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Locals up in arms about Halfords Christmas TV advert which shows girl riding bike on 'no cycling' path

Council reveals there is no bylaw prohibiting cycling and says signs are merely ‘mitigation’ installed following historic complaints

Halfords’ Christmas ad shows a young girl riding a bike and clearly enjoying it. It seems innocuous enough, but a number of Worthing residents are – to quote the Argus – “fuming” because they believe cycling is not permitted on the path on which she is riding.

The sequence was filmed at Patterson’s Walk in Ferring.

Ed Miller, secretary of the Ferring Conservation Group, said he was frustrated that Arun District Council gave Halfords permission to film on the path.

“Halfords and the council should know better than to arrange filming the cycling sequence on Patterson’s Walk,” he said.

“It’s not something people should be doing at all – it’s a footpath. There are bylaws and there are notices to say cycling is not permitted. There’s no excuse for it.

“In some sense this might appear trivial. But children, elderly people and dog walkers use the path, there isn’t room for cyclists.

“We don’t expect council officers to be down there every day. But when they get an opportunity like this they should not be encouraging people to come and ride their bikes here.

“Cyclists on the path cause a lot of nuisance. A member of ours alerted me to the problem, and people are upset.”

However, a spokesperson from the council pointed out that despite the signage, there was actually no bylaw prohibiting cycling on Patterson’s Walk.

“The council is aware that there have been complaints from local residents regarding the recent filming of an advert for Halfords. Whilst there is signage at Patterson’s Walk stating no cycling, there is no actual bylaw in place to prohibit it at this site, neither is there an official public footpath or public bridleway designation in place.

“The ‘no cycling’ signs are historical mitigation in response to complaints and conflict between parties on both sides of the cycling argument. We are aware that the situation and signage requires review.

“An application to film was received from Halfords in early October and approved for ‘Ferring beach’.

“We appreciate this has caused some concern and will be taking steps to review the current situation. Ideally this public open space could be enjoyed and shared safely by all.”

A Halfords spokesperson said: “We are passionate about encouraging more people to cycle and our Christmas TV ad aims to do just that.

“Ahead of and during filming of our six-year-old star, we sought all relevant permissions from local councils and created the ad in good faith, working closely with local organisations.

“We take the safety of all road users and pedestrians very seriously and apologise for any upset caused.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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41 comments

Avatar
iandon | 4 years ago
3 likes

I woundnt expect a child of that age to be riding on anything other than the pavement.

The advrert was fimled in a safe location  unlike some of our roads.

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bobbylama | 4 years ago
3 likes

When I see a six year old smiling and biking, it makes me happy and want to ride. I'm not thinking, cycling destination. 

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dwbeever | 4 years ago
4 likes

Congratulations to Halfords Marketing Agency.  They managed to get this ad more coverage that could be imagined following 'careful research'.

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Carriagegirl | 4 years ago
1 like

Wow, does this mean that many signs put up prohibiting cyclists, horse riders and carriage drivers could very well be meaningless?  Look at all the wonderful, motorised traffic free routes this can give us vulnerable road users.  Well done that girl and Halfords for making  the council admit to putting up false and inacurrate signs.

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Carriagegirl | 4 years ago
4 likes

Wow, does this mean that many signs put up prohibiting cyclists, horse riders and carriage drivers could very well be meaningless?  Look at all the wonderful, motorised traffic free routes this can give us vulnerable road users.  Well done that girl and Halfords for making  the council admit to putting up false and inacurrate signs.

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De Sisti | 4 years ago
1 like

Is the young girl riding a bike whose saddle is set too low?

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hawkinspeter replied to De Sisti | 4 years ago
6 likes
De Sisti wrote:

Is the young girl riding a bike whose saddle is set too low?

If it was built by Halfords, she's lucky that there is a saddle and that it's pointing the wrong way (apologies to any competent Halfords bike techs).

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Thepooch74 | 4 years ago
4 likes

Well done Worthing Council for standing up to the misery that bitter and twisted residents cause. My work dictates that I have to attend these meetings where you see the same old farts each month doing nothing but complain. Unfortunately, their whingings most times get turned into byelaws, schemes or issues. Wasting time and money and generally spoiling the fun of the usually sensible and considerate public.

