Pedestrians 'will be at risk from cyclists' if Lakes path is widened, claim critics

The Westmorland Gazette: DANGER! Grasmere cycle path warning DANGER! Grasmere cycle path warning

A PARISH councillor has hit out at plans to widen a Lake District footpath, saying the area is being opened up to ‘dangerous cyclists’.

Lakes Parish councillor Paul Truelove has slammed a decision to lay down a ‘wheelchair-friendly’ route through Penny Rock Wood, Grasmere, saying it will put pedestrians and disabled users at risk.

“Cyclists are fine in smallish numbers, but in Grasmere we get a lot of groups coming along, cycling where people walk,” he said. “On a slope there’s the temptation for people to go fast. Then it becomes dangerous. Opening up the footpath isn’t for cyclists — but I fear that’s who will use it.”

The plans were unanimously approved by the Lake District National Park Authority’s development control committee.

The authority itself put in the application to improve the surface of the footpath, widen it from 1.5m to 2m and install two new ‘zig zag’ sections of path to reduce the gradient on the steepest parts.

Friends of the Lake District gave its approval to the plans, saying the new path would increase access for both cyclists and disabled people.

But members of the Lakes Parish Council voted unanimously against the plans, saying it would be ‘a misuse of the natural environment’ and will ‘defile Penny Rock’s natural beauty’.

“They’re taking away from what’s a very, very attractive landscape at the minute,” said Coun Truelove.

Last month LDNPA planners also put in an application to rebuild a footbridge at White Moss, which will see the existing steps replaced with ramps. This, they said, will facilitate access for pedestrians with prams, wheelchairs, and, subject to the path being upgraded to bridleway status, bicycles.

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However, at the development control meeting members agreed cyclists will only be able to use the Penny Rock Wood route if it is elevated to bridleway status, which will be determined at a later date.

“This scheme will bring about demonstrable improvements to the local rights of way network, providing a safe off-road pedestrian and cyclist alternative to the busy and at time fast, A591, A-road,” they said.

Comments (13)

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6:07pm Tue 18 Feb 14

jazzactivist says...

It's not right to stop the widening of the path for everyone to use just because of the risk of dangerous cycling though. There's a lot that can be done, such as putting a speed limit on the path or requiring cyclists to dismount and push their bikes. I agree that there is a contingent of cyclists in the Lakes, or who visit the Lakes. who ride dangerously and don't care enough about others, and they are the ones who need to be curbed while allowing gentle cycling to still take place. More thought and less bluster would be a more appropriate approach for a councillor, Mr Truelove.
It's not right to stop the widening of the path for everyone to use just because of the risk of dangerous cycling though. There's a lot that can be done, such as putting a speed limit on the path or requiring cyclists to dismount and push their bikes. I agree that there is a contingent of cyclists in the Lakes, or who visit the Lakes. who ride dangerously and don't care enough about others, and they are the ones who need to be curbed while allowing gentle cycling to still take place. More thought and less bluster would be a more appropriate approach for a councillor, Mr Truelove. jazzactivist
  • Score: 3

7:13pm Tue 18 Feb 14

hogheaven says...

If it was that simple, trying to slow down some cyclists( not all) is impossible, they just do not care about other path users.Since the towpaths alongside the canal were improved some use it like a race track, timing themselves along a certain route.None give warning of their approach,they do not slow down,most have no bell to ring and its up to you to fling yourself,child or dog out of their way.The countryside is there to be enjoyed by all, just slow down and and appreciate it.
If it was that simple, trying to slow down some cyclists( not all) is impossible, they just do not care about other path users.Since the towpaths alongside the canal were improved some use it like a race track, timing themselves along a certain route.None give warning of their approach,they do not slow down,most have no bell to ring and its up to you to fling yourself,child or dog out of their way.The countryside is there to be enjoyed by all, just slow down and and appreciate it. hogheaven
  • Score: -27

8:04pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Milkbutnosugarplease says...

Oh dear, it's hard to relax on a footpath when you fear some macho twerp on a mountain bike thundering up from behind. If the path is 2 metres wide, perhaps it's best to mark the middle with stone setts and have one side for foot / slow traffic and one side for fast / bikes.
Oh dear, it's hard to relax on a footpath when you fear some macho twerp on a mountain bike thundering up from behind. If the path is 2 metres wide, perhaps it's best to mark the middle with stone setts and have one side for foot / slow traffic and one side for fast / bikes. Milkbutnosugarplease
  • Score: -21

8:13pm Tue 18 Feb 14

hogheaven says...

