A pensioner was left with a bloodied leg from falling off his e-bike on an ‘optical illusion’ cycle path with a ‘hidden kerb’ along one of Britain’s biggest bike lanes.
Bryan Archer, 73, was pedalling along the extra wide route in Wimborne, Dorset, when he tumbled over the 1.5inch raised kerb that he didn’t manage to see.
He claims he reached a misplaced sign blocking the path and went to cycle around it – thinking the raised kerb was just a white painted line.
The lane was completed last year as part of Dorset Council’s £120million plan to boost sustainability. Its construction was hailed by cycling advocate Jeremy Vine but caused huge delays for drivers, who now complain it takes up too much space.
The row comes amid a wider national debate over cycle lanes, with critics claiming they can increase congestion by reducing road space for drivers with knock-on impacts on air quality.
Bryan Archer tumbled over a ‘hidden’ 1.5inch raised kerb he did not see on one of Britain’s biggest bike lanes
Mr Archer, 73, suffered a nasty gash on his left leg, which is pictured
He thought the kerb was just a white painted line that separates the cycling and pedestrian path, but it was actually a 1.5inch raised kerb
Mr Archer says he tumbled to the ground and suffered a nasty gash on his left leg that required multiple doctors’ appointments – amid fears he could contract sepsis.
The retired cleaning business owner believes the kerb should be removed to prevent future accidents.
Dorset Council has insisted the kerb is necessary as a painted white line could lead to conflict between cyclists and pedestrians.
Mr Archer accused the local authority of ‘wokeness gone mad’ and is now considering making a compensation claim to Dorset Council.
He said: ‘I saw this big, lovely cycle lane there. I thought, this is great.
‘Then I saw these signs in the middle of the cycle lane up ahead, so I was like ”I’ll just pull into the pedestrian side”.
‘The next thing I knew I was flying off my bike and I didn’t even know why.
‘It was a really nasty injury and I’ve had eight doctors appointments as they were worried about sepsis.
‘The council spent millions on the path but it is dangerous to both cyclists and pedestrians.’
He added: ‘If an old lady was walking along she could easily fall over the kerb.
The pensioner had reached a misplaced sign blocking the path and went to cycle around it
The retired cleaning business owner believes the kerb should be removed to prevent future accidents
Dorset Council claimed the kerb is necessary as a painted white line could lead to conflict between cyclists and pedestrians. Pictured: A cyclist using one of the cycle lanes on both sides of Leigh Road
‘There is nothing wrong with a white lane on a road – these kerbs are wokeness gone mad.
‘There is a simple solution to this and that is to Tarmac the cycle lane so it is at the same level.
‘I would bet there are other incidents of people falling off or tripping up similar to mine.’
The 1.5 mile of cycle way at Leigh Road was introduced in 2021 and is part of a major £120million scheme to make travel more sustainable and reduce congestion across the county.
The path is one of four routes being built in Dorset, part-funded by £100 million from the government’s Rebuilding Cities programme.
The cycle path in Wimborne was condemned by locals as a ‘shambles’ in 2021, apparently forcing drivers to pull over to avoid crashing into oncoming traffic due to the road being too narrow.
The Leigh Road stretch has already come under fire from motorists for being ‘too wide’ at 5 feet 5 inches.
This has left cars, lorries, buses and emergency vehicles on the busy B-road having to put up with a narrower 9 feet 5 inches wide lane.
Despite this, cyclists are regularly seen using the middle of the road as some claim the quality of the cycle lane surface is not good enough.
Dorset Council said the cycle lane was built to the ‘latest national guidance’ and the kerb is necessary to ‘assist visually impaired people’.
The 1.5 mile of cycle way at Leigh Road was introduced in 2021 and is part of a major £120million scheme to make travel more sustainable and reduce congestion across the county
It is one of four routes being built in Dorset, part-funded by £100 million from the government’s Rebuilding Cities programme
A council spokesperson said: ‘The majority of the stepped cycle lane on Leigh Road includes a standard kerb between the cycleway and footway, with the footway at a higher level than the cycleway.
‘The purpose of this is to protect pedestrians from cyclists, and vice versa. The clear difference between the footway and cycleway also aims to assist visually impaired people.
‘Separation of footways and cycleways via line markings only is no longer recommended by national guidance.
‘The use of line markings only can lead to conflict between pedestrians and cyclists as they tend to not be respected by either group.
‘Visually impaired people can also struggle to detect this separation which can lead to collisions.’
The council added that Barratt Homes have been asked to ensure the signs are not blocking the lane.
A spokesperson for Barratt David Wilson Homes, Southampton division, apologised for ‘any inconvenience caused’.
They said: ‘We were sorry to hear that a cyclist had been involved in an incident near one of our sites and we hope the person has recovered fully.
‘After a thorough investigation following the incident, we found that a warning sign was not located as per the approved site plan, although it was not in a dangerous position.
‘This has now been moved to the correct place where it will remain.’
MailOnline has contacted Dorset Council for comment.