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Hampshire County Council gives controversial cycle racks at Brookley Road, Brockenhurst, upgrade go-ahead

CONTROVERSIAL "ugly" cycle racks in Brockenhurst are set to be upgraded and become permanent, it has emerged.

They were built on Brookley Road as part of a joint project between Hampshire County Council, Brockenhurst Parish Council and the village’s business association.

The £11,000 scheme was pursued to encourage healthy lifestyles and make the village Covid-19 safe, but garnered criticism from many locals – who moaned that they took up four parking spaces, were unhappy with their "ugly" design and questioned their impact.

Tbe bike racks on Brookley Road
Tbe bike racks on Brookley Road

But at a recent decision day, HCC’s cabinet member for highways operations, Cllr Russell Oppenheimer, backed an idea to revise the scheme to develop "a preferred permanent option".

The two options being considered, an HCC plan outlined, was keeping and enhancing the racks at Brookley Road, with permanent buildouts.

It said two-way access into Brookley Road would be retained, ruling out it being made one-way because the watersplash got congested at peak times. HCC added the ideas would likely need "a further round of consultation on the detail".

A report accompanying the decision highlighted the results of a public consultation on the racks, which received 366 responses.

Of those, 59% felt measures to increase active travel would benefit the local area, 56% supported having pavement buildouts, and 57% were in favour of using this area in the short-term for customer queuing.

There were broadly even responses for and against retaining or removing the cycle stands, it said.

"This scheme builds on a local parish council initiative and supports the aims of Hampshire County Council to encourage cycling by providing additional cycle parking within the village at a prominent and convenient location on Brookley Road," the report added.

"With due consideration for the consultation feedback and the broader policy position, it is recommended that the scheme on Brookley Road should be revised to develop a preferred permanent option, which may need to involve a further round of consultation on the detail."

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