Milkbutnosugarplease wrote:
Oh dear, it's hard to relax on a footpath when you fear some macho twerp on a mountain bike thundering up from behind. If the path is 2 metres wide, perhaps it's best to mark the middle with stone setts and have one side for foot / slow traffic and one side for fast / bikes.
Yes dividing it might work ,they do this quite a lot in California on sea front paths ,also used by roller skaters, but this is on tarmac. I dont think you could paint white lines on forest tracks!
[quote][p][bold]Milkbutnosugarplease[/bold] wrote: Oh dear, it's hard to relax on a footpath when you fear some macho twerp on a mountain bike thundering up from behind. If the path is 2 metres wide, perhaps it's best to mark the middle with stone setts and have one side for foot / slow traffic and one side for fast / bikes.[/p][/quote]Yes dividing it might work ,they do this quite a lot in California on sea front paths ,also used by roller skaters, but this is on tarmac. I dont think you could paint white lines on forest tracks! hogheaven
  • Score: -26

10:29am Wed 19 Feb 14

jazzactivist says...

I agree with you both, as I'm no fan of the extreme cyclists that we have whizzing around the Lakes, and have been knocked over once and had a close call a second time by cyclists who didn't even bother to stop - just shouted abuse. I think the type of cycling that should be encouraged is slow leisure cycling, and the speedsters treated like speeding motorists. We wouldn't accept a horse rider galloping along a bridle path used by pedestrians and cyclists, so why should we accept speeding cyclists. But there must be a range of ways to ensure that everyone who uses wider paths does so in a considerate way. Your idea of dividing the path sounds good.

I do think we should expect more of our councillors than posturing and extreme views though. They are meant to be elected and representing the local community, so coming up with workable solutions to problems and potential problems should be their focus.
I agree with you both, as I'm no fan of the extreme cyclists that we have whizzing around the Lakes, and have been knocked over once and had a close call a second time by cyclists who didn't even bother to stop - just shouted abuse. I think the type of cycling that should be encouraged is slow leisure cycling, and the speedsters treated like speeding motorists. We wouldn't accept a horse rider galloping along a bridle path used by pedestrians and cyclists, so why should we accept speeding cyclists. But there must be a range of ways to ensure that everyone who uses wider paths does so in a considerate way. Your idea of dividing the path sounds good. I do think we should expect more of our councillors than posturing and extreme views though. They are meant to be elected and representing the local community, so coming up with workable solutions to problems and potential problems should be their focus. jazzactivist
  • Score: -28

11:06am Wed 19 Feb 14

Grumpyoldbiker says...

Milkbutnosugarplease wrote:
Oh dear, it's hard to relax on a footpath when you fear some macho twerp on a mountain bike thundering up from behind. If the path is 2 metres wide, perhaps it's best to mark the middle with stone setts and have one side for foot / slow traffic and one side for fast / bikes.
Who is going to 'police' the lycra brigade? This area is not suitable for a stage of the Tour Of France thank you very much. Perhaps when the income from the car parks reduces as families go elsewhere the LDNPA may take note.
[quote][p][bold]Milkbutnosugarplease[/bold] wrote: Oh dear, it's hard to relax on a footpath when you fear some macho twerp on a mountain bike thundering up from behind. If the path is 2 metres wide, perhaps it's best to mark the middle with stone setts and have one side for foot / slow traffic and one side for fast / bikes.[/p][/quote]Who is going to 'police' the lycra brigade? This area is not suitable for a stage of the Tour Of France thank you very much. Perhaps when the income from the car parks reduces as families go elsewhere the LDNPA may take note. Grumpyoldbiker
  • Score: -23

2:15pm Wed 19 Feb 14

flora_f00 says...

Cyclists are a danger to pedestrians anyway. They usually mount the pavement on the high street, they'll treat this like an off road path unless a compromise is reached and all parties are catered for.
Cyclists are a danger to pedestrians anyway. They usually mount the pavement on the high street, they'll treat this like an off road path unless a compromise is reached and all parties are catered for. flora_f00
  • Score: -25

2:41pm Wed 19 Feb 14

greenbell says...

We have just returned from Spain where, in lots of coastal resorts the footpath is divided into two lanes, one for cyclists and one for pedestrians and it works so why not in Britain. We used our bikes to go everywhere with no problems.
We have just returned from Spain where, in lots of coastal resorts the footpath is divided into two lanes, one for cyclists and one for pedestrians and it works so why not in Britain. We used our bikes to go everywhere with no problems. greenbell
  • Score: 14

3:17pm Wed 19 Feb 14

jazzactivist says...

