Outrage as crucial information lost for controversial route

Wirral Council cannot “recover any data that was lost” monitoring a controversial cycle route due to power cuts.

The Fender Lane cycleway was installed in 2022 on both sides of the road crossing the M53 between Bidston and Moreton. It was installed using funding from the Department for Transport through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, which can only go towards new walking and cycling routes.

The route has been controversial since its installation and was criticized earlier this year for being unused and “in a goddamn state”. It has since been blamed for traffic backing up in both directions on the road, but is also strongly defended by cyclists and others who say it provides a safe link between east and west Wirral.

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The 2022 statistics for Wirral show that 102 people were killed on the road. 78% of these were pedal cyclists, pedestrians or motorcyclists with five fatal crashes. In total, 30 cyclists, 30 pedestrians and 20 motorcyclists were killed or seriously injured in Wirral.

However, in 2023 former councilor Karl Greaney, backed by Tory councillors, started a petition calling for a review of the route with over 1,000 signatories. An equality impact assessment by Wirral Council said: “Travel times for all users will increase as a result of the introduction of a cycle lane/loss of a vehicle lane.”

In January 2024, council officers revealed that people would again be asked for their views on the route in the future. Wirral Council said it is currently assessing the use of the route by pedestrians and cyclists, as well as a review of road safety along the route.