Fears over bid for cycle route through Rothay Park at Ambleside

There are fears the creation of a cycle route in Rothay Park, Ambleside, could encourage cyclists to speed through

There are fears the creation of a cycle route in Rothay Park, Ambleside, could encourage cyclists to speed through

First published in News The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

STRONG opposition to linking a bike route through Ambleside to the national cycle network was expressed at a Lakes Parish Council meeting.

But councillors were told the move must be put in a ‘strategic context’ as the town was central to a cycle network and the development of sustainable transport was essential.

The Lake District National Park Authority’s sustainable development director Steve Ratcliffe said consultation exercises showed a majority of residents in favour of a cycle route through town.

But opinion was split on whether a shared route – pedestrians and bikes – through Rothay Park to the Under Loughrigg road was favourable to a route via Stoney Lane.

Residents’ views on all sides of the debate were heard at the meeting and there was strong opposition to the Rothay Park option because of dangers posed by speeding cyclists to primary school children in Vicarage Road, and to people of all ages walking or relaxing in the park.

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“Making Rothay Park part of a national route will have cyclists forging through,” said Dr David Earnshaw. “Our park is a carefree wander zone and this mustn’t change. A change of use would be required for a shared path.”

Harry Manning, chairman of Ambleside Civic Trust, said his committee had fully supported the initial plan for a Stoney Lane cycle route, which involved crossing land owned by the Kelsick Foundation but leased to Cumbria Cumbria Council.

The meeting was told this plan had fallen through, and although Cumbria University was now keen to adapt part of its playing field to create a new Stoney Lane route, short-term funding was insufficient.

Mr Manning added that the trust did not see the need at all for a cycle route. But he said Rothay Park would pose fewer risks with new signage, possible widening of the path and flashing amber warning lights on either side of the school.

Parent and cyclist Barry Porter said the parish council should back a cycle route to promote children’s fitness and health and support Ambleside’s three bike shops. Coun Anne Sowerbutts described Ambleside as being under ‘terrific siege’ now that Sainsbury’s were coming. She said the town also faced the impact on trade of the introduction of parking meters, and a possible two new hotels.

Mr Ratcliffe said although he had every sympathy with local views, they could not try to stop discussion about Ambleside’s future. He said central government had funded a three-year, £3m visitor-focused project to enable GoLakes to develop sustainable transport.

“Cyclists using Google looking for local routes are already using Rothay Park, so let’s step in and manage it now,” he said.

Comments (35)

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8:06pm Wed 30 Apr 14

amblesideruth says...

I think a cycle route through the park would be an excellent idea and there is plenty of space for everyone. In other parts of the country and in towns (where there is even less space) all park users can co exist ..why not in Ambleside? it is a great pity that the parish council has members who see cyclists as nothing but a hazard and a nuisance rather than supporting this popular form of exercise and sustainable transportation. I wonder how many children have learnt to ride their bikes in Rothay Park over the years !
I think a cycle route through the park would be an excellent idea and there is plenty of space for everyone. In other parts of the country and in towns (where there is even less space) all park users can co exist ..why not in Ambleside? it is a great pity that the parish council has members who see cyclists as nothing but a hazard and a nuisance rather than supporting this popular form of exercise and sustainable transportation. I wonder how many children have learnt to ride their bikes in Rothay Park over the years ! amblesideruth
  • Score: 40

10:02pm Wed 30 Apr 14

Ursula B says...

Many parents and people in Ambleside definitely want a cycle path through the park. Cyclists already use the park and it would be far better to have a designated route. The more cycle paths the more it will encourage people to leave their cars and use sustainable transport. I really hope this goes ahead. It is a minority of people who don't want it. I already have a petition of 30 parents who live in Ambleside and do want it.
Many parents and people in Ambleside definitely want a cycle path through the park. Cyclists already use the park and it would be far better to have a designated route. The more cycle paths the more it will encourage people to leave their cars and use sustainable transport. I really hope this goes ahead. It is a minority of people who don't want it. I already have a petition of 30 parents who live in Ambleside and do want it. Ursula B
  • Score: 34

7:39am Thu 1 May 14

tourer says...

