A CYCLING instructor has vented his frustration over drivers parking their cars on a stretch of road in Westhoughton.

Horwich Cycling Club president Dave Headon says a residential area of Manchester Road – covering around 400m – has vehicles parked on it day and night.

He has “sympathy” for those who live on the road but thinks that the situation makes a mockery out of the cycle lane, which has been put in place to help protect cyclists.

Mr Headon said: “I am sympathetic to the owners of the vehicles but the problem is making the cycle lane a farce. There should be a different area for residents to park their cars.

"On that stretch of the road there are potholes so cyclists have to look out for them.

"There is also the worry that car doors might suddenly open and hit cyclists that are passing. I ride 1.5m away from the vehicles and pick up my speed in that area but a lot of people will not be able to do that when there is traffic behind them."

The instructor, who teaches youngsters around Greater Manchester, believes the hazard created by motorists parking on the controversial cycling lanes on Chorley New Road, which has been subject to a consultation by Bolton Council, is worst than the lane on Manchester Road.

Despite his criticism of the use of the cycling lane in Westhoughton, Mr Headon supports schemes that the council has been rolling out to make the town safer for cyclists, such as the Cyclops development.

He wants to see the borough connected with cycling lanes to improve safety and in turn encourage people in the borough to get involved in more exercise.

Mr Headon added: "I think we have got to make a network of cycling lanes in Bolton and ensure it is safe to use."

A council spokesman said there are differences between the two cycle lanes.

The spokesman said: “Chorley New Road is a mandatory cycle lane (solid white line) and Manchester Road is advisory (dotted white line). 

"There are no parking enforcement powers on advisory lanes unless parking restrictions exist.  

Highway Code advice is that drivers shouldn’t drive or park in advisory lanes unless it is unavoidable.

“Mandatory lanes are different, it is an offence to drive in one during its hours of operation.  

"In addition where there are parking restrictions they can be enforced by a CCTV vehicle (not permitted in an advisory one).  

So the council can enforce where there are parking restrictions.  

Driving in a mandatory cycle lane can only be enforced by the police as a moving traffic offence.  

"Chorley New Road has only limited sections of parking restrictions.

“Regarding potholes there are no planned re-surfacing works on Manchester Road but safety inspections are regularly carried out on both these roads as major routes, so any significant defects will be picked up when they meet the levels for urgent repairs.”