Bournemouth deputy Mayor promises more seafront cyclist speed enforcement after he's hit by one during charity running race

Mayor finished race despite injuries but it's the latest in an ongoing battle between cyclists and pedestrians

by Sarah Barth   December 22, 2013  

Bournemouth Town Hall (Graffity, Wikimedia Commons)

The deputy mayor of Bournemouth says he will do more to enforce cycling speed limits on the seafront promenade after he was knocked down by a cyclist during a charity running race.

Councillor Phil Stanley Watts was running the Diverse Abilities Plus’ Jingle Jog when he was hit by a rider who he said was weaving between the runners.

Despite his injuries he was able to complete the 6km race but said the route needed more signage to remind cyclists of the 10mpg speed limit.

He told the Bournemouth Echo: “We must encourage safe cycling because I was knocked over by a cyclist travelling at speed on the seafront.

“This seems to be a widespread problem on the seafront as well as in pedestrian precincts.

“It’s incredibly dangerous and I have heard of numerous similar accidents on the seafront. “Cyclists do go far too fast and it’s difficult to see or hear them approaching when you’re running.

“I would like to see greater enforcement of the speed limit and more information encouraging people towards safer cycling.”

Cabinet Member for Tourism, Leisure and Culture, Cllr Lawrence Williams said: “It is the responsibility of all promenade users to use the space sensibly and the police will take action if there is an incident.”

Cyclists are barred from the promenade altogether in the summer months between 10am and 6pm, and five prosecutions for riding at those times are currently being processed.

In 2009 we reported how a controversial speed camera operation which targeted cyclists using the promenade in Bournemouth resulted in almost 70 riders being stopped.

Police officers and council officials armed with speed guns laid in wait for cyclists exceeding the prescribed 10 mph along the prom, stopping 69 riders in the four-day operation.

The majority were caught in the first two days, as the second two were wet and fewer people were on the prom.

Fines couldn’t be issued as cyclists are unable to monitor their own speed, but those stopped were given ‘safety advice’. The scheme was branded ‘ridiculous’ by the CTC, who said that any speed-related campaign should always be targeted at motorists, not cyclists.

In the same year we reported another similar incident in the ongoing saga of so-called speeding cyclists on Bournemouth’s promenade continuing with the news that a cyclist was been arrested by police after an alleged collision – with the resort’s seafront chief.

According to the Bournemouth Echo, eyewitnesses reported seeing police officers setting up a makeshift trap to apprehend a male cyclist.

The operation followed reports that seafront manager Chris Saunders had been involved in an alleged incident with a cyclist after asking him to slow down. Mr Saunders had later attended a meeting and was not believed to be seriously injured.

24 user comments

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As a seasoned cyclist I'm in full agreement with Councillor Watts: it beggars belief the way some people ride at speed along the beachfront promenade from Hengistbury by Christchurch to Sandbanks in Poole. While this may be OK in the early weekday mornings in winter, some riders insist on doing this on busy weekends and during the summer.

Many ignore the clearly visible no cycling signs which rightly and reasonably prevent cycling on certain sections of the promenade between 10am and 6pm and on the zig zag paths leading down to the sea front (which everyone using the beach has to go up/down); even when there are obviously vast numbers of holidaymakers - especially young children about. Their 'the rules don't apply to me' attitude is unbelievably arrogant

I have a lot of respect for the CTC but their comment that targeting these cyclists as 'ridiculous' unfortunately betrays a real ignorance of the problem. As well as being a seasoned cyclist, I'm also a Bournemouth resident and a regular user of the beach with my two primary age children. Anyone who has ever visited Bournemouth on a warm summers day would see the clear sense in banning cyclists at these times: cycling on the promenade would be as foolish as drinking and driving. An accident waiting to happen. How anyone could possibly see any sense in riding along a 5 metre wide tarmac footpath full of small children playing is beyond comprehension.
If you want somewhere to ride there are much better options!

posted by abbeybob [15 posts]
22nd December 2013 - 18:26

23 Likes

10mph is too much. Also, spilt where possible and make it 5-6 mph. Still means you are twice as fast as most walkers.
And I'm a cyclist and runner

posted by michielh [6 posts]
22nd December 2013 - 18:26

16 Likes

"Despite his injuries he was able to complete the 6km race but said the route needed more signage to remind cyclists of the 10mpg speed limit."

As cyclists are not legally bound by speed limits, this story is a bit of a joke.

However, to suggest cyclists stick to a "10mpg speed limit", in my opinion, is totally unreasonable! Party

TDL

tourdelound's picture

posted by tourdelound [94 posts]
22nd December 2013 - 18:43

16 Likes

Was the Deputy Mayor wearing a hemet and hi-viz clothing?
Sorry - couldn't resist it.

posted by BikeBud [124 posts]
22nd December 2013 - 19:02

26 Likes

Would love a lawyers comment on the legality of both the signs and the stopping of the cyclists without justification. If the cyclists where riding furiously (lovely phrase) then the police could have charged them. As they did not this seems to be harassment as the signs have no legal basis. The legality of the use of council officials is also highly questionable.

Paul W

posted by PaulVWatts [111 posts]
22nd December 2013 - 19:29

13 Likes

mpg ?

onward ever onward

bikecellar's picture

posted by bikecellar [253 posts]
22nd December 2013 - 19:46

19 Likes

A defined cycle path would solve a lot of problems.
I saw one of the beach wardens grab the arm of a cyclist nearly causing a pile up at 10:05 I'm sure the cyclist had no idea it was into the cycling curfew judging by his shock and reaction.

posted by SixtySpeedTwin [6 posts]
22nd December 2013 - 19:58

21 Likes

If this is actually the case it is an appalling example of people who should not be in a position of power being in exactly that position. The whole point of the story is that because "he" was hit he is going to change something. So if he gets shoulder barged in the high street by a youth in a hoody on foot will he make so statement of outrage about that before controlling youth and dress code? Sometimes you just need to accept there are lots of people in the world who happen to be very stupid. They drive cars they ride bikes and they walk but they don't represent every user of those modes of transport. Knee jerk changes don't work and doing it as a local government official without it being requested by those you serve and only because it affected you is a giant sized abuse of power!

posted by Abuseofpower [1 posts]
22nd December 2013 - 21:17

18 Likes

SixtySpeedTwin wrote:
A defined cycle path would solve a lot of problems.
I saw one of the beach wardens grab the arm of a cyclist nearly causing a pile up at 10:05 I'm sure the cyclist had no idea it was into the cycling curfew judging by his shock and reaction.

A "defined cycle path" eh. That would be exactly what we have here on the Lowestoft south beach promenade. Complete with signs telling cyclists to "Please use the clearly marked cycle path". Cyclists mostly adhere to this. Unfortunately, pedestrians find the approximately 1/5 of the total width of the prom, which is the clearly marked cycle path, their favourite place to take their leisurely stroll, complete with an assortment of out of control kids, push chairs and the obligatory dog on a bungee lead. D Oh

TDL

tourdelound's picture

posted by tourdelound [94 posts]
22nd December 2013 - 21:18

29 Likes

posted by ped [188 posts]
22nd December 2013 - 21:29

18 Likes

“Cyclists do go far too fast and it’s difficult to see or hear them approaching when you’re running"

so, it sounds like running is the issue here if it impairs both sight and sound!?

posted by themartincox [440 posts]
22nd December 2013 - 21:32

22 Likes

Per gallon of what?
Ale?
Coke?

posted by VeNT [42 posts]
22nd December 2013 - 23:24

11 Likes

Quote:
the 10mpg speed limit

I'm sure there's too much beer there.

Don' worry, I'll drink it all.

posted by Cauld Lubter [124 posts]
23rd December 2013 - 2:54

11 Likes

There's a whole beach for children to play on if they want. Why would they want to play on the tarmac of the prom when there's all that lovely golden sand? The prom could, and should, easily be open to cyclists the whole year round.

posted by Bikebikebike [133 posts]
23rd December 2013 - 11:09

12 Likes

This said as someone who spent every childhood summer on Bmth beach.

posted by Bikebikebike [133 posts]
23rd December 2013 - 11:15

12 Likes

Above the prom, there's a whole network of roads for cyclists to speed on, if they want. Why would they want to ride fast on a crowded prom, which is intended mainly for pedestrian use, when there's all that lovely road? The roads are open to cyclists the whole year round.

Cyclists who don't respect pedestrians annoy me more than any motorist.

spatuluk's picture

posted by spatuluk [27 posts]
23rd December 2013 - 11:31

10 Likes

I always find a ding of my bell usually gets people out the way and stops them walking into me.

posted by jimmyd [102 posts]
23rd December 2013 - 13:35

12 Likes

Maybe they don't feel safe on the roads. Given the standard of driving in Bmth, I'd not be surprised. And the cycling infrastructure is, as most places, non-existent.

I'm off course against people zooming up and down the prom, but it should have a cycle lane down it that is open all year round.

posted by Bikebikebike [133 posts]
23rd December 2013 - 14:17

11 Likes

How can a speed limit be enforced? There is no law to say that cyclist must have a properly calibrated speedometer, is there?

posted by Yorkshie Whippet [414 posts]
23rd December 2013 - 15:53

12 Likes

Why would the children choose to use the tarmac? Err..
to go to one of the ice cream kiosks?
to go to use the toilet?
to get to one of the 7000+ beach huts used by families throughout the summer?
to get to the beach in the first place?

The Promenade is NOT a suitable place to ride a bike during the day in the height of summer. Its the equivalent of demanding the right to ride a bike through a playground!? Why would anyone want to do it in the first place? This is not a road.

posted by abbeybob [15 posts]
23rd December 2013 - 16:36

10 Likes

Yorkshie Whippet wrote:
How can a speed limit be enforced? There is no law to say that cyclist must have a properly calibrated speedometer, is there?

It would be easy for a police officer to argue a cyclists speed was inappropriate though, so yes no need to have a speedo, "furious cycling" is a far broader charge.

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [1659 posts]
23rd December 2013 - 16:37

12 Likes

Maybe pedestrians don't feel safe on Bournemouth Prom any longer? Oh but that doesn't matter because 'I AM A CYCLIST. I am special. The rules do not apply to me'??

posted by abbeybob [15 posts]
23rd December 2013 - 16:38

14 Likes

Why would the children choose to use the tarmac? Err..
to go to one of the ice cream kiosks?
to go to use the toilet?
to get to one of the 7000+ beach huts used by families throughout the summer?
to get to the beach in the first place?
The Promenade is NOT a suitable place to ride a bike during the day in the height of summer. Its the equivalent of demanding the right to ride a bike through a playground!? Why would anyone want to do it in the first place? This is not a road.

No, the question was why would children want to

    play

on the prom when there's a beach. Not why would they want to cross it. If a child cannot cross the prom, then they're certainly not going to be safe to be allowed to wander around on their own with the sea there ready to drown in.

I imagine that someone would want to cycle along there to have a safe, flat and direct route to get from Christchurch all the way to Poole Harbour. If you can suggest another route that you'd be happy taking your kids along with you, then I'm all ears. In the summer the roads are completely congested with people driving to the f-ing beach, making it a nightmare to cycle around or catch the bus anywhere (or indeed drive). So it's a double whammy that you're not allowed on the only decent cycle infrastructure in the whole town.

posted by Bikebikebike [133 posts]
23rd December 2013 - 17:33

13 Likes

Quite simple been saying it for years, tin of white paint one side cycle lane, one side pedestrians and then Police it similar to Germany.

posted by martib [53 posts]
28th December 2013 - 19:13

0 Likes