A CYCLING expert says £60,000 plans to improve safety at two accident hotspots may end up being a waste of money.

Essex Highways is proposing to widen sections of the footway on the A133 at the Spring Lane roundabout in order to allow pedestrians and cyclists to share the path, as well as adding new road markings and a dropped kerb.

Part of Greenstead Road, at its junction with Hythe Station Road, will also be widened to incorporate a cycle path and cycle scoops, or slip lanes for riders, will be installed.

The cost of both schemes, which have been recommended through the Local Highways Panel, is set to be £60,500.

But Paul Avison, of Colchester Cycling Campaign, said there was a chance many cyclists simply would not use the new facilities and, he says, the money could have been put to better use elsewhere.

He said: “The concept of Highways looking at accident reduction is admirable and we have no complaints about that.

“However, if you look at the Greenstead Road changes, it is questionable as to how much it will actually be used.

“It seems to us it does no harm, and there may be some very new cyclists who use it, but a competent cyclist would not bother.

“It only caters for one direction and there are bigger problems along the road by the crossing.”

According to an Essex Highways report, there were eight collisions rinvolving cyclists in Cymbeline Way between 2014 and 2017.

Three of these were classed as serious, with vehicles coming from the A12 hitting riders who were already on the roundabout.

Over the same period there were three minor and one serious collision in Greenstead Road.

Highways officers believe the new features will reduce the number of incidents by nearly two thirds.

Mr Avison said: “In some ways by making the cycling path in Cymbeline Way more attractive and signposting it, it may encourage people to use it more.

“But the dangerous road crossings are still there where you have to dodge traffic.

“There is no priority to help cyclists cross the carriageway.

“£60,000 is a significant amount of money just to widen a few bits of footway.

“The money probably could have been spent better somewhere else.

“Overall it is a shame the cycling provision across Colchester is done in a piecemeal manner.”

A spokesman for Essex Highways said both improvements were designed by Road Safety Engineers using previous collision data.

He added: “Safety always has priority where spending on road improvements is concerned.”

Consultations on both schemes run until later this month.

To have your say or for more information, Visit bit.ly/2CLclmm.