An urgent review is needed into why 40 mph signs have been erected along a Clitheroe country lane predominantly used by cyclists and walkers.
Coun. Ian Brown has called the addition of the signs “crazy” and said he will be asking highways officers at Lancashire County Council (LCC) for an urgent review.
Retired Clitheroe resident Peter Booth complained to LCC after noticing that 40 mph signs had been erected on Worston Road – part of a lane locally known as Four Lane Ends, which is off Pendle Road and runs eastwards towards Skipton. Previously, according to highways officials, motorists could drive at the national speed limit of 60 mph along the lane, but this speed limit was never advertised on road signs. “The above lane runs parallel to the A59 and is used extensively by walkers, cyclists and even families with young children on cycles experiencing their first cycle rides,” explained Mr Booth, who lives on Abbot Walk, Highmoor Park, and regularly walks his dog along the lane. “This lane is unmarked, has no footpath, has blind bends, is full of potholes and is subject to flooding. Up until recently it has been signed as ‘No Through Road Except for Cycles’ at the western end and had a sign at the eastern end indicating it was a ‘Segregated Pedal Cycle and Pedestrian Route’.
“It has been used as a rat run to avoid the no right turn facing vehicles coming from Skipton and wanting to turn into Pendle Road to Clitheroe. The junction of Pendle Road and the A59 has been subject to extensive re-engineering to cut down the serious accidents that have occurred there. The problem has now moved a mile up the road.
“Within the past two weeks there has been new signage erected stating that this is now a 40mph road. How crazy can you get?”
He added: “This road is dangerous as it is without telling motorists that they can travel at 40 mph. I can’t believe that in times when cash is supposed to be short we are wasting money in this way.
“It is bureaucracy gone mad!”
Mr Booth added that since the summer he has noticed more motorists turning off Pendle Road into the lane to avoid queuing at the Pendle Road/A59 junction at peak times.
More worryingly, motorists are also using the lane as a short cut and turning right off the A59 on to the lane as there is no right turn on to Pendle Road.
“It is an accident waiting to happen,” warned Mr Booth who wants to see lane’s opening on to the A59 blocked off and a gate erected.
“There is a gate at the other end of Four Lane Ends on to Whalley Road and the same should apply here.”
Lancashire County Council’s principal engineer Ray Bennett said: “In response to residents’ concerns, we have reduced the speed limit on parts of Pendle Road and Worston Road from 60 mph, the national speed limit, down to 40 mph.
“In law there must be clear signage showing where the speed limit changes. As a consequence we have introduced the new signs where we have reduced the speed limit.
“This is not only a matter of road safety but also ensures the speed limits can be enforced.”