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Prom bike ban reprieve for Bournemouth and Poole cyclists

Council chief had given “one more weekend” ultimatum to ride responsibly or lose the right

Cyclists in Bournemouth and Poole will not be banned from cycling on the Dorset town’s promenade after the leader of the local council said she would not implement a threat made last week to stop people riding their bikes there.

Last week, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council leader Vikki Slade had warned during a Q&A session on Facebook that cyclists had “one more weekend” to prove they could ride responsibly on the seafront path.

> Bournemouth seafront cyclists given “one more weekend” to ride responsibly

The Liberal Democrat councillor said that some people had been riding too quickly on the shared-used path, while others had been riding in groups.

However, she explained that rather than implementing an immediate ban, the council wanted to use the weekend to assess the impact of the partial relaxation of lockdown restrictions.

On Monday, she confirmed that the council has no plans to ban cyclists from the prom “at this stage,” but will continue to monitor the situation, reports the Bournemouth Echo.

She said: “The lifting of restrictions nationally has meant people are able to do more in their leisure time now.

“For our seafront, this has meant people spending time on the beach, and seems to have led to more of a return to normal in terms of the number of cyclists on the promenade.

“In turn this has made the promenade more accessible and made social distancing easier.

“We still require cyclists to observe the speed limit, to give priority to pedestrians and to give all those they pass a two-metre wide berth and not to cycle in groups.

“At this stage, I won’t be asking members or officers to consider a ban of cyclists from the prom. This will be kept under review,” she added.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council was created in 2018, with the three local authorities it placed all being controlled by the Conservative Party at the time.

The first elections for the new unitary combined authority were held in May last year.

While the Tories won the greatest number of seats, they did not secure a majority and the council is controlled by the Unity Alliance which comprises a number of independent councillors, as well as those from parties including Labour, the Liberal Democrat and the Green Party.

In 2018, Councillor Pat Oakley, who held the Tourism, Leisure & The Arts cabinet portfolio at the then Conservative-controlled Bournemouth Borough Council, said that cyclists riding on the promenade was “perhaps the most commentated on and divisive challenge we have.”

> Bournemouth Borough Council rules out promenade cycle lanes as ‘Prom Wars’ continue

Cyclists are banned from some parts of the promenade year-round, and from the whole length of it from 10am to 6pm in July and August, and the issue of what some have referred to as “Prom Wars” regularly crops up in the local press.

Riders must give pedestrians priority, and there is a 10mph speed limit, with the council putting electronic signs in place to remind cyclists travelling in excess of that speed to slow down.

> £12,000 digital signs warn Bournemouth promenade cyclists to cut their speed

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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JUD KIRK | 3 years ago

Bit of background to this. The prom is about 8 miles long. The central section between the two piers is about a mile and a quarter and is by far the busiest bit. It is however a road/car park for which the council charge silly money so there is absolutely no way this bit will be closed. The rest of it varies in width of so some of it is fairly safe, even in peak summer, but other parts are difficult to run down let alone cycle. However the council likes to be seen promoting sustainable transport hence the cycle route along the prom. As usual though with this council little thought goes into how they spend taxpayers
money (especially the Highways Department who are particullaly badly run) Hence we have very poor quality roads but several mindless shared spaces including one on the A35 through Boscombe (perhaps the council were hoping all the drug users would get wiped out by the cars and cyclists) and idiotic contra flow cycle lanes: not foorgetting the speed signs on the prom. What the leader of the council also kept quiet was the fact that they franchise a cycle hire scheme on the prom.

mr_pickles2 | 3 years ago

This must be the best example of why "shared space" infrastructure is not good for anyone!

StuInNorway | 3 years ago

Are they also banning all drivers from roads because "Some drivers drive too fast and too close to each other" ?

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