As keen cyclist for many years, this is a really great idea, and would work well, in and around the Ambleside and the area in general. Getting folk out cycling has huge health benefits as well as exploring the lovely area for everyone to see. also with the recent increase in cycling and also one of the greatest sporting events in the world coming near in july THE TOUR DE FRANCE, lets celebrate cycling for ALL.......ALLEZ ALLEZ.............
As keen cyclist for many years, this is a really great idea, and would work well, in and around the Ambleside and the area in general. Getting folk out cycling has huge health benefits as well as exploring the lovely area for everyone to see. also with the recent increase in cycling and also one of the greatest sporting events in the world coming near in july THE TOUR DE FRANCE, lets celebrate cycling for ALL.......ALLEZ ALLEZ............. tourer
  • Score: 31

11:30am Thu 1 May 14

davidearnshaw says...

Interesting comments from amblesideruth and Ursula B. There may be plenty of room in Rothay park, but what is being proposed is the establishment of a new Nationally documented and recognised National Cycle Route, being superimposed on what is now and has been for generations, a pleasant and generally quiet safe path, along which folks and children of all ages can stroll, run around and play, without having to be "bike aware"; toddlers are in a "free to run" area, and the elderly, and slightly infirm, possibly deaf, hitherto can wander along the path to the river and round the riverside walk back through the park; with the coming of a "right of way" for cyclists, we could and will undoubtedly see them viewing it as their right, groups of "dedicated" and club cyclists demanding their portion of tarmac to use the route ---- generations of youngsters have gained their cycle wheels in the park ----- no problem at all --- they are usually helped and supervised by adults; families' rideouts should and already do not present a problem, because they respect other park users; I am all for promoting such healthy activity along with sustainable transport --- but there will be no escaping the sad fact, that once the route becomes "official" it will be used and abused by a small but significant minority who will, despite signs asking otherwise, ----- career through at speed, without warnings to pedestrians they are approaching from behind -- not to mention the small children who as I have said have hitherto had the freedom to play, run and roam anywhere in this park --- and that includes running across the path, possibly chasing a football ---- why change this when there are alternative routes ?? ( which may take more effort to organise ) why as has been suggested, place gates in a hedge alongside the path to effectively divide what is now one big area for fun and recreation ---- Rothay Park was originally left to the people of Ambleside for their enjoyment, and that is how it should stay, and not become a "risk" area via cyclist / pedestrian collisions ---- just one would be one too many ----- over my years as an emergency focussed Dr in Ambleside, I have personally seen and treated many injured ( minor to very serious ) cyclists travelling too fast for the conditions in and around Ambleside and I have seen and treated a lady who was walking with her daughter and Grandchild on the shared Stavely to Ings route who has been left with permanent physical damage after being hit by a cyclist who gave no warning of approach. There are National statistics for "cyclist / pedestrian" collisions along with the results, that range from minor injuries to fatalities --- they are relatively small, but nevertheless significant ----- at this moment there is a virtually nil risk factor in Rothay Park ---- by making it an official route, it would be introducing this National Risk factor to the Park route ------ really --- do we want to or need to do that, when the Park is a great safe place for young and old right now, who have no need to be "cyclist aware" ??. This route also goes right past Ambleside Junior school, between 2 playgrounds --- at hometime 3.15 pm the road is filled side to side with parents and children for at least 15 mins ---- the potential for conflict here has to be significant with cyclists having their "official route" obstructed.
Interesting comments from amblesideruth and Ursula B. There may be plenty of room in Rothay park, but what is being proposed is the establishment of a new Nationally documented and recognised National Cycle Route, being superimposed on what is now and has been for generations, a pleasant and generally quiet safe path, along which folks and children of all ages can stroll, run around and play, without having to be "bike aware"; toddlers are in a "free to run" area, and the elderly, and slightly infirm, possibly deaf, hitherto can wander along the path to the river and round the riverside walk back through the park; with the coming of a "right of way" for cyclists, we could and will undoubtedly see them viewing it as their right, groups of "dedicated" and club cyclists demanding their portion of tarmac to use the route ---- generations of youngsters have gained their cycle wheels in the park ----- no problem at all --- they are usually helped and supervised by adults; families' rideouts should and already do not present a problem, because they respect other park users; I am all for promoting such healthy activity along with sustainable transport --- but there will be no escaping the sad fact, that once the route becomes "official" it will be used and abused by a small but significant minority who will, despite signs asking otherwise, ----- career through at speed, without warnings to pedestrians they are approaching from behind -- not to mention the small children who as I have said have hitherto had the freedom to play, run and roam anywhere in this park --- and that includes running across the path, possibly chasing a football ---- why change this when there are alternative routes ?? ( which may take more effort to organise ) why as has been suggested, place gates in a hedge alongside the path to effectively divide what is now one big area for fun and recreation ---- Rothay Park was originally left to the people of Ambleside for their enjoyment, and that is how it should stay, and not become a "risk" area via cyclist / pedestrian collisions ---- just one would be one too many ----- over my years as an emergency focussed Dr in Ambleside, I have personally seen and treated many injured ( minor to very serious ) cyclists travelling too fast for the conditions in and around Ambleside and I have seen and treated a lady who was walking with her daughter and Grandchild on the shared Stavely to Ings route who has been left with permanent physical damage after being hit by a cyclist who gave no warning of approach. There are National statistics for "cyclist / pedestrian" collisions along with the results, that range from minor injuries to fatalities --- they are relatively small, but nevertheless significant ----- at this moment there is a virtually nil risk factor in Rothay Park ---- by making it an official route, it would be introducing this National Risk factor to the Park route ------ really --- do we want to or need to do that, when the Park is a great safe place for young and old right now, who have no need to be "cyclist aware" ??. This route also goes right past Ambleside Junior school, between 2 playgrounds --- at hometime 3.15 pm the road is filled side to side with parents and children for at least 15 mins ---- the potential for conflict here has to be significant with cyclists having their "official route" obstructed. davidearnshaw
  • Score: -28

