A “pop-up” cycle lane in Widnes has been abandoned after less than a month because it caused traffic congestion.

The new cycle path on Liverpool Road, in Chestnut Lodge, was one of three set up in August by Halton Council using a £208,000 government grant intended to promote cycling after lockdown.

But the temporary lane attracted a storm of complaints from drivers who said it caused long queues in the area, prompting the council to remove the lane on Thursday (September 10).

Cllr Andrea Wall, one of several councillors who objected to the cycle lane, said: “It caused the traffic to tail back from Chestnut Lodge to Dundalk Road. I got lots of complaints from my residents about the disruption to their journeys. 

“I raised it for my residents and asked for it to be removed as I don’t think increasing congestion is good for the drivers or cyclists. 

“I also did not think this very busy junction was suited to being altered in the way it was.”

Similar complaints have been raised about another of the council’s pop-up lane near the Morrison’s in Greenoaks.

If that was also removed, it would leave just one of the council’s three cycle lanes, through Murdishaw, in operation.

Another pop-up cycle lane, set up by the Liverpool City Region between Hough Green and Hale Road, is also believed to still be in operation.

The cycle lanes were part of a city region-wide effort to take advantage of a surge in cycling over lockdown by improving cycle infrastructure and creating properly segregated cycle lanes.

The pop-up lanes were intended to be temporary and can be moved, but guidance from the government indicated that councils were expected to evaluate their performance with a view to making them permanent.

It was hoped that this will encourage more people to choose cycling over cars or public transport by making it quicker and safer.

But abandoning cycle lanes so soon on the basis of complaints from drivers could threaten to undermine that effort.

Halton Council was unable to comment prior to publication.