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Motion passed by narrow vote

Cyclists are now able to cycle along the seafront in Bognor Regis after Arun District Council voted to allow it.

A council spokeswoman has confirmed that by the summer there will be official signs showing that bikes are allowed on the promenade.

Cllr Paul Dendle, who is in charge of the council’s environmental services, told councillors: “Most people who took part in our leisure strategy consultation wanted more proper cycleways. This fits in very much with that. It will be good for tourism and good for wellbeing," the Bognor Regis Observer reports.

The subject of 'prom wars' is a hardy perennial, with doubts on the part of both pedestrians and cyclists as to whether shared space really is the answer to safe cycling and walking.

Cllr Roger Nash said: “I welcome this. Unofficially, cycling has been going on along the seafront for quite a long time.

“This move is long overdue. I hope people make responsible use of it. It will need to be carefully monitored to see if there are any dangers ot pedestrians walking along there.”

Cllr Francis Oppler said: “This is a positive thing for everybody. I know some people have reservations about the safety aspect.

“But it happens now. Every day, there are scores and scores of people cycling along the seafront. It is the most natural thing to do.”

But Cllr Dougal Maconachie, who has lived 100 yards from the seafront for 28 years, said: “I am totally against this. It’s waiting for an accident to happen like it did in Worthing several years ago. You should remember my words.

“The prom gets very busy between Gloucester Road and the pier from April to September. There are a lot of concessions and from the pier to the yacht club the prom narrows and there is another train.

“Proms are for walking, not cycling. People using them are youngsters on skateboards, mobility scooters, mums with pushchairs and dog walkers.”

Cllr Jim Brooks said: “People do not expect to see things coming at them on the prom.

“I have to hope having proper signs will help but I can’t help feeling a cycle path would be better on the road.”

Cllr Ricky Bower said: “There are cyclists who ignore traffic lights and they will ignore these signs. I’m deeply concerned we are going down the wrong road with this.”

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

9 comments

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medicvelo [7 posts] 3 years ago
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Sensible decision by the council - Bognor seafront is a lovely place to cycle along, and, as the article said, everyone does it already.

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WolfieSmith [1318 posts] 3 years ago
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Poor Cllr Brookes. It's the modern council dilemma: how to deal with cyclists who cycle on the pavement as the roads are not safe - without putting them back on the road in the way of decent normal voters driving cars.

The time Brooke's taking in telling us he's going to be telling he told us so might be better spent looking at some figures on cycle injuries on Bognor's roads and getting on with integration.

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Doctor Fegg [143 posts] 3 years ago
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"I can’t help feeling" - ah, the traditional lament of the local councillor. Never mind any of this "evidence" malarkey, let's make decisions based on inherited prejudice and half-formed opinions.

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badback [302 posts] 3 years ago
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No mention of the squadrons of mobility scooters that already zip up and down there.

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Bexleyhillbilly [46 posts] 3 years ago
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They drive a train (with tyres) along the prom in Littlehampton, which is also in Arun District, and I haven't heard of anyone being squashed by that yet. It's just a case of people (pedestrians and cyclists) behaving sensibly.

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MrAl81 [3 posts] 3 years ago
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The promenade here in Morecambe is shared use and seems to cause no problems. Admittedly there are no tourists here or sea for much of the day but it is a nice stretch to cycle on if you aren't in too much of a hurry.

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Mike McBeth [74 posts] 3 years ago
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'Proms are for walking, not cycling' and 'there is another train' - so if proms are 'for' walking not cycling, how come they allowed a train? Just asking.

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antigee [329 posts] 3 years ago
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"It’s waiting for an accident to happen like it did in Worthing several years ago"

I'd like to think that the councillor has similar ambitions when it come to roads

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jollygoodvelo [1410 posts] 3 years ago
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"I can’t help feeling a cycle path would be better on the road.”

That would make it a cycle lane?