Cycling groups have hit out at the imminent removal of the Aberdeen beach bike lane after less than two months.
Councillors agreed on Wednesday that the temporary measure, installed as part of the Spaces For People physical distancing project, should be removed.
The news was positively received from many who have been outraged at the huge roads overhaul after what has been perceived as a hasty consultation and funded by a grant meant to keep people safe in the pandemic.
The other council intervention on the Esplanade, a one-way system in front of the seafront cafes, restaurants and businesses along to Footdee, will remain in place.
Yesterday cyclists branded the removal “a big mistake”, voicing fears the apparent failure of the beach scheme would be used as reason not to install similar bike lanes in the future.
Aberdeen Cycle Forum spokeswoman Rachel Martin said: “This cycle lane was honestly the first time I was ever impressed by the council.
“Aside from it being temporary and ugly with the plastic bollards, it is how it should be designed with the road, parking, cycle path and then pavement – it’s not been done in Aberdeen before.
“I understand there were complaints but these could have been addressed but they have taken taxpayer money to do all of this and not even given it a solid try before removing it all.
“By removing the cycling lane we are prioritising the convenience of motorists over than the safety of vulnerable road users.”
Event director of cycling challenge Ride the North, Neil Innes added: “I know it looks a little unsightly but giving it only 54 days seems pretty extraordinary.
“We had something which felt safer for cyclists and, I thought having driven it too, for motorists so I don’t understand the objections.
“What we have seen with this decision does not give me much confidence the council will have the nerve to put in cycle lanes across the city.
“We do have a city with potential for much more active travel and cycling and walking but we are falling behind.”
Scottish Government backed charity Sustrans awarded the city council £1.76 million to widen pavements and install bike lanes with the aim of creating more room for distancing in light of coronavirus.
It was deemed the beach bike lane, stretching from Bridge Of Don to the Beach Ballroom, did not fit into the scope of that work.
But council co-leader Douglas Lumsden, who convenes the city growth committee which unanimously agreed to the removal of the lanes, said: “I would prefer cycling infrastructure to be done properly, with full consultation and planned correctly.
“The Spaces For People measures are temporary and had to be done at speed.
“We unanimously felt the intervention wasn’t merited as part of the project and that is why it was agreed by all members that it should be removed.
“But the committee also looked at active travel corridors right across Aberdeen, including from Bridge of Don to the city centre which might include the beach.