2:24pm Thu 1 May 14

WilliamT says...

This opposition to a cycle route is A/ Doomed and B/ Out of the Dark Ages. I am all for prosecuting cyclists who hit people, but this daft citing of cases where cyclists have hit pedestrians as an excuse for banning cycling is too much. Cars are always hitting other cars, cyclists and pedestrians, but they don't get banned.
This opposition to a cycle route is A/ Doomed and B/ Out of the Dark Ages. I am all for prosecuting cyclists who hit people, but this daft citing of cases where cyclists have hit pedestrians as an excuse for banning cycling is too much. Cars are always hitting other cars, cyclists and pedestrians, but they don't get banned. WilliamT
  • Score: 27

2:41pm Thu 1 May 14

Rootsmtb says...

Hi davidearnshaw

I believe that you may be misguided in your expectations of the behaviour of cyclists that would use the park.

High speed cyclists will not use the park, high speed cyclists are very much road orientated and no matter how many cycle lanes are put in place they will remain on the road as this is where they have the most space and freedom from pedestrians.

The main user of such a cycling route will be families and casual cyclists using Ambleside as a base for their cycle rides, and therefore returning to Ambleside at the end of their ride to spend money in local businesses on coffee and cakes.#

Another user of the route will be mountain bikers due to the excellent routes that are available in the surrounding areas. As you will well know, the town centre is regularly littered with mountain bikers again visiting local businesses to spend stupid amounts of money on bike spares and more coffee and cake. Despite what people may think, this user group is largely responsible and they get their kicks from riding down mountains, not from speeding through a park.

Any other cyclist that decides that they need to speed through the park when requested not to, will unfortunately be the type of cyclist that already speeds through the park when it is not an official route. The same way that some motorists speed when they shouldn't, the same way that some pedestrians step out into the one way system in Ambleside without looking. You can not stop the behaviour of these people but you can put measures in place to manage it.
Hi davidearnshaw I believe that you may be misguided in your expectations of the behaviour of cyclists that would use the park. High speed cyclists will not use the park, high speed cyclists are very much road orientated and no matter how many cycle lanes are put in place they will remain on the road as this is where they have the most space and freedom from pedestrians. The main user of such a cycling route will be families and casual cyclists using Ambleside as a base for their cycle rides, and therefore returning to Ambleside at the end of their ride to spend money in local businesses on coffee and cakes.# Another user of the route will be mountain bikers due to the excellent routes that are available in the surrounding areas. As you will well know, the town centre is regularly littered with mountain bikers again visiting local businesses to spend stupid amounts of money on bike spares and more coffee and cake. Despite what people may think, this user group is largely responsible and they get their kicks from riding down mountains, not from speeding through a park. Any other cyclist that decides that they need to speed through the park when requested not to, will unfortunately be the type of cyclist that already speeds through the park when it is not an official route. The same way that some motorists speed when they shouldn't, the same way that some pedestrians step out into the one way system in Ambleside without looking. You can not stop the behaviour of these people but you can put measures in place to manage it. Rootsmtb
  • Score: 33

2:59pm Thu 1 May 14

boris plasticmac says...

