A £750,000 cycle path - unwanted by cyclists - has been dug up just seven months after it was created.

The path in Mile End Road, Colchester, is shared with pedestrians and was installed by Essex County Council which said it would improve provision for cyclists and pedestrians travelling between north Colchester and Colchester North train station.

However, Colchester Cycling Campaign has lodged a formal complaint against it which is under investigation by the Local Government Ombudsman.

But the saga of the path has taken a new turn after contractors started to dig it up again to install a cable.

Mile End Road resident Robert Johnstone said: “I wonder why it is necessary to install electrical infrastructure now and it was unnecessary around six months ago when they were building the footway.

“Why didn’t they think of it then? I think it is a shambles and the highways authority aren’t correctly liaising with the others.”

Mr Johnstone, who is also on Myland Community Council, previously claimed fewer than five people a week were using the path and he said an elderly lady was even run over by a cyclist on the pathway. He said usage still hadn’t increased.

“Cyclists, no matter how experienced they are, feel it is a little bit unsafe. The only people who cycle up and down are those who aren’t aware of the dangers or don’t care.”

Concerns by cycle groups, residents and councillors have centred around home owners’ driveways backing on to the pathway so motorists have to cross the path to get on to the road.

Around 75 driveways or road junctions intercept the cycle path route.

Essex County Council has never revealed the final cost but the original cost - without the work delays - was £750,000.

Mr Johnstone said: “I read the other day that was around about the ramblers’ budget nationally for the whole of England. We have got things a little bit out of kilter.”

The path opened at the end of August - three months later than planned.

To create the path, it had to be shared with the existing pedestrian walkway meaning the pavement was widened overall and the road became narrower.

Martin Goss, ward councillor for Mile End on Colchester Council (Lib Dem), said the council first delayed work on the path so other cabling could be installed for the new Chesterwell housing development.

He added: “ I don’t understand why this is now happening. It is just ludicrous .”

A county council spokesperson said the work only came to light after the cycle path project was completed and is being conducted by a third party.

He said the cost was being met by the third party and when complete it will be required to restore the pathway to its original condition.