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Bournemouth cyclist arrested after alleged collision with seafront chief

And Weston-super-Mare promises cycling 'crackdown'...

The saga of so-called speeding cyclists on Bournemouth’s promenade continues with the news that a cyclist has been arrested by police after an alleged collision – with the resort’s seafront chief.

According to the Bournemouth Echo, eyewitnesses reported seeing police officers setting up a makeshift trap to apprehend a male cyclist.

The operation followed reports that seafront manager Chris Saunders had been involved in an alleged incident with a cyclist after asking him to slow down. Mr Saunders had later attended a meeting and was not believed to be seriously injured.

Bob Collinson, 67, on holiday from West Yorkshire, was sitting outside his rented beach hut near Harry Ramsden’s restaurant when the police swooped.

“There was one police van, three cars and two woman officers on bikes,” he said. “There was a commotion and I looked through my binoculars to see them stop this guy and put him into a van.

“I heard there had been an incident between here and Boscombe.

“A police car reversed across the path to create a barrier across the promenade so he had no choice but to stop.”

A Christchurch woman also witnessed a man being detained. She said: “He came cycling up and got off his bike. They handcuffed him and put him in the van.”

A Bournemouth council spokesperson said: “We can confirm an incident took place on the seafront involving a member of staff and a cyclist.

“As the matter is now being investigated by Dorset Police it is not appropriate to comment further.”

Bloggers on the paper’s site reacted with amazement at the arrest. One commented: “I wish the local busy bodies, council, and police would put as much effort and conviction into real issues... such as the local problem with drink, drugs, violence, and vandalism. This whole on-going saga is pathetic.”

Another, ‘Gooby’, posted: “Just pathetic. I am so glad our police have plenty of time to stop a cyclist on the prom. For a start there is no point in a 10mph speed limit, there is no legislation that demands that a cycle has to have any method for measuring speed. How would a cyclist know if he was doing 10mph?

"It is yet another unenforceable "rule" by a bunch of NIMBY pensioners on the council. Instead of mindless bans for cyclists, for whom there are zero facilities in Bournemouth, perhaps the council would stop wasting money and give the prom a cycle lane.

"The public transport in the area is a joke. The government (and local government) want us out of our cars and now cyclists are the problem?”

In 2007 (the latest figures available), 38 people were killed or seriously injured cycling on the roads of Bournemouth. There were 114 casualties overall

* Cycling in Weston-super-Mare’s pedestrianised town centre will be targeted as part of a crackdown on ‘anti-social behaviour’, local police have said.

Anyone found cycling on designated pavements will be stopped and given a £30 fixed penalty notice, police Inspector Liz Keogh warned.

The move is in direct contrast to the policy operated in Darlington, where riding in the pedestrianised town centre is legal and there have been no reported accidents or incidents involving cyclists.

Inspector Keogh said: "We are planning a course of action this summer to tackle antisocial behaviour, cycling is part of that following the number of complaints we have received.

"We get reports of it not just in the town centre but in other parts of the town.

"Anyone found cycling on the pavements will be dealt with in the appropriate manner."

In 2007 (the latest figures available), 8 people were killed or seriously injured cycling on the roads of North Somerset, of which Weston-Super-Mare is the largest town. There were 48 cycling casualties overall

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Kevin Steinhardt | 14 years ago

I don't think there's a Traffic Regulation Order on the promenade, and thus there wouldn't be an 'enforceable' speed limit.

Muddy Ford | 14 years ago

I grew up locally here, and still cycle every day along the prom. It hasnt really got any busier over the years. Our local police have always been like this, even as a kid I remember the 'oppress those who don't give you any grief back' attitude. They want their job to be easy so easy targets are the norm. First town to get cameras along the beach and in town..why police in person with a friendly face when you can sit back and watch from afar. You get used to it. This is just another step in that direction. They love to spend our taxpayers money. They recently acquired a new police helicopter that costs £1000 per hour to use, apparently to catch joyriders and hard criminals just like on TV....of course....  39

OldRidgeback | 15 years ago

It sounds like Bournemouth would be a great place for critical mass to target. Can you imagine the fuss if 1,000 cyclists descended and cycled up and down at a leisurely pace for a few hours? Perhaps if the riders wore masks showing the faces of the local councillors involved, the point would be even clearer. If I was a tax payer in Bournemouth, I'd be pretty annoyed that my tax money was being wasted on foolishness such as policing the prom. This means that fewer police resources will be available for important things, like cracking down on crime.

Perhaps an investigation of the expenses of the council members who came up with this crackpot scheme might be in order. It might reveal why they think cyclists are so dangerous, or it might just get them kicked out of the posts for which they are evidently so unsuitable. Either way it'd be a success.

Jon Burrage | 15 years ago

its utterly outrageous. The people who run the council seem to think they can bend and create laws to suit themselves. We used to live in a democracy, why not do what the french do..strike until people take notice. We have far too much of a "just let it go" attitude.

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