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Cameras to track cycle speeds along Bournemouth seafront

Council on the hunt for speeding cyclists

Cyclists riding faster than 10 mph along Bournemouth sea front this summer risk being caught on CCTV.

The town’s borough council has stepped after a number of complaints about cyclists riding ‘dangerously’ and anyone caught will be provided with advice and information about seafront rules.

The move is the latest in a string of cycling-and-seafronts stories reported by this week. We described how a last-minute U-turn by Portsmouth’s council leader stopped a plan to open up Southsea prom to cyclists in its track, which was followed by a victory for cyclists in Edinburgh after a ban on riding along Portobello prom was lifted after 20 years.

Bournemouth does have a shared cycle/pedestrian lane along the promenade part of its seafront, but in July and August cyclists can only use it before 10am and after 6pm.

According to the Bournemouth Echo, beach hut owners are supporting the council’s latest initiative.

Last August, a two-year-old was rushed to hospital following a collision with a cyclist at Alum Chine. The child suffered a deep cut that went right through her ear, as well as other cuts and bruises.

Jim Dooley, who has a hut at West Cliff, said many cyclists were still riding dangerously: “We see loads of people who ride far too fast. They’re going to hit a little kid sooner or later, it’s only a matter of time.”

Officers will be down on the seafront four times this month to see how many cyclists currently break the 10mph speed limit.

But the council does not have the power to hand out fines to those cycling too fast, because cyclists are unable to monitor their own speed.

However, it can hand out fines to those who breach the ban on cycling on the promenade, which it says it intends to do.

Charmaine Andrews, service development officer for leisure services, said: “We have a duty to ensure the promenade is a safe environment for people to enjoy. We have had reports of people speeding on bikes along the seafront and what we don’t want to see is a cyclist racing along the promenade accidentally knocking down a small child that gets in his or her way.”

Officers will be on the seafront this Saturday and Sunday, next Wednesday (June 10) and Thursday, June 18.

Courtney James, a hut owner since 1982, said: “What I don’t like about the cyclists is they dart and swerve amongst pedestrians rather than ease up on their speed.

“I’ve had one cyclist ride into me while I’ve been sat here and we see lots of minor accidents and near misses.”

Last summer, seafront wardens and police community support officers failed to issue any fines to cyclists caught flouting the ban but did hand out formal warning letters to 32 cyclists.

Comment to the Echo’s website included one from Peggy Babcock in Poole, who said that cycling along the prom was the safest way to commute, and that “a speed limit is useless as it cannot be enforced.”

She added: “I'm all for having restrictions, but why a blanket ban during July and August? Take an approach whereby if it is not busy (e.g. bad weather), then relax the rules. If it is busy, then enforce them.

“Other times of the year can be just as busy (sunny weekends). Why are rules not enforced then? I know why - there is no-one to do it in the off-season.”

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OldRidgeback | 14 years ago

Pedestrians with nasty dogs are the worst! I was tempted to put chilli in a water bottle after a couple of incidents.

John_the_Monkey | 14 years ago

I hate shared paths - bad for pedestrians and cyclists alike.

I wouldn't use the one I use up in Manchester now, had a bus driver not made it clear to me that my presence on the road when the path was available meant that he was perfectly entitled to crush me beneath his wheels.

I find the best mindset to use is one of not expecting to get anywhere fast on them, whilst expecting that pedestrians will obstruct you from time to time. Live and let live, and all that.

Jon Burrage | 14 years ago

Sorry but everyone needs to take responsibility. Cyclists need to ride to the conditions and as such slow down where there are pedestrians but at the same time pedestrians should be aware of cyclists using the same paths.

Here on the bristol bath cycletrack the number of times families and older people walk 4 or 5 abreast completely blocking the path is madness, then they get angry when you ask to get past. We both use these paths, tracks, seafronts.

Cylists ride to the conditions, pedestrians the world is not meant to revolve around you so have some awareness.

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