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Cycle lane has 'killed our village & made parking impossible' say fed-up locals

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FED-UP locals say a multi-million pound cycle lane has “killed our village” as it has made “parking impossible”.

Residents and business owners say the bike path in Castleton, Greater Manchester, is putting off customers who can no longer park along the main street.

The introduction of a cycle lane has removed car parks on the Castleton high street

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The introduction of a cycle lane has removed car parks on the Castleton high streetCredit: SWNS
Philip Leicester, 70, from Middleton, using the cycle lane

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Philip Leicester, 70, from Middleton, using the cycle laneCredit: SWNS
Stephen Thomas says he has had to close one of his shops due to the lane

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Stephen Thomas says he has had to close one of his shops due to the laneCredit: SWNS
Mark Fowler owner of New Bridge Chippy standing on the lane

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Mark Fowler owner of New Bridge Chippy standing on the laneCredit: SWNS

The dedicated space for cyclists on Manchester Road took around 18 months to build as part of a wider £4.4m scheme of road improvements.

But local shopkeepers say their trade has been killed off as people are now unable to park outside of the shops.

Stephen Thomas, 60, owns Smith’s Bakery And Confectioners Ltd in Castleton village.

He says he has now been forced to close one of his branches because of the lack of footfall.

He said: “I had two shops within the small village but I’ve had to close one of them down.

“You could park outside – so tradesmen could jump out of their van and people with mobility issues could park outside and come into the shop.

“Unfortunately all of that facility has been taken away from us.

“I had to let my staff go and I had to close the shop, because it just wasn’t paying anymore.

“People can’t park where it’s convenient or where they have access.”

He said he was guttered he was shutting stores after his family had been in business since 1928.

Shock moment driver spotted driving down cycle lane in Glasgow

“There’s just no other words for it – it’s just so disappointing and devastating.”

Stephen said he had only seen three cyclists use the new lane because it’s “not a main cycle route” in the village.

Mark Foster, 46, has owned the New Bridge chip shop for more than 20 years but says work on the cycle lane has battered his business and led to a 50% drop in trade.

He said: “As soon as they started digging up the road, there was four-way temporary traffic lights and massive traffic jams, so people were just avoiding the area.

The cycle lanes are part of a $4.4m upgrade to the town centre

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The cycle lanes are part of a $4.4m upgrade to the town centreCredit: SWNS
Chippy owner Fowler said customers were now having to park further away

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Chippy owner Fowler said customers were now having to park further awayCredit: SWNS

“Even during the construction, there’s not been anywhere to park so our trade has dropped by around 50%.

“The council said that businesses wouldn’t be affected, but obviously they have.

“There used to be four parking spaces outside my shop and the pub next door – you could wait for 20 minutes and they were for the businesses.

“Now they are having to park far away, drag their kids up to the chippy and put them back in the car – so they might as well go to another shop.”

Phillip Leicester, 70, used the cycle lane for the first time on Thursday and said its construction was a positive step.

He said: “I’ve only been on the cycle lane once but I’ve watched it being built for the last 18 months.

“It will be a good idea when everything is joined up with the cycle lane.

“It’s causing a lot of disruption with the local businesses, but I suppose it’s one of them things were you have to wait until everything is done.

“You do feel a lot safer but sometimes people don’t understand what a cycle lane is – you still get people who walk in the middle of it.

“Until cycles are moving on it a lot more frequently, you’ll always have that problem.

“But of course it’s a lot safer than roads.”

Rochdale Borough Council says it is “sorry” to hear the businesses’ concerns about the lack of footfall.

“It has brought new pedestrian crossings, fully resurfaced roads and pavements and new parking facilities, in addition to the cycle lane.

“Construction work on this project only finished very recently, so footfall may not have had chance to fully recover yet.

“But we’ve put in place a number of measures which will support businesses going forward.”

The spokesperson also said they had create a new car park, which is only a couple of minutes’ walk from the local businesses.

They said: “As part of the project, a new 80 space car park has been created, where people can park for free for an unlimited amount of time.

“This is situated just a couple of minutes’ walk from the businesses in the village centre.

“This has replaced on street parking bays which only allowed motorists to stay for 20 minutes.

“In addition, the council has constructed a new 32 space car park next to Castleton Train Station, which is also close to the businesses.

“We’re aware that multiple factors relating to global prices and the economy, which are not related to the council, are impacting businesses.

“That’s why we’re working on a number of big regeneration opportunities for Castleton to help increase footfall and bring more investment in.”

Towns ‘ruined’ by cycle lanes

Many towns around the UK have locals that say cycle lanes have “ruined” their home.

Furious residents from Clevedon in Somerset say their picturesque seaside town has been ruined by an ‘eyesore’ road – making it look like something out of the Wizard of Oz.

Residents in Cardiff have blasted the council there after it planned to demolish a house to make way for a new path.

Meanwhile in Chorlton, Manchester, business owners have complained that they’re losing out on money and customers ever since the council approved plans for a nearly £14m cycleway route.

Frankie Dyer, who runs a bakery in the area, says the street now stinks of exhaust fumes instead of her lovely fresh bread.

Rochdale Borough Council says it was sorry to hear of reduced footfall in the town centre

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Rochdale Borough Council says it was sorry to hear of reduced footfall in the town centreCredit: SWNS
Residents have slammed the improvements but cyclists back the project

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Residents have slammed the improvements but cyclists back the projectCredit: SWNS
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