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ktache | 4 years ago
3 likes

The underpass underneath Reading station has the no cycling roundall, I obey, many don't, apparently it was placed there as the underpass is 2 inches too low, of course this lack of height (there isn't really) should mean that it should be too low for pedestrians too.  Hmmm.

https://www.getreading.co.uk/news/local-news/traffic-regulation-order-ba...

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crazy-legs | 4 years ago
4 likes

If this is the response that riding on an innocuous little path gets, wait til they find out the dragon in that new john Lewis commercial isn't real!

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Judge dreadful | 4 years ago
3 likes

if you want the dictionary definition of cyclist hating Yokel, NIMBY, cretin. Look no further than round that neck of the woods.

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Fishpastesarnie | 4 years ago
2 likes

The people of Ferring are classic miserable NIMBY who believe everything they read in The Telegraph or Daily. Mail. This is a place where fun an enjoyment are banned. Believe me I have had various run ins/dealings with them over decades.

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brooksby | 4 years ago
5 likes

I think the most concerning element of this story is that the good folk of Ferrers appear to believe that television advertising in some way represents reality.

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Bob's Bikes | 4 years ago
14 likes

To me the big question that comes from this is... How many other councils have put up no cycling signs in an effort to appease their local NIMBYs when in fact there is no bylaw stopping people from cycling?

Most members of the public (if they are not aware of the legallity of the signs) are going to go up in smoke when they see a cyclist "ignoring" the signs, a good example being the blue and white no cycling signs.

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CyclingInBeastMode replied to Bob's Bikes | 4 years ago
5 likes
Bob's Bikes wrote:

To me the big question that comes from this is... How many other councils have put up no cycling signs in an effort to appease their local NIMBYs when in fact there is no bylaw stopping people from cycling?

Most members of the public (if they are not aware of the legallity of the signs) are going to go up in smoke when they see a cyclist "ignoring" the signs, a good example being the blue and white no cycling signs.

My local authority have no cycling signs all around the estate joining footpaths, I've no idea if there was a bye-law, BUT they've been meaning to remove the signs since 1999 in their Urban Transport Plan cycling section, repeated in the 2012 plan. Like the rest of the stuff they've suggested for cycling they've done bugger all in 20 years.

I very rarely ride on those paths but just waiting for the first person to say something. I also ride with my grandson (six) who uses the paths because there's nowhere safe for us to cycle together on road though he does prefer to ride on road so down a dead end street or quiet lane I can assess to be safe, mostly I'll ride on road to the side but sometime there's no option but to ride with him.

The whole scenario in the picture is a microcosm of what is the whole crapness that is the UK when it comes to getting people on bikes and lack of access that is safe and lets people get to places they want to go.

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hmas1974 | 4 years ago
1 like

Does anyone have Ed Miller's address? I would like to send him a copy of Noam Chomsky's Blowback for Christmas.

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jova54 replied to hmas1974 | 4 years ago
5 likes
hmas1974 wrote:

Does anyone have Ed Miller's address? I would like to send him a copy of Noam Chomsky's Blowback for Christmas.

 

Here you go:

Vice Chairman and Planning: Ed Miller, 17 West Drive, Ferring, Worthing BN12 5QZ  01903 502267   edmiller43 [at] msn.com

Secretary:  Ed Miller – as above

No thanks needed  1

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Captain Badger replied to hmas1974 | 4 years ago
0 likes
hmas1974 wrote:

Does anyone have Ed Miller's address? I would like to send him a copy of Noam Chomsky's Blowback for Christmas.

 Don't wish to be a pedant, wasn't that written by Chalmers Johnson?

Not read it myself, but might take a peek now, thanks..

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lllnorrislll | 4 years ago
0 likes

In other news - locals complain about children visiting a strange man with a dragon.

