The cycle lane on Douglas Promenade has been removed in a bid to encourage a mix of recreational users in the area.
The impact on pedestrians and cyclists will be assessed by the Department of Infrastructure during a 12-month trial period.
Cyclists are now free to use the full width of the promenade having previously been restricted to a narrow lane on the seaward side marked by white lines.
The move is intended to create a scenic, traffic-free route for recreational users, as part of the Department of Infrastructure’s programme of improvements on Douglas Promenade.
The Department says that while there may be concern that cyclists and pedestrians do not mix safely, current research paints a very different picture.
Evidence provided by organisations such as the Transport Research Laboratory, Sustrans and the Cycle Touring Club suggests a high degree of safety where the user groups are not segregated.
Signage will be introduced on the promenade to encourage people to ‘Share with Care.’
Kevin Almond, Traffic and Safety Manager, said: ‘In pedestrianised areas, cyclists are generally very sensible and modify their speeds or take avoiding action where necessary. There are rarely any problems. Therefore it makes sense to leave it up to cyclists and pedestrians to interact as conditions dictate, rather than providing a marked lane that cyclists are required to use.’
He added: ‘Indeed, it could be argued that the cycle lane encourages cyclists to ride faster and pedestrians, who are far less responsive to the presence of cyclists than cyclists are to them, tend to wander into it. We are aiming to create a more family oriented space and are opening up the promenade on a trial basis before a final decision is made. Signs will be erected to alert pedestrians to the fact that cyclists may share the promenade and to remind all users to be considerate to one another.’
The Department of Infrastructure will assess public feedback during the trial period. People can submit their comments to firstname.lastname@example.org