Last weekend I cycled the Lune paths at Lancaster with grandchildren. There was a mixture of walkers, rowers and cyclists, who all interacted without any problems.
If people use common sense and good manners on these routes everybody can have enjoyment of the amenity.
Last weekend I cycled the Lune paths at Lancaster with grandchildren. There was a mixture of walkers, rowers and cyclists, who all interacted without any problems. If people use common sense and good manners on these routes everybody can have enjoyment of the amenity. boris plasticmac
  • Score: 27

3:04pm Thu 1 May 14

ImFromAmbleside says...

Heaven forbid that people should be able to cycle in the park!

While I respect the views of Dr. Earnshaw, there are very few valid arguments against this as at the moment cyclists can speed past the primary/junior school anyway, just to be forced to stop at the entrance gates, dismount, and push their bikes through the park!

As for having to be 'bike aware' in the 'free to run' area of the park; there is such thing as personal responsibility, and unless we are only going to use the area for sitting perfectly still and not really doing anything at all then there will always be hazards we have to look out for; footballs/frisbees flying about, dogs running around, people on mobility scooters, sticks on the ground we could trip over, wet leaves to slip on......

The great thing about having a prescribed route is that the cyclists will have to stick to its narrow confines and the rest of us will have the other 8 or so acres left to play in.

I'm not a cyclist myself but have always found the 'no cycling' signs in the park ridiculous as, on the whole, cyclists are as keen to ride into a child as the child is to to be ridden into!

There are risks in everything we do or do not do, but it is patronizing and disingenuous to use these fears to hammer home an argument.

More people will continue visit and cycle through Ambleside, parents will always supervise their children, and people will still be able to have fun in and enjoy Rothay park. A designated cycle route through the park will not change anything, just make it more accessible.

This is a non issue.
Heaven forbid that people should be able to cycle in the park! While I respect the views of Dr. Earnshaw, there are very few valid arguments against this as at the moment cyclists can speed past the primary/junior school anyway, just to be forced to stop at the entrance gates, dismount, and push their bikes through the park! As for having to be 'bike aware' in the 'free to run' area of the park; there is such thing as personal responsibility, and unless we are only going to use the area for sitting perfectly still and not really doing anything at all then there will always be hazards we have to look out for; footballs/frisbees flying about, dogs running around, people on mobility scooters, sticks on the ground we could trip over, wet leaves to slip on...... The great thing about having a prescribed route is that the cyclists will have to stick to its narrow confines and the rest of us will have the other 8 or so acres left to play in. I'm not a cyclist myself but have always found the 'no cycling' signs in the park ridiculous as, on the whole, cyclists are as keen to ride into a child as the child is to to be ridden into! There are risks in everything we do or do not do, but it is patronizing and disingenuous to use these fears to hammer home an argument. More people will continue visit and cycle through Ambleside, parents will always supervise their children, and people will still be able to have fun in and enjoy Rothay park. A designated cycle route through the park will not change anything, just make it more accessible. This is a non issue. ImFromAmbleside
  • Score: 33

3:35pm Thu 1 May 14

Fenderee Durathor says...

Oh dear, is there a District Council election coming up in Ambleside this month? Last week it was the Parking Charges, this week it's Cyclists.

All I can see in this article - and the comment from David Earnshaw - is the panicked hand of Timid Farton trying to swing his local party members (who sit on the Parish Council & the Civic Trust) into picking on yet another group in an underhanded effort to break Purdah and win an election.

When Timid was fully backing the initiative to be able to cycle from Newby Bridge to Keswick along with the rest of the Muppets based in Yackland House - because he could claim "He single handedly brought £17m of investment into the area" - did you object then?

No? Didn't think so.

So please, for once, listen to what the community who DIDN'T elect you want, and not what Timid and the rest of your minority cronies who constantly elect you tell you!
Oh dear, is there a District Council election coming up in Ambleside this month? Last week it was the Parking Charges, this week it's Cyclists. All I can see in this article - and the comment from David Earnshaw - is the panicked hand of Timid Farton trying to swing his local party members (who sit on the Parish Council & the Civic Trust) into picking on yet another group in an underhanded effort to break Purdah and win an election. When Timid was fully backing the initiative to be able to cycle from Newby Bridge to Keswick along with the rest of the Muppets based in Yackland House - because he could claim "He single handedly brought £17m of investment into the area" - did you object then? No? Didn't think so. So please, for once, listen to what the community who DIDN'T elect you want, and not what Timid and the rest of your minority cronies who constantly elect you tell you! Fenderee Durathor
  • Score: 14

4:35pm Thu 1 May 14

ukmann says...

