More falls in Keynsham High Street as councillor blasts the situation as ‘beyond belief’

There have been at least three reported falls since remedial work was carried out in Keynsham High Street to the controversial cycle lane earlier this month, with a local councillor declaring the situation as “beyond belief.”

After more than 40 reports of people tripping and falling following the High Street refurbishment earlier this year, a road safety audit was conducted and as a result Bath & North East Somerset Council carried out a number of “enhancements”  to improve the visibility of the cycle lane.

The new measures included laying red Tarmac through the length of cycle lane to “enhance demarcation”, reducing the width of the solid white line marking the edge of the cycle lane, in line with Department for Transport standards, and increasing the number of cycle symbol markings.

On Monday of this week there were reports that a man in his 90s had fallen off the “invisible step” outside Greggs and into the road as a lorry was approaching. People rallied to help him and he was taken by ambulance to hospital where it is understood he has undergone an operation.

Yesterday morning an ambulance was called to the High Street morning after another tripping accident in almost the same place. The victim is understood to have suffered bruising and a cut to her face.

Meanwhile a Hanham man also fell on Thursday after coming out of the Post Office after not realising there was a shallow step down from the pavement to the cycle lane. Several people came to his aid.

His wife contacted The Week In to say: “They have so say improved it but he has fallen down. He is in his 70s but he is not doddery. He regularly walks.”

Cllr Alan Hale

Today Cllr Alan Hale said: “This situation is beyond belief. We the council have caused well over 40 casualties as a result of this failure of a scheme just to ensure that there is a cycle lane.

“Injuries ranging from minor to extremely serious including broken bones and lost teeth. It seems that no one in the administration is listening. The only remedy is that the cycle lane must be taken up and the cycle lane must be on the same level as the road. The division between cycle lane and traffic can still be managed with the bollards.

“Currently there is a whole myriad of kerb depths between pavement and cycle lane and road surface. With the cycle lane level with the road a standard kerb depth from pavement to cycle lane should be achieved and hopefully the problems can be alleviated both for those with sight and those with no or restricted sight.

“I cannot believe that any other authority in the country has constructed something that within six months has caused its community to suffer over 40 falls and including a number of ambulances called and members of the community having to be taken to A&E. We are here to serve the community, not cause them harm.”

In response to concerns raised on Facebook about the issue, fellow Keynsham councillor Lisa O’Brien posted: “We councillors have been challenging the situation. I in particular have been lobbying for levelling the cycle path with the pavement, only to be told that it is official requirement, something that I am continuing to dispute.”