Alex Bowden November 22 2017
After a year-long trial during which there were zero incidents, cycling is to be permitted on Felixstowe promenade.
A call to lift the bylaw banning cycling on the prom was made by the Ipswich Star in 2013 on the utterly common sense grounds that everyone was doing it anyway and there really didn’t seem to be much of a problem.
“Most cyclists don’t even realise they are breaking a bylaw,” said the newspaper – pointing out that there were few “no cycling” signs along the prom, and none at the natural entrances for cyclists.
A year-long trial permitting cycling has now passed without incident and of the 35 comments received after an appeal for feedback, 22 were in favour of the change. Seven people were against it, while six expressed concerns or suggestions on improvements if the bylaw was not enforced.
The suggestions included the need for cyclists to show consideration to pedestrians at busy times and in congested places – something Cycling UK said was likely to happen anyway.
In a recommendation to lift the ban, the charity said that, “segregating cyclists and imposing speed limits on them along seafronts and promenades is unnecessary: research shows that cyclists modify their behaviour in the presence of pedestrians, for example by slowing down, taking avoiding action or dismounting as necessary.”
The possibility of a segregated lane for cyclists was also suggested in feedback to the trial and is being considered.
They’re also going to splash out on a few more signs.
TJ Haworth-Culf, Suffolk Coastal District cabinet member with responsibility for customers, communities and leisure, said: “To promote safe cycling and warn pedestrians of the mixed use for the shared space, permanent signage will be required at key points along the prom, particularly in areas where the prom narrows or there is a high footfall, such as near the Pier Head.
“The location of these signs requires careful assessment prior to placing as there are multiple entrances onto the prom, either through the floodgates and general ‘walk on’ entrances or further north, where access is completely unrestricted all the way up to Cobbold’s Point as the prom merges with the footpath along the side of Undercliff Road.”