A CYCLING group has called for residents to give the new cycle lanes on Brown Street and Exeter Street more time, adding that they provide "a safer environment for vulnerable road users".

It comes as businesses and councillors criticised the scheme, with some saying it showed "complete disregard for local businesses".

COGS (the Cycling Opportunities Group for Salisbury) said it is supportive of the scheme, adding that "modes of transportation are changing, and changing fast".

It said: "Protecting cyclists by separating them from heavy traffic is one of the measures considered essential to provide a safer cycling environment.

"The government has provided an opportunity and funding for Wiltshire Council to provide infrastructure and facilities for people who do not wish to travel by private car or public transport to get to their place of employment.

"Wiltshire Council selected this route because it was along the most heavily used bus route (R1) in the city for the Department of Transport emergency active travel fund which has funded the scheme."

Hadrian Cook, Chairperson of COGS says residents should give the scheme more time, and cyclists space to travel along the cycle way safely, and added: “This is about putting cycling at the heart of transport in Salisbury as indicated by the Government.

"Many other towns that have implemented traffic control measures have recorded an increase in footfall and an increased income for local businesses. Such outcomes can only be good for the sustainability of our wonderful city.

"This route is important for NHS staff to travel safely to their place of employment at the hospital and for Salisbury residents to support the NHS, by getting active and more healthy and not being a burden on the NHS.

"It is unfortunate that the image the Journal printed with this article clearly shows a driver illegally parking in the cycle lane and on a double yellow line. Wiltshire Police and our parking ambassadors need to take a stricter view in terms of the minority of drivers that block roads and park illegally."

Salisbury Journal:

One Exeter Street resident, who says they fall into the government's "vulnerable category", told the Journal that they didn't believe the council had given businesses or residents "one iota of thought about the consequences of their actions."

They added: "Our residents parking bay has been removed and I have been told there are plenty of spaces in other areas of F Zone.

"I am very concerned about having to park my car quite a long way away, over in the Friary Road estate, then walk home potentially in the dark.

"Now, just to compound the problem we now have to contend with the bollards. This means I can't stop outside my house to unload my shopping or load up garden rubbish for a trip to the tip. Even the nearest F Zone spaces are too far away for me to carry my shopping home or drag garden waste to my car."

Parvis Khansari, Director of Highways, responded to criticisms of the scheme here.