A NEW cycle route would be a ‘waste of money’ that would only create more congestion according to the results of a council public survey.

The new route takes in the whole of the A461 from Great Bridge in Tipton through to Burnt Tree and Castle Gate in Dudley and includes segregated walking and cycle paths and a new dedicated bus lane.

The results of a consultation exercise by Sandwell Council were far from complimentary – with half of respondents calling it a waste of public money.

One objector even called the planned work a “very dangerous and unnecessary proposal.”

Ahead of Sandwell Council’s cabinet backing the work earlier this month, the authority had gone to the public for their thoughts on the new cycle lane – and the plans elicited 85 responses with the council saying as many comments favouring the work were made as there were those against it.

But while feedback, which was revealed earlier this week, showed that as many people had responded to say they ‘supported’ the work, it was the 44 objectors that had the strongest words for the scheme with only a handful of the 40 supporters leaving positive comments.

“This is one of the busiest roads in Sandwell and is constantly congested with traffic throughout the day,” one objector told the council. “Reducing the road space to implement cycle lanes when not a lot of people cycle – I rarely see cyclists when I am driving down this road – will just cause more congestion and increase pollution and not decrease it like these councillors wrongly think. 

Another objector questioned the need for the new cycle lane.

“Cannot see the need for it, when there is already a cycle lane which is rarely used,” the objection said. “I travel on this road every day and rarely see a cyclist on it.”

One opponent even called the planned works a “very dangerous and unnecessary proposal.”

“Spending most likely millions of pounds trying to appear ‘green’ when all this will do is add to congestion and create more hazards for cyclists and motorists alike. 

“Not to mention the months of road closures on an essential trunk route while construction is taking place, thus financially impacting businesses on the route.”

However, others approved of the new cycle route in favourable comments to the council.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to improve local commuter infrastructure,” one supporter said. “It will help to current users of this route as well as encourage many others to begin using this route.”

“I think this proposal is a very good idea,” another supportive comment read. “It’s good for our health body and mind. 

“Walking keeps us fit and driving less is good for our environment because it reduces pollution.”

Sandwell Council said the work would cut congestion, provide better infrastructure for walking and cycling, and improve road safety and journey times for public transport.

The route also includes a two-part 820-metre bus lane along most of the congested A461 in Dudley Port from Peake Drive to Sedgley Road East and then again from Anchor Drive to Bradley Street before stopping at the Burnt Tree crossing towards Dudley.