Image copyright @evoleo Image caption People in Lundee say public space is being taken over by developers
A lane of protected cycle path has been converted to car parking in an effort to encourage more car traffic at one of Scotland’s busiest roundabouts.
The Cycle Roundabout at Lundee near Dunblane, a popular route for walkers and cyclists, has been left clogged by the problem.
The Local Government Association said the use of parking spaces to extend car parks was normal in all towns and cities.
However, campaigners say there are no firm plans to improve the cycle route.
Cycle charity Brake said the scheme was “completely unacceptable” and criticised local authorities for taking “easy and quick” money by removing the protected cycle lane.
Logging a rise in cyclist death rates, Brake says traffic accidents are continuing to affect cyclists as well as pedestrians and drivers.
Image copyright @Evoleo Image caption The “Easy Bike” service was introduced as part of the cycle parking to encourage more people to take up cycling
Lundee City Council, which has helped fund the cycle parking to encourage more people to take up cycling, said cycling to work was becoming more popular in the town and “key to the future”.
Dee Gautie, director of environment, said: “The Cycle Roundabout has a long history of support from residents and local businesses and we are not planning to make any changes to it as it does so much to support cyclists and other community members.”
The council says the cycle parking has been used to help conserve trees and plants in the area, while drawing awareness to the possibility of cycling in new areas such as car parks.
Its spokesman added: “The Cycle Parking at the Roundabout is managed with standard community park and ride facilities and has a dedicated cycle rider route.”
A member of the Lundee Cycle Coalition said it had been left “debilitating” and that the loop-back process had left children with more worries when they were out cycling.
“There’s no way I want to cycle in a car park,” he said.
Two separate initiatives in the past three years have doubled the number of people cycling in the town.
Image copyright @evoleo Image caption The Cycle Roundabout at Lundee has become an important route for cyclists
Image copyright @evoleo Image caption Despite the proposal to convert the cycle lane to parking spaces, it is still possible to cycle overland, and through Dunblane
He said: “We understand that land is being sold and we appreciate not everybody can afford a property.
“But this doesn’t mean we should get rid of cyclists.”
Last year the town voted to reduce its annual car tax to encourage more people to get into the car.
But in February, Brake said about 90% of the people killed and seriously injured on Scotland’s roads in the past year were in vehicles other than cars.
In Lundee, a pledge to reverse an increase in collisions involving cyclists was overturned in 2017.