Cyclists can now legally ride along the promenades of Bognor Regis and Llandudno. A bylaw amendment allowing cycling in Bognor comes into force today, while in Llandudno, councillors voted last Thursday to make permanent the 12-month trial of cycling on the prom.
Arun District Council’s cabinet member for environmental services, Paul Dendle was responsible for the decision to lift Bognor Regis promenade cycling ban. “(It will) encourage cycling to become a more acceptable mode of transport and, like many other seaside towns, demonstrate support and commitment to a healthier lifestyle,” he told the Bognor Regis Observer.
Councillor Randle said the off-road cycling route would also create a safe cycling environment for Butlin’s clients and support Sustrans in its work to complete the national cycle route two from Bognor to Chichester, and open up a greater cycle network for clients who are more experienced cyclists.
The decision to allow cycling on Llandudno’s seafront comes at the end of a multi-year battle by local campaigners and the CTC to have the bylaw rescinded.
A report on the previous 12-month trial of cycling on the promenade was presented to Conwy Council on Thursday.
The report said that there had ben no crashes in the trial and CCTV monitoring of the area showed only two percent of cyclists travelling at “excessive speed,” according to the Daily Post.
The report said: “There are risks to injury, of both pedestrians and cyclists, arising from this activity. However, the experience and evidence indicates that perceived risks are not realised in practice.”
Cllr Mike Priestley, cabinet member for environment, said he report showed cyclists and pedestrians could share.
He said: “It’s about ‘share with care’. There have been some concerns about when it gets busy such as with a rally cars display or a bandstand concert but we can fence off that area.”
David Williams, Llandudno Hospitality Association chairman, said his members “ have no problem with pedestrians sharing with cyclists on the prom.
“It means that by and large the cyclists act more responsibly and are aware of pedestrians and adjust their speed accordingly.” He added: “We were against a designated cycle track which would encourage cyclists to speed on the prom.”
Promenade cycling is a perennial bone of contention between seaside town councils and local riders. According to the sustainable transport charity, Sustrans, bicycles are permitted on some 125 seaside promenades throughout the UK.
Although local traders and tourism groups often support moves to allow promenade cycling, there are still a few hold outs. Cycling is still banned on Portsmouth promenade, for example, even though the city council promotes a 4.5 mile seafront cycle route.
The informational leaflet for the Portsmouth seafront cycling ride says: “IT IS NOT PERMITTED TO CYCLE ALONG THE SEAFRONT PROMENADE. NOTE: On busy summer days it is wise to be cautious when cycling along the seafront road as parked cars can pull out quite suddenly.” (Shouty capitals from original text.)
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.