THE brakes have been put on a £700,000 cycle path in Dunfermline after 16 objections from local residents.

Fife Council were forced to change track in the summer, after pressure from some who live on the north side of Aberdour Road, and now the new proposals are unpopular with those on the south side.

Most of the work, which began in January and was due to take six months, has been done but the section from Blacklaw Road to Hospital Hill will be postponed until at least the Spring.

Transportation officers had asked councillors to set aside the objections to allow them to proceed with a traffic regulation order, but on Tuesday the City of Dunfermline area committee disagreed.

Dunfermline Press: Part of the completed cycle path on Aberdour Road in Dunfermline.Part of the completed cycle path on Aberdour Road in Dunfermline. (Image: Newsquest)

Cllr Cara Hilton said: "I've got serious concerns about this proposal and would really value further time for community engagement to make sure we've got a cycle scheme that works not just for the cyclists but for local residents and pedestrians too.

"It's not right and it's not democratic to cast aside so many objections from local people living on Aberdour Road, as the recommendation proposes."

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Committee convener, Cllr James Calder, conceded the public had already been consulted on a number of occasions but said there was "significant local opposition" and residents felt the cycle scheme was being "forced on them".

"I think it's right we take a little longer to look at the issues raised," he said.

The previous cycle route on Aberdour Road had narrow lanes painted on the carriageway with riders sharing the road with traffic.

To improve safety and encourage more use, the plan was for a three-and-a-half metres wide path for cyclists and pedestrians to be constructed along a 2km section between Masterton Road and Hospital Hill.

It is "substantially complete" but work has yet to start on the section between Blacklaw Road and Hospital Hill.

Local residents raised fears about pedestrians having to share the pavement with cyclists and that forced the council into a change of plans in June.

Between Blacklaw Road and Hospital Hill they proposed a two-way, two-metres wide cycle track on the south side of the road which would be separated from vehicle traffic by bollards.

Dunfermline Press: Fife Council officers included this illustration in their report to the City of Dunfermline area committee.Fife Council officers included this illustration in their report to the City of Dunfermline area committee. (Image: Fife Council)

However, during public consultation, there were 16 objections with concerns about road safety, the speed and volume of traffic on Aberdour Road, the impact on pedestrians and "perceived difficulties" in accessing driveways.

Allan Maclean, the council's lead consultant for sustainable traffic and travel, said there had been some "misunderstandings" about their plans.

He explained: "What we want to build here is a dedicated two-way cycle track which would be using space on the carriageway, so the existing footways and dropped kerbs would remain as they are, so there's no impact on pedestrians."

He added: "It's only one lane of traffic in both direction so if they're turning into their driveway you would slow down gradually and traffic will have no option but to slow down behind you.

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"Access would still be available for all residents there. I don't think what we're doing will have much affect on that."

He added that traffic calming could be added to the project if it was deemed necessary.

The committee deferred a decision with Mr Maclean suggesting another public consultation around January / February with a report to come back to the committee in April.