A network of cycle routes which criss-cross areas of Falmouth and Penryn is being proposed, but some residents are concerned they will create a conflict between pedestrians and bike riders.
There is also anger among some Falmouth councillors who claim the proposals have been “kept under wraps” and they were not given enough time to respond to the consultation, which has already expired in relation to most of the schemes.
Before making its recommendation, the town’s planning committee demanded a meeting where the details could be thrashed out and one is to be held this week.
The scheme involves new cycle routes, road markings and signs and bicycle parking facilities in Falmouth’s town centre, Bickland Water Road, East Rise, Shelburne Road, Swanpool Woods, Madeira Walk, Kimberley Place in Falmouth and in Lower Market Street, Treliever Road and Tresooth Lane in Penryn.
A newly published addition to the scheme involves a two way cycle lane around the one-way system on Castle Drive, with cycle parking at Pendennis Point car park and the western picnic area.
Explaining the proposals, a spokesman for Cornwall Council, said: “The comprehensive cycle network has been developed to provide the right conditions to enable the travelling public to move around sustainably and is a key priority for the council given the positive impacts it will have on the environment and health of our local communities.
“A total of 16 separate schemes are proposed to provide key improvements to the network in Falmouth and Penryn. Together they aim to improve both the conditions for experienced cyclists by improving parking facilities and existing links and also to encourage new cyclists by providing safe off carriageway facilities and leisure routes.
“The primary objective is to improve the environment for cyclists but also to help facilitate pedestrian movement, and encourage increased levels in active travel.”
People living in the Penmere Hill, Shelburne Road and East Rise area of Falmouth are fearful the proposed new routes will make an already dangerous area even more risky for both drivers and pedestrians.
Bryony Lyon is concerned the proposed cycle path in East Rise would pose a danger to those on the school run. “It is already quite a narrow path and you couldn’t really widen it so there’ll be nowhere to go if confronted by a cyclist,” she said.
Simon Mills, of Shelburne Road, fears adding cyclists onto an already busy road is asking for trouble. “When pulling out of Shelburne you have to cut the corner because there’s only room for single file traffic so it’s already so dangerous,” he said.
The proposals are being supported by the Fal Cycling Campaign, whose website www.falcc.org is carrying details of the consultations.
The campaign’s Tim Bunhill said: “Cycling infrastructure is for all of us, for getting to school, commuting to work or simply heading to the shops. Most of us own a bicycle but the majority don’t feel safe riding a bike on our increasingly busy roads.
“Cycling is a simple way to improve health, it's very cheap, reduces congestion, encourages tourism and is fun for all generations. By demanding good quality infrastructure we can ensure safe, accessible cycling for all residents of Falmouth and Penryn.”