Just a thought ..... ; Here in Germany the roads are all divided into cars. Bikes and pedestrians. Everyone has their own lane .... It used to be, that cyclists not using the cycle path could be charged 10euro. They have recently changed the law to allow them back on the roads as it's statistically safer to cycle on the road than on the cycle path. Apparently people take more attention of cyclists on the road as they do on a cycle pates ...... !!
Just a thought ..... ; Here in Germany the roads are all divided into cars. Bikes and pedestrians. Everyone has their own lane .... It used to be, that cyclists not using the cycle path could be charged 10euro. They have recently changed the law to allow them back on the roads as it's statistically safer to cycle on the road than on the cycle path. Apparently people take more attention of cyclists on the road as they do on a cycle pates ...... !! ukmann
  • Score: 0

5:17pm Thu 1 May 14

Just a regular guy says...

Talk about scare-mongering! Surely the aim is to provide a family friendly route? And an attractive route for visitors, as this is the aim of Go Lakes Travel. This would help increase visitor spend in a town which is 'under terrific siege' as suggested in the article! Also, as someone else has commented, fast cyclists will not be looking to ride through a park to get their thrills, they'll be on a road or up a mountain. And you would be hard pressed to find evidence of pedestrian and cyclist collisions. Have the Parish Council actually been out and asked residents and visitors for their opinions? And I'm surprised a doctor wouldn't like to see more people using sustainable transport modes which involve exercise. Why not propose a trial and see what happens - those against it might actually be surprised.
Talk about scare-mongering! Surely the aim is to provide a family friendly route? And an attractive route for visitors, as this is the aim of Go Lakes Travel. This would help increase visitor spend in a town which is 'under terrific siege' as suggested in the article! Also, as someone else has commented, fast cyclists will not be looking to ride through a park to get their thrills, they'll be on a road or up a mountain. And you would be hard pressed to find evidence of pedestrian and cyclist collisions. Have the Parish Council actually been out and asked residents and visitors for their opinions? And I'm surprised a doctor wouldn't like to see more people using sustainable transport modes which involve exercise. Why not propose a trial and see what happens - those against it might actually be surprised. Just a regular guy
  • Score: 20

5:18pm Thu 1 May 14

Just a regular guy says...

Talk about scare mongering! Surely the aim is to provide a family friendly route? And an attractive route for visitors, as this is the aim of Go Lakes Travel. This would help increase visitor spend in a town which is 'under terrific siege' as suggested in the article! Also, as someone else has commented, fast cyclists will not be looking to ride through a park to get their thrills, they'll be on a road or up a mountain. And you would be hard pressed to find evidence of pedestrian and cyclist collisions. Have the Parish Council actually been out and asked residents and visitors for their opinions? And I'm surprised a doctor wouldn't like to see more people using sustainable transport modes which involve exercise. Why not propose a trial and see what happens - those against it might actually be surprised!
Talk about scare mongering! Surely the aim is to provide a family friendly route? And an attractive route for visitors, as this is the aim of Go Lakes Travel. This would help increase visitor spend in a town which is 'under terrific siege' as suggested in the article! Also, as someone else has commented, fast cyclists will not be looking to ride through a park to get their thrills, they'll be on a road or up a mountain. And you would be hard pressed to find evidence of pedestrian and cyclist collisions. Have the Parish Council actually been out and asked residents and visitors for their opinions? And I'm surprised a doctor wouldn't like to see more people using sustainable transport modes which involve exercise. Why not propose a trial and see what happens - those against it might actually be surprised! Just a regular guy
  • Score: 13

5:22pm Thu 1 May 14

barry@interporter.co.uk says...

Well all I can see in the comments here are people for the route to be installed and one persons personal quest not to have this route sanctioned. The arguments that Dave Earnshaw uses here are quite frankly ludicrous, a few years ago I was on the rescue team with Dr Earnshaw, he has treated people on the fells should we call for the fells to be closed. Come down everyone it's dangerous out there.... As for his comments about the school, he goes down and stands there for one day every now and again to try and prove his point. I go to the school most days at drop off and pick up times. I have never yet seen an accident or near accident in this area. The Parish Council are supposed to be representing the people of the Parish, I know of only one Councillor who actually owns and rides a bike. Just take a look at the comments here. As you may or may not be aware there is no bye-law stating that you cannot cycle in Rothay Park. The signs that are in place should indeed be removed by SLDC. Dave just let people use the facilities in Ambleside and to enjoy the surroundings, promise you no-one will die as a result of this route being used. As Steve Ratcliffe said from the National Park said let do this right as it almost certainly will happen anyway.....
Well all I can see in the comments here are people for the route to be installed and one persons personal quest not to have this route sanctioned. The arguments that Dave Earnshaw uses here are quite frankly ludicrous, a few years ago I was on the rescue team with Dr Earnshaw, he has treated people on the fells should we call for the fells to be closed. Come down everyone it's dangerous out there.... As for his comments about the school, he goes down and stands there for one day every now and again to try and prove his point. I go to the school most days at drop off and pick up times. I have never yet seen an accident or near accident in this area. The Parish Council are supposed to be representing the people of the Parish, I know of only one Councillor who actually owns and rides a bike. Just take a look at the comments here. As you may or may not be aware there is no bye-law stating that you cannot cycle in Rothay Park. The signs that are in place should indeed be removed by SLDC. Dave just let people use the facilities in Ambleside and to enjoy the surroundings, promise you no-one will die as a result of this route being used. As Steve Ratcliffe said from the National Park said let do this right as it almost certainly will happen anyway..... barry@interporter.co.uk
  • Score: 20

