A CYCLING lane has been slammed with an instructor saying it is around five times narrower than the recommended width for safety purposes.

Horwich Cycling Club President Dave Headon said a cycling lane was marked out on Belmont Road a few months ago.

But the width is less than the 44cm width of the handles on his road bike and far narrower than Cycling UK’s preferred 2m distance.

Mr Headon also said that a cycle lane on Belmont Road, near the San Marino restaurant, has also been repainted and it has been narrowed from around 80cm to 40cm.

This has led to friends he knows from cycling raising concerns with him and he believes the lane has “created a problem”.

He said: “I never used to think of Belmont Road as being a problem for me when I have been cycling.

“But the cycle lane has created a problem.

“It pushes cyclists further towards the kerb putting them at risk of clipping it with the tyres.

"Some drivers also think they can drive right up to the edge of the line when they should be leaving space when they are passing.

“My road bike handles are 44cm wide and don’t fit in the cycle lane.

"Mine are much narrower than mountain bike handles as well.

“I think it is a tokenistic cycle lane. It is not safe.

“Some friends have spoken to me about it too.”

Mr Headon, a cycling instructor who teaches youngsters across Greater Manchester, believes the cycle lane should be widened and the council could consider using the pavement to extend it, similar to the layout on Newbrook Road in Atherton.

The stretch of road where the cycle lane has been painted lies within Blackburn with Darwen Council's territory.

West Pennine Cllrs Jean Rigby and Julie Slater said they have not received any complaints about the road from cyclists but will contact the local authority's highways department about the concerns that have been raised over the safety of the cycling lanes.

Cllr Slater said: "At the end of the day cycle lanes needs to be safe and cyclists need to feel safe.

"I know what it is like to be out riding.

"The cycle lanes need to be the correct width for cyclists.

"I will speak to the highways department about it."

As someone who used to cycle frequently, Cllr Rigby is aware of the hazards cyclists face on the roads and that riders need space in case they wobble while they are on their bike.

A Blackburn with Darwen Council spokesman said: "We try to do all we can to encourage safer cycling and the cycle lanes have been lined with the best intention of segregating cyclists and traffic.

"The appropriate widths unfortunately could not be achieved at some locations due to the overall width of the road narrowing and widening along its length.

"It is unfortunate that the statutory widths could not be delivered over the entire length of the road but we hope that it still offers protection and segregation for the cyclist from passing traffic."