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Summer holiday confusion as children in Wales are banned from cycling in parks

Parents say it's the only safe place - but councils want to ban bikes and ball games...

Children have been banned from cycling in a park in Wales, causing concern for parents who say it’s the only safe place.

Council parks in Denbighshire have been fitted out with signs banning bikes and ball games, along with smoking, drinking, dog fouling and littering.

One mother, Portia Cowley, 25, told the Denbighshire Free Express: ” They’ve put the no cycling sign up on the gate of the play ground at Uwch y Dre and it’s the only space that kids for cycling there.

“It’s where my children cycle, you can see the park from my house.

“I haven’t seen any children flouting the rules, but it’s deeply unfair. There are steep hills here and children can’t ride their bikes safely.

“Usually these come in after complaints and I’ve lived up there for a year and I’ve never seen anyone in there drinking or smoking. The only thing it’s stopping is little children cycling. It’s deeply unfair.

“When you’ve got younger children who are too young to go on the pathways in the forest on their own or they aren’t strong enough this is the only place they can learn.”

In another perplexing move, a sign by the play area at Maesafallen prohibits ball games - despite having goalposts and nets.

Chair of Corwen Town Council Simon Watkins said: “People want to know where they’ve come from.

“If there are kids playing, are Denbighshire enforcing it? It’s just overkill, isn’t it?

“They’ve gone over the Town Council, we weren’t aware of them.

“I don’t even know why they’ve gone up, it’s just daft. The whole reason for the park is for kids to learn to ride, play football or play rounders, and I’m surprised it doesn’t say no swinging on the swings.

“Is it health and safety just gone mad? The town council is in recess for August but there will be questions about why they’re there and at what cost.”

A spokesman for Denbighshire County Council said: “The last thing we want to do is restrict enjoyment of the play area. We have to be mindful of children’s safety and these are guidelines to ensure we can keep children safe within the play area where there is play equipment.

“The ‘no bikes’ sign is to stop children riding around the play area on bikes when other children are using the equipment and we can only allow ball games where there is enough space and a goal facility within a fenced off play area.

 

“We rely on users to be sensible and respect the play area as well as other users.”

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.

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