6:18pm Thu 1 May 14

WilliamT says...

Crikey! That's the fastest accrual of comments on a sensible (that's excluding the daft ones about parking charges etc.) topic I've seen on here. Excellent- looks like the Earnshaw Opposition is indeed doomed. All they need is a few signs warning people not to hit pedestrians/ kids and almost everyone will comply. The few who don't would not have been put off by any cycle ban anyway, as was well put above.
Crikey! That's the fastest accrual of comments on a sensible (that's excluding the daft ones about parking charges etc.) topic I've seen on here. Excellent- looks like the Earnshaw Opposition is indeed doomed. All they need is a few signs warning people not to hit pedestrians/ kids and almost everyone will comply. The few who don't would not have been put off by any cycle ban anyway, as was well put above. WilliamT
  • Score: 18

6:19pm Thu 1 May 14

davidearnshaw says...

Get your facts correct Fenderee Durathor I am no longer District or County Councillor ----- I became very disillusioned by the "political" interference in everyday local affairs ---- so I speak as " Jo Public ", nor am I a member of any council; I have lived in Ambleside for 40 yrs + and right now, the town is "under seige" ---- ?? Cycle Route, Parking Charges, A possible Premier Inn ----- do we really want to see a proliferation of street furniture of signs and Parking Meters ??. I am hoping the many folks who are against an official national cycling route through Rothay Park will start to speak up ---- as the saying goes --- if it ain't broke -- don't fix it ---- what most commentees so far seem to be saying is that they want cycling in the park to stay much as it is now ---- which is generally ok with some occasional exceptions; anyone saying otherwise must be blind ---- like it or not, we do get some cyclists racing through the park without thought or consideration for the majority users -- pedestrians; such behaviour is not acceptable and sooner or later even as things are now, there will be a pedestrian / cycle collision; legalising a formal route will just exacerbate and significantly increase the cyclist numbers and risk --- as said earlier --- why introduce an increased risk, and for folks to have to be " fast cycle " aware for themselves and their children, when the mix right now seems to work well ---- families pottering through relaxed on bike or foot, --- families and friends often chatting away fill the full width of the path ---- kids learning to ride, youngsters running freely ---- pretty idyllic I would say; I am not as is inferred trying to stop anything family friendly etc ---- just the introduction of those mindless cyclists who have already, ridden on town pavements ---- and on town roads against the traffic flow -- these people just don't care, they flout the rules and that is what they will do in the park -- continue to be inconsiderate and then abusive when challenged about their inconsiderate behaviour ** please note I am not referring to families wanting a pleasant recreational and considerate ride out **. Also please note ---- I do very much support anything such as cycling / running / walking that will go towards improving health ---- my thoughts are NOT to stop all cycling, as is being inferred -- leave things as they are, its ok as it is; there are good alternatives for a formal through route to Under Loughrigg.
Get your facts correct Fenderee Durathor I am no longer District or County Councillor ----- I became very disillusioned by the "political" interference in everyday local affairs ---- so I speak as " Jo Public ", nor am I a member of any council; I have lived in Ambleside for 40 yrs + and right now, the town is "under seige" ---- ?? Cycle Route, Parking Charges, A possible Premier Inn ----- do we really want to see a proliferation of street furniture of signs and Parking Meters ??. I am hoping the many folks who are against an official national cycling route through Rothay Park will start to speak up ---- as the saying goes --- if it ain't broke -- don't fix it ---- what most commentees so far seem to be saying is that they want cycling in the park to stay much as it is now ---- which is generally ok with some occasional exceptions; anyone saying otherwise must be blind ---- like it or not, we do get some cyclists racing through the park without thought or consideration for the majority users -- pedestrians; such behaviour is not acceptable and sooner or later even as things are now, there will be a pedestrian / cycle collision; legalising a formal route will just exacerbate and significantly increase the cyclist numbers and risk --- as said earlier --- why introduce an increased risk, and for folks to have to be " fast cycle " aware for themselves and their children, when the mix right now seems to work well ---- families pottering through relaxed on bike or foot, --- families and friends often chatting away fill the full width of the path ---- kids learning to ride, youngsters running freely ---- pretty idyllic I would say; I am not as is inferred trying to stop anything family friendly etc ---- just the introduction of those mindless cyclists who have already, ridden on town pavements ---- and on town roads against the traffic flow -- these people just don't care, they flout the rules and that is what they will do in the park -- continue to be inconsiderate and then abusive when challenged about their inconsiderate behaviour ** please note I am not referring to families wanting a pleasant recreational and considerate ride out **. Also please note ---- I do very much support anything such as cycling / running / walking that will go towards improving health ---- my thoughts are NOT to stop all cycling, as is being inferred -- leave things as they are, its ok as it is; there are good alternatives for a formal through route to Under Loughrigg. davidearnshaw
  • Score: -18

