Cycle-paths die in Suffolk’s free market

It is impossible to cycle along this cyclepath. SCC has not maintained it for 2 years

Since Conservative-run Suffolk County Council divested its Highways maintenance services to the efficiencies of the private sector , its not only the roads that are in bad repair. Cycle paths abutting the A12 are in a  disgraceful state of disrepair, and many can no longer be used for cycling. This forces vulnerable cyclists back on the A12 amidst the fast traffic and HGVs – a situation the cycle-paths were specifically created to remedy.

Last week  I discovered for myself that the A12 cycle path between  Woodbridge and the Ufford turnoff is not only overgrown, but in places it has actually disappeared.

Travel was a choice between walking our bikes on the ‘cycle path’ or cycling on the A12. We chose the former as safer – but the damage to my own bicyle’s inner tube and front tyre was irreparable because of the thorns and brambles across the path.

Unfortunately we will  have no option but to cycle this route tomorrow. Does my disabled companion – who has catastrophic epilepsy – take her chance on the A12, or add an extra half-hour to an hour to her thirty-minute journey  battling through the jungle where a cycle path used to be?

It is not a choice Suffolk Highways should be offering her, me, or any other cyclist, in this, the self-described ‘Greenest County.’

I have  written to the Cabinet member for Highways and the Deputy Director of Highways Operations asking for their assurance that they should abandon this policy of wilful neglect and restore these paths to a usable condition immediately.

Not only is the path overgrown, somebody has kindly left an enormous pile of thorns across it. Gee, thanks
Not only is the cycle path overgrown, somebody has kindly left an enormous pile of thorns across it. Gee, thanks

One thought on “Cycle-paths die in Suffolk’s free market”

  1. There’s a cycle path in west Ipswich between Bramford Road and Europa Way where the county and borough councils didn’t know who owned the land and it wasn’t adopted by the highways authority, so wouldn’t cut back the trees and brambles that were almost blocking the path.

    Eventually one of the local borough councils got fed up with resident complaints so asked the parks department to cut back the vegetation which made a huge difference.

    Other small things like tree roots creating bumps, potholes, and badly dropped kerbs are difficult to get fixed. These are often on to go over it you have a standard 2 wheel bike and are an able bodied cyclist. However once you have a 3 wheeled bike or a baby in a bike seat or someone cycling where they have a medical condition meaning small bumps are painful then the smoothness is much more important.

    Even on the roads there’s been 2 years in a row where a resident in the old London Road south of Ipswich has been on BBC Radio Suffolk complaining about the lack of grass cutting on the verges making it difficult turn on to the road.

    Austerity is not working and just causing more pain for communities.

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