Weymouth Council backpedal on seafront cycling ban

Threat to prosecute all cyclists breaking ban lifted

by Kevin Emery   August 21, 2009  

Weymouth_Seafront.jpg

Council chiefs in Weymouth appear to be backing down on their threat to prosecute any cyclist breaking their recently imposed seafront cycling ban. As previously reported on road.cc the council and police said they were cracking down on anyone caught cycling on Weymouth seafront after receiving an increasing number of complaints about the number of cyclists on the Esplanade.

The crackdown began on August 1 when Cllr Ian James announced in a written council statement: “We are trying to make it absolutely clear. Cycling on the seafront is banned and anyone caught after August 1 will be prosecuted.”

But it appears police and council staff have been using a different approach, and have only been warning people and instead only targeting dangerous cyclists with prosecutions.

Insp Peter Meteau, of Weymouth Police, told the Dorset Echo: “Not everyone is getting prosecuted. The first offenders are getting letters. It’s all about dealing with the people who are reckless, who we will deal with in a robust approach.”

Members of the Dorset Cyclists’ Network said the initial decision would leave cyclists in danger as they would be forced to take to the roads instead. The network’s chairman Michael Evans, had said: “It’s a shame that the council cannot find a way to allow cycling on the seafront side.”

But now it would seem the council has relaxed the rules, and the borough press office issued a statement that said prosecutions would be decided on a case-by-case basis.

The news comes days after a woman cyclist was stopped at 7.30am by a police van and warned she could get a £500 fine for riding on Weymouth seafront.

Lucy Horwood, 29, a coach for the British Windsurfing Team said: “I was a bit shocked. I could understand it if I was weaving in and out of kids. There was hardly anyone there at that time."

The CTC said: “We would like to see more promenades in the UK open to cyclists. We advise local councils to make their decisions with consideration for pedestrians and other users of the area and to look at how it works in other places."

So where can you cycle on the prom?

The promenades open to cyclists according to Cycling England are:
Ardrossan & Saltcoats,
Aberavon,
Abergele,
Bangor,
Barmouth,
Bexhill,
Blackpool,
Bournemouth,
Brighton & Hove,
Broadstairs,
Cleethorpes,
Colwyn Bay,
Crammond,
Deal,
Deganwy,
Douglas,
Dover,
Dymchurch,
Eastbourne,
Exmouth,
Gravesend,
Greenock,
Hartlepool,
Hastings,
Hythe,
Lancing,
Largs,
Liverpool,
Llanelli,
Margate,
Maryport,
Minnis Bay,
Morecambe,
Newcastle,
New Brighton,
Wirral,
Newhaven,
Penmaenmawr,
Poole,
Portobello,
Prestatyn,
Prestwick,
Ramsgate,
Rhyl,
Ryde,
Saltburn,
Sandown,
Seaford,
Seaton,
Carew,
Shoreham,
Skegness,
South Shields,
Southampton,
Southend,
Sunderland,
Swansea,
Wallasey,
Weston-super-Mare,
Worthing.