11:21pm Thu 1 May 14

Ursula B says...

Dear David, like you I am totally against parking meters, Premier Inn and Sainsburys in Ambleside but I am wholly for a cycle path. If you are a local family or tourist with young children who would like to ride under Loughrigg there is no safe way to currently get there. Cyclists currently may cycle quickly thro the Patk as they feel they shouldn't be there so lets make it official and do it well. There are too many cars on the roads in the Lakes. The more we can encourage cycling the better. I am with you 100% against parking meters. We rely on tourists and they will vote with their feet if we are not careful and don't keep Ambleside the unique place it is and I believe a cycle path will add to its value. You're going to have to go with the majority on this one David, but please don't feel offended...its good to be passionate about your beliefs 😊
Dear David, like you I am totally against parking meters, Premier Inn and Sainsburys in Ambleside but I am wholly for a cycle path. If you are a local family or tourist with young children who would like to ride under Loughrigg there is no safe way to currently get there. Cyclists currently may cycle quickly thro the Patk as they feel they shouldn't be there so lets make it official and do it well. There are too many cars on the roads in the Lakes. The more we can encourage cycling the better. I am with you 100% against parking meters. We rely on tourists and they will vote with their feet if we are not careful and don't keep Ambleside the unique place it is and I believe a cycle path will add to its value. You're going to have to go with the majority on this one David, but please don't feel offended...its good to be passionate about your beliefs 😊 Ursula B
  • Score: 12

10:02am Fri 2 May 14

davidearnshaw says...

Thank You Ursula, I shan't be offended, everyone is entitled to their views ---- I have expressed mine and my concerns about safety; believe it or not, I do agree with many of the sentiments expressed in comments, but I just cannot understand how folks cannot see that "officialising" things will encourage some undesirable / reckless minority elements of the cycling fraternity into the area. I have suggested things should be left as are now, with ---- in the main a pleasant and reasonably safe mix ---- I am sure I am not the only one to have witnessed bad behaviour by some cyclists, more out of the park at the moment than in ---- many walkers will, if they come forward confirm the number of "near misses" and abusive behaviour of some cyclists on the Under Loughrigg Rd; officialising a through route in the park will just encourage more of such into the park; some time ago I witnessed approximately 15 mountain bikers emerge from Old Lake Rd without stopping, zig zagging amongst slow moving traffic, forcing some cars to emergency stops --- to cross the main Lake Rd, crossing to Kelsick Rd, then down there on pavement and road against the flow of traffic -- they then headed for the Church yard, and presumably through the park, heading for their next mountain track -- Loughrigg ---- translate that obvious bad and dangerous behaviour into the park and there is a recipe for disaster --- this is by no means an isolated incident. The Park will be seen as a new official link between Wansfell side and Loughrigg side of the valley ---- walkers and children will become very vulnerable in the face of such numbers; I just feel the pro group are burying their heads in the sand that this will not happen; the path at the western end of the park is 9ft in width ---- a family / group of friends walking together easily fill the width of that path, there are bound to be "tensions" when cyclists approach from behind, more often than not without warning, and try to pass through the walkers; there very probably is a good alternative route offered by the University alongside Stoney Lane why not see if that can be.
Thank You Ursula, I shan't be offended, everyone is entitled to their views ---- I have expressed mine and my concerns about safety; believe it or not, I do agree with many of the sentiments expressed in comments, but I just cannot understand how folks cannot see that "officialising" things will encourage some undesirable / reckless minority elements of the cycling fraternity into the area. I have suggested things should be left as are now, with ---- in the main a pleasant and reasonably safe mix ---- I am sure I am not the only one to have witnessed bad behaviour by some cyclists, more out of the park at the moment than in ---- many walkers will, if they come forward confirm the number of "near misses" and abusive behaviour of some cyclists on the Under Loughrigg Rd; officialising a through route in the park will just encourage more of such into the park; some time ago I witnessed approximately 15 mountain bikers emerge from Old Lake Rd without stopping, zig zagging amongst slow moving traffic, forcing some cars to emergency stops --- to cross the main Lake Rd, crossing to Kelsick Rd, then down there on pavement and road against the flow of traffic -- they then headed for the Church yard, and presumably through the park, heading for their next mountain track -- Loughrigg ---- translate that obvious bad and dangerous behaviour into the park and there is a recipe for disaster --- this is by no means an isolated incident. The Park will be seen as a new official link between Wansfell side and Loughrigg side of the valley ---- walkers and children will become very vulnerable in the face of such numbers; I just feel the pro group are burying their heads in the sand that this will not happen; the path at the western end of the park is 9ft in width ---- a family / group of friends walking together easily fill the width of that path, there are bound to be "tensions" when cyclists approach from behind, more often than not without warning, and try to pass through the walkers; there very probably is a good alternative route offered by the University alongside Stoney Lane why not see if that can be. davidearnshaw
  • Score: -15

