I read, with disbelief, that Cumbria County Council is planning on closing one lane on Wildman Street for two months, in order to trial a cycle lane.

To mis-quote John McEnroe: “They cannot be serious!”

This is A Very Bad Idea. The report ('Cycling lane sparks anger') quotes a CCC spokesperson as saying: “It’s unknown how traffic will be impacted”. I’m sorry, but it’s completely obvious how traffic will be impacted – Kendal will come to a complete gridlocked standstill at peak times.

It’s bad enough in this area at peak times anyway, with traffic along Shap Road often backed up to (and past) Morrison's, and cars inching slowly along Ann Street with long tailbacks up Sedbergh Road.

With a lane closed on Wildman Street, the knock-on effects will be horrendous. Traffic on Ann Street (where I live) will come to a dead stop, cars idling with their engines running, polluting the atmosphere (ironic, given that the introduction of a cycle lane presumably has some ‘green’ theories behind it…) and Sedbergh Road will be backed up well past Castle Green.

Shap Road will back up all the way to, well, Shap.

All traffic negotiating Kendal’s one-way system will be affected. It will be a disaster. And for what? If there is a plan for a cycle lane from Morrison’s, surely it should stop at the end of Longpool? Wildman Street is a short street, so there’s not much extra benefit for the cyclist but major disruption for the motorist in making one lane a cycle lane.

And how will cyclists transition from Longpool to the left-hand lane of Wildman Street, through the stationary traffic trying to get into the right-hand lane of Wildman Street from Ann Street? By going on to the pavement and thus endangering pedestrians?

If they go ahead with this, I predict that they’ll be forced to abandon it after the first day – but council vehicles won’t be able to get to Wildman Street to remove the barriers due to the gridlock…

The purpose of any kind of traffic planning for a town is, surely, to enable the smooth flow of traffic through it? This hare-brained scheme will do the exact opposite.

Rob Tidd