COUNCILLORS and campaigners have reacted angrily after a councillor refused permission for a bike rack - despite a petition from 150 people calling for one.

Councillors and cycling groups had been lobbying for a mobile bike rack outside Worcester Museum and Art Gallery for visitors but permission was refused by Councillor Alan Amos, cabinet member for highways.

Councillor Lynn Denham said a pilot scheme was agreed to place one of the city council’s mobile bike racks in The Tything after a petition asked for it, but this required the permission of Worcestershire Highways.

But Cllr Amos said: “The truth is very simple. To put the bike racks in this location would have meant the loss of two car parking spaces that are very well used. There was no justification to remove vital parking spaces from a location where there is already a severe shortage of them and which are heavily used, thereby creating a new parking problem in neighbouring side streets.”

Labour Councillor Lynn Denham said “It doesn’t seem right one person can dictate what happens on Worcester streets. A pilot is the best way to find out if the idea works and if it is popular. The need has been demonstrated by the number of people who have been lobbying for a bike rack for this public building.

“A petition started by a local cyclist in 2019 gained 153 signatures. It was shared with Worcestershire County Council with a request for the measurements of a car park space. The mobile bike racks are designed to fit into a single car park space and will take five bikes.”

County Councillor Matt Jenkins, Green Party, shared his frustration at the decision. He said: “This scheme could have been trialled at negligible cost. Last year, I offered to use some of my divisional fund to help get a public bike rack for the museum.”

Danny Brothwell, spokesperson for Bike Worcester said: “We were shocked and angry to hear that the pilot scheme has now been vetoed.”

There is already storage for staff who work in the museum building, but not for visitors.