10:54am Fri 2 May 14

Rootsmtb says...

I suspect the behaviour you mention of mountain bikers crossing Ambleside is due to the very reason that bike access through/across the town is poor and the roads are far from cycle friendly. I bet that no matter how many issues of cycling /pedestrian near misses/accidents you report, that the cycling community will equal that with cycling/motoring related incidents at the fault of motorists. I don't condone the behaviour you mention in any way but you can not tar everyone with the same brush. The group you mention most likely did head through the park, even though it is not allowed at present and they will continue to do so in future, posing a risk to everyone as they ride along the park paths where they want to. Give them a cycle lane to follow and you are reducing the risk posed by this particular group. Provision of a cycle route would also highlight to other park users that they can expect to see bikes there. At present they may not be aware that bikes may pass, be it lawfully or otherwise. In addition, I know of responsible cyclists that have been knocked off their bikes by cars on the proposed alternative road route.
I suspect the behaviour you mention of mountain bikers crossing Ambleside is due to the very reason that bike access through/across the town is poor and the roads are far from cycle friendly. I bet that no matter how many issues of cycling /pedestrian near misses/accidents you report, that the cycling community will equal that with cycling/motoring related incidents at the fault of motorists. I don't condone the behaviour you mention in any way but you can not tar everyone with the same brush. The group you mention most likely did head through the park, even though it is not allowed at present and they will continue to do so in future, posing a risk to everyone as they ride along the park paths where they want to. Give them a cycle lane to follow and you are reducing the risk posed by this particular group. Provision of a cycle route would also highlight to other park users that they can expect to see bikes there. At present they may not be aware that bikes may pass, be it lawfully or otherwise. In addition, I know of responsible cyclists that have been knocked off their bikes by cars on the proposed alternative road route. Rootsmtb
  • Score: 10

11:19am Fri 2 May 14

barry@interporter.co.uk says...

Hi Rootsmtb, I agree wholeheartedly with your comments here, only one thing that you mention that is incorrect. You can cycle in Rothay Park at the moment as there is no bye-law forbidding you to do so. As you say though a formalized route will highlight the fact that you can cycle and walk on this path. It seems to work for the rest in the rest of the world!! I am sure that as a doctor Dr Earnshaw has seen pedestrians that have tangled with cycles and indeed cars. He will of course not seen all the people that have not clashed in anyway.
Hi Rootsmtb, I agree wholeheartedly with your comments here, only one thing that you mention that is incorrect. You can cycle in Rothay Park at the moment as there is no bye-law forbidding you to do so. As you say though a formalized route will highlight the fact that you can cycle and walk on this path. It seems to work for the rest in the rest of the world!! I am sure that as a doctor Dr Earnshaw has seen pedestrians that have tangled with cycles and indeed cars. He will of course not seen all the people that have not clashed in anyway. barry@interporter.co.uk
  • Score: 10

2:04pm Fