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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.