cycle lanes on the 10-mile (16km) road linking Bournemouth and Ringwood for more than a decade.

Jason Falconer, who chairs BH Active Travel Forum, said: "Cities like Birmingham now have opened A38 cycleways alongside arterial roads."

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