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Philh68 | 4 years ago
2 likes

The Grinch is out early trying to ruin Christmas again…

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handlebarcam | 4 years ago
6 likes

Edit: I did post a message suggesting the local man quoted in this story should "lighten up" about six-year-olds riding on a path clearly suitable for such usage. But, since then, a lot of excessively nasty comments have been posted about him, and the entire community of which he represents only part. And, worse yet, someone has doxxed him. I no longer wish to be a part of this pointless internet pile-on. He only expressed an opinion, one I still disagree with, but far less worthy of ire than the dangerous motorists involved in other recent stories. A lot of people here need to "lighten up" as well.

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FluffyKittenofT... replied to handlebarcam | 4 years ago
2 likes
handlebarcam wrote:

Edit: I did post a message suggesting the local man quoted in this story should "lighten up" about six-year-olds riding on a path clearly suitable for such usage. But, since then, a lot of excessively nasty comments have been posted about him, and the entire community of which he represents only part. And, worse yet, someone has doxxed him. I no longer wish to be a part of this pointless internet pile-on. He only expressed an opinion, one I still disagree with, but far less worthy of ire than the dangerous motorists involved in other recent stories. A lot of people here need to "lighten up" as well.

 

I don't care about 'the entire community of which he represents only part' being mildly slagged-off in a few posts on a web thread.  Nothing terrible is going to happen to them as a result.

 

But "doxxing" is mean and disproportionate, I agree that post was a very bad idea on someone's part.

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Dangerous Dan | 4 years ago
9 likes

Maybe Chris Boardman and Co. can go after the people who posted signs prohibiting cycling which they know  have absolutely no basis in law or regulations.  That is the kind of crap that should be dealt with.

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bikeman01 | 4 years ago
13 likes

What is she about 6 years old? Residents of Worthing, show some fucking common sense. When I was a kid adults obviously had bigger things to worry about.

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cbrndc | 4 years ago
3 likes

Use the grass...  No rules, no laws.

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EK Spinner | 4 years ago
15 likes

looking at this from a wider perspective, if there is such a danger when mixing cyclists and pedestrians (big IF) why do so many councils get to use thier cycling budget on shared use paths. It should be OK for all paths beyond a certain width (no markings required) or none at all.

 

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Rik Mayals unde... replied to EK Spinner | 4 years ago
1 like
EK Spinner wrote:

looking at this from a wider perspective, if there is such a danger when mixing cyclists and pedestrians (big IF) why do so many councils get to use thier cycling budget on shared use paths. It should be OK for all paths beyond a certain width (no markings required) or none at all.

 

Because all they need to do is paint some stick people and bike outlines on the ground. Hey presto! A shared path. Criteria met!

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Capercaillie replied to Rik Mayals underpants | 4 years ago
3 likes
biker phil wrote:
EK Spinner wrote:

looking at this from a wider perspective, if there is such a danger when mixing cyclists and pedestrians (big IF) why do so many councils get to use thier cycling budget on shared use paths. It should be OK for all paths beyond a certain width (no markings required) or none at all.

 

Because all they need to do is paint some stick people and bike outlines on the ground. Hey presto! A shared path. Criteria met!

There used to be a no cycling sign at the entrance to an underpass under a busy A road near my village. I generally just used to slow right down to walking pace. One day some officious Rotary Club members decided to "police" the restricion, demanding loudly “dismount". I hate arguments so obeyed.
A few weeks later I happened to be talking to a Green party parish Councillor who told me he was pretty sure there was no byelaw to enforce this restriction. The subway was closed shortly after this due to the construction of a roundabout on the road above. When it reopened the restriction signs had been removed and separate cycle and pedestrian paths had been created.

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Oldfatgit | 4 years ago
5 likes

No cycling ...
There's no official footpath or bridleway there either according to the statement.

So pedestrians shouldn't be walking along there either.

Maybe Council should have officers down there stopping pedestrians?

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Sriracha replied to Oldfatgit | 4 years ago
4 likes
Oldfatgit wrote:

No cycling ...
There's no official footpath or bridleway there either according to the statement.

So pedestrians shouldn't be walking along there either.

Maybe Council should have officers down there stopping pedestrians?

It's a public space as far as I understand. So people are not restricted to walking only on designated public footpaths, they can roam freely - thank goodness. However, if it were a footpath then cyclist would be prohibited from using it.

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