I agree, greenbell. Friends of mine moved to Spain last year and bought bikes instead of a car, as it is so much easier to cycle there. It is mainly about attitude though - in other countries people enjoy riding their bikes and it is a sociable activity but, somehow, Britain seems create antisocial cyclists. That, combined with everything expected to be the cheapest possible solution doesn't create a good combination where everyone can benefit. It must be easy enough to put down stone setts to create cycling and pedestrian lanes.
I agree, greenbell. Friends of mine moved to Spain last year and bought bikes instead of a car, as it is so much easier to cycle there. It is mainly about attitude though - in other countries people enjoy riding their bikes and it is a sociable activity but, somehow, Britain seems create antisocial cyclists. That, combined with everything expected to be the cheapest possible solution doesn't create a good combination where everyone can benefit. It must be easy enough to put down stone setts to create cycling and pedestrian lanes. jazzactivist
  • Score: -19

4:54pm Thu 20 Feb 14

carlspur says...

I have said it before and will say it again, who gave the Friends of the Lake District , permission to "allow" planning decisions ??, the ELECTED council said no but the LDNPA said yes and probably because the money from FOLD will stop if they disagree ??. sorry to be so cynical but all I read is the unelected quango's give the decisions that are opposite to the elected body, the idea to give access to wheelchairs is a good one but it obviously is a worry to people as per the above comments, the local council has listened and acted , but yet again they get trampled over by the unelected,
I have said it before and will say it again, who gave the Friends of the Lake District , permission to "allow" planning decisions ??, the ELECTED council said no but the LDNPA said yes and probably because the money from FOLD will stop if they disagree ??. sorry to be so cynical but all I read is the unelected quango's give the decisions that are opposite to the elected body, the idea to give access to wheelchairs is a good one but it obviously is a worry to people as per the above comments, the local council has listened and acted , but yet again they get trampled over by the unelected, carlspur
  • Score: -1

9:29am Fri 21 Feb 14

life cycle too says...

There are more negative votes here than there are comments, which means some people are reading but not commenting!

It is worth bearing in mind that there are a few arrogant cyclists who WOULD be a danger to other users... but they are probably already a danger on the existing narrower track.
Just because the track would be widened to the clear benefit of wheelchair and disability scooter users, does not necessarily mean it would encourage MORE bad cycling behavior.
In Southport, some disability scooter users are as much a danger on the pavements as any cyclists I have encountered, but that is not a reason to tar them all with the same brush!
There are more negative votes here than there are comments, which means some people are reading but not commenting! It is worth bearing in mind that there are a few arrogant cyclists who WOULD be a danger to other users... but they are probably already a danger on the existing narrower track. Just because the track would be widened to the clear benefit of wheelchair and disability scooter users, does not necessarily mean it would encourage MORE bad cycling behavior. In Southport, some disability scooter users are as much a danger on the pavements as any cyclists I have encountered, but that is not a reason to tar them all with the same brush! life cycle too
  • Score: -7

10:49am Sat 22 Feb 14

Andrew1980 says...

Hello people, I have been living in spain for the past year, and while it is true as other people have mentioned the costal towns have separated lanes to ease the relationship between cyclists and pedestrians. The law regarding cyclists is very different here. They are protected by law, they have right of way in every circumstance , yes even bike vs. truck.
While this may seem good on paper, it is not. They abuse there privileges at every turn. The amount of people who get hit by bikes when crossing the street at the geen man is not funny any more. On Sundays most roads outside madrid look like a Tour de France. They can ride in groups five or six breast that causes huge problems on the road, Leading the average motorist to take stupid risks in passing them. As they will not lat you past, the law is on there side and they abuse the privilege.
Hello people, I have been living in spain for the past year, and while it is true as other people have mentioned the costal towns have separated lanes to ease the relationship between cyclists and pedestrians. The law regarding cyclists is very different here. They are protected by law, they have right of way in every circumstance , yes even bike vs. truck. While this may seem good on paper, it is not. They abuse there privileges at every turn. The amount of people who get hit by bikes when crossing the street at the geen man is not funny any more. On Sundays most roads outside madrid look like a Tour de France. They can ride in groups five or six breast that causes huge problems on the road, Leading the average motorist to take stupid risks in passing them. As they will not lat you past, the law is on there side and they abuse the privilege. Andrew1980
  • Score: -5

10:25pm Sun 23 Feb 14

brokenbanjo says...

Trollfest!!!!
Trollfest!!!! brokenbanjo
  • Score: -3

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