Plans for new cycle lane on 'magic roundabout' aim to prevent accidents
Plans have been drawn up for the first cycle lane on a roundabout.
County Hall highways engineers said installing a "magic roundabout" at an accident blackspot in Loughborough would save lives and prevent serious injury to riders.
But cyclists described the idea as "barmy" and "dangerous" as motorists would not be expecting to see them there.
Leicestershire County Council said six cyclists have been knocked off their bikes and injured at the roundabout, where Epinal Way meets Alan Moss Road in the past three years.
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Officials said an £87,000 scheme to put a marked green cycle lane on the carriageway around the outside of the junction would be a first in the county and make drivers more aware of cyclists.
They said the model had worked successfully in Europe and in York, where a "magic roundabout" built in 2003 had dramatically cut accident rates.
However Roger Hill, of Loughborough District Cycle Users Campaign, said: "Putting a cycle lane on a roundabout places cyclists where drivers won't expect to see them.
"It's barmy and a recipe for disaster, particularly on that road because drivers approach the roundabout at up to 40mph.
"They will be looking out for cars not riders and we should not be putting cyclists in their path. Because that is such a busy junction, most riders will stay off it entirely.
"This may work on the Continent and in York where there is a higher proportion of cyclists and drivers are more used to them. It won't work here."
The county council said it would provide an off-road alternative with a shared cycle and pedestrian lane next to the highway.
Matthew Lugg, the council director of environment and transport, said the lane would give clearer guidance to cyclists and draw drivers' attention to them.
He said: "The need to boost safety at this junction was highlighted by road casualty information.
"We're always keen to embrace innovative ideas and this is a scheme which has proved to be successful in York.
"Cycling is a great way to stay healthy with minimal impact on the environment and is on the increase in Loughborough.
"This week marks the end of our consultation and if the proposals are taken forward, the improvements will be brought in later this year."
Highways officer Steve Karkowski said: "We have a problem at that roundabout and we feel we have the best solution.
"This is the first but we may use a similar approach at other roundabouts."
Sara Basterfield, from the national cycle organisation CTC, said: "These roundabouts have to be the norm so drivers are aware of them.
"The main problem is a car turning right at a roundabout will be positioned in towards the centre until it approaches its exit then it will have to cross the green painted lane where a cyclist could be.
"By putting a cycle lane in you can give a cyclist a false sense of safety."