Prom Wars: Cyclists now allowed to cycle along seafront in Bognor Regis

Motion passed by narrow vote

by Sarah Barth   March 3, 2013  

Worthing seafront.jpg

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.”

9 user comments

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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.

posted by medicvelo [8 posts]
3rd March 2013 - 13:27

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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.

MercuryOne

Silly me. You're probably right....

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posted by MercuryOne [927 posts]
3rd March 2013 - 14:46

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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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posted by Doctor Fegg [120 posts]
3rd March 2013 - 16:30

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No mention of the squadrons of mobility scooters that already zip up and down there.

Velotastic !

Too many hills, but too little time.

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posted by badback [252 posts]
3rd March 2013 - 18:22

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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.

posted by Bexleyhillbilly [33 posts]
3rd March 2013 - 19:34

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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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posted by MrAl81 [3 posts]
3rd March 2013 - 23:05

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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.

Mike
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------ (+) / (+)______ better by bike!

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posted by Mike McBeth [72 posts]
3rd March 2013 - 23:07

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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

posted by antigee [100 posts]
4th March 2013 - 0:41

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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?

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

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posted by Gizmo_ [634 posts]
4th March 2013 - 8:21

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