A CONTROVERSIAL cycle lane scheme cost the taxpayer more than £425,000 it has been revealed.

The project by East Renfrewshire Council involved installing hundreds of black and white bollards on Ayr Road and Fenwick Road last year.

However, the bollards were ripped out in April following a vocal campaign of opposition from angry local residents.

Figures obtained under Freedom of Information show that the cost to date of the installation, repair and maintenance of the bollards including road markings is £428,054.

On Ayr Road alone the overall bill was £329,377 including the hire of a road sweeper for £17,200.

Hundreds of cones were placed on a two mile stretch between Giffnock and Newton Mearns to create segregated cycle lanes going in either direction.

In March, we revealed how council chiefs did a U-turn following a campaign by local residents who formed the Action Against East Renfrewshire Bollards group.

Founder member Karen Flo also set up a petition which attracted more than 2,600 signatures of opposition.

She said of the FOI figures: “They show that the cycle lane scheme was a complete waste of money with no justification.

“For the final total to be so high is ridiculous with so many other public services being cut elsewhere.

“There was no evidence that the number of cyclists increased or were better provided for when the bollards were put in place.

“It was not efficient and best value for taxpayers money.

“There has been a huge improvement for both cyclists and motorists since the bollards were moved.

“We have cyclists in our group who are very happy that they have gone now.”

Protestors claimed the bollards created a hazard for both drivers and cyclists particularly when blown out by bad weather.

They also said the bollards were an eyesore and left essential visitors like care workers with nowhere to stop or park safely.

However supporters said the segregated cycle lane provided much needed spaces for people to walk and cycle safely during the pandemic.

An East Renfrewshire Council spokesperson said: “The temporary protected cycle lanes on Fenwick Road and Ayr Road were delivered with funding made available by the Scottish Government via the Sustrans ‘Spaces for People’ programme.

“This funding was specifically made available to support temporary infrastructure in response to Covid.

“This aimed to protect public health and support sustainable modes of transport whilst in recovery.”