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Health and safety expert criticises Greenway Bridge
9:14am Tuesday 31st December 2013 in News
A HEALTH and safety expert has branded a new cycle route in Hereford as a "death trap".
The Greenway Bridge, which runs across the River Wye linking Bartonsham to Rotherwas, will help workers get to the Hereford Enterprise Zone in a more environmentally friendly fashion.
The bridge, which was officially opened by Herefordshire Council vice-chairman Councillor Chris Chappell earlier this month, is also aimed at encouraging people to get on their bikes and travel round the city - taking a couple of hundred cars off the road in the process.
The route largely follows the dismantled Hereford to Ross-on-Wye railway through to Thorn Business Park, while the rest of the route to Chapel Road was opened on Friday.
But, Geoff Frasle, a health and safety representative for the University and College (UCU) Union, said that the route is too dangerous and is worried that a cyclist could get seriously hurt.
"There is a health and safety issue because there is no signage by the railway bridge on Eign Road telling people to beware of cyclists," said Mr Fresle, who teaches welding and fabrication at Holme Lacy College.
"Nearby Outfall Works Road is very narrow and 40 tonne trucks go down it.
"When you leave the road by Mike Brookes Transport in Thorn Business Park, you go round the back of the buildings and can be in darkness.
"I am not trying to stop people from cycling, but I do not want anyone to get injured."
Mr Fresle added that Quick Skip has provided him with high-visibility jackets to give to his students.
But, he said that Herefordshire Council should be held responsible for a "poor risk assessment."
"I am very passionate about health and safety and I think that Holme Lacy Road is safer for cyclists than the cycle route," said Mr Fresle.
"The route has been poorly thought out and is a death trap waiting to happen."
Herefordshire Council's Michelle Morgan said that the scheme does include appropriate signing along the route and other signs will be installed as soon as possible.
"Sections of the route are lit and the bridge deck is lit along its length," she said.
"The rural section between the bridge and the estate is not lit as is the case with other rural routes of this type in the county, but the scheme was designed in line with guidance and subjected to a safety audit to ensure the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.”
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