Cyclists in Llandudno, North Wales, are to be allowed to ride on the seaside town’s promenade after Conwy councillors voted six to two to undertake a one-year trial of lifting restrictions.
The news, reported by the BBC, follows a sustained and long-running campaign by Sustrans Cymru, as previously highlighted here on road.cc where the ongoing saga regularly pops up at around this time of year.
The difference this time around is that cyclists have something to celebrate.
"It's sheer relief that common sense has prevailed," said CTC Cymru’s Roy Spilsbury, adding, “Cyclists now won't have to go along the main parade battling with the busy road."
According to the sustainable transport charity, bicycles are permitted on some 125 seaside promenades throughout the UK, making Llandudno, which has had a promenade since around 1876, very much the exception.
The one-year trial was approved last week by a task and finish group chaired by Councillor Christine Jones, who said, “Yes, we think there probably will be risks but the risks are minimal.
"You have risks if you put a car on the road and as a consequence of this we have decided to go forward," she added.
The BBC said that warning signs and CCTV would be deployed to help ensure safety.
However, John Lawson Rea of the Llandudno Civic Trust, reinforced his opposition to letting cyclists use the promenade.
"Bicycles and pedestrians don't mix," he maintained. "We don't allow them on the pavements in towns and cities. It applies exactly the same on the promenade.
"The reality of it is that people want to walk along a promenade in safety with their kids and their dogs," he added.
Ahead of the ban being lifted, Dr Neil Mackenzie of the Llandudno for Safe Cycling group had told the North Wales Weekly News: “This common sense solution will put an end to pensioners, families with young children, and tourist cyclists being embarrassed by being shouted at to dismount when they approach the cenotaph area.
“Although cyclists with common sense will dismount when this area is busy, not every cyclist has the appropriate level of experience or courtesy,” he continued.
“We would be dismayed if, during the trial period, an accident involving a cyclist and pedestrian in this area resulted in the whole prom being closed to cyclists, when in practice it is just one area which needs to be addressed. Prevention is better than cure.
“We hope the communities overview and scrutiny committee will accept the task and finish group’s recommendations as we are confident that it will enhance Llandudno’s tourist trade by providing an additional leisure facility,” he added.
“It will also contribute to a healthy lifestyle for young and old, and will improve the town’s image as a green environmentally friendly low carbon town.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.