Council explains mystery of cycle symbols painted on Sleaford streets

Sleaford road users have been scratching their heads about why numerous bicycle symbols have appeared painted on town centre streets.

Double cycle signs on Carre Street approaching Boston Road. EMN-210930-170735001

It has been the talk of Facebook locally with people speculating on the purpose of the bikes painted on streets including Carre Street, Southgate, Northgate, Handley Street and Market Place.

Now council leaders have shed light on what they are for, explaining that they are a cycling promotional partnership led by North Kesteven District Council with Lincolnshire County Council highways help.

NKDC Council Leader Coun Richard Wright said: “Encouraging and enabling active travel such as walking and cycling is incredibly important for the environment as well as our own health and wellbeing, and we want to keep moving on this in North Kesteven for our residents and communities.

Cycle signs on Southgate. EMN-210930-170808001

“Through the Government’s Welcome Back Fund, geared towards making sure high streets are as safe and welcoming as possible during the pandemic, we’ve been able to introduce new white cycle marks on key roads in the town centre together with Lincolnshire County Council’s highways team.”

Coun Wright added: “These will act as a visual prompt to remind all road users that cyclists may be present on the highway, and we hope will also therefore encourage people to keep considering alternative modes of transport to reduce car use where they can.

“It also ties in with our continued ambition to ensure Sleaford continues to be a great place to live, work and visit. Other initiatives recently have included the green cycle racks in Sleaford town centre to increase the amount of cycle parking available, and we will continue to look for other suitable opportunities to enable greener travel through our District.”

Coun Richard Davies, executive member for highways, said: “We’re supporting North Kesteven District Council with their Welcome Back Fund project in Sleaford.

Cycle signs on Southgate. EMN-210930-170713001

“On roads where there isn’t space for a dedicated cycle lane, the painted bicycle symbols help to alert drivers to the fact that there could be cyclists in the centre of the road, and encourage everyone to share the space safely.

“We’ve also reassessed the positioning of safety barriers at some of the crossings around the town centre to allow wider crossing facilities for pedestrians.”

Sue Peacock, owner of Riverside Cycles did not think the symbols would help.

“Drivers get really irate with cyclists - they don’t think they should be on the road without insurance. It is still a debate whether they should be on main roads or not.”

Cycle signs in the Market Place. EMN-210930-170746001

She is amazed at how many young people these days still ride a bike without lights in the dark or a helmet.

She added: “Every cyclist should be entitled to be on the main roads and they should not have to pay road tax or it would impact on our trade.”

More cycle signs in the Market Place, one for each lane. EMN-210930-170757001
Cycle signs on Northgate. EMN-210930-170658001
Cycle signs on Handley Street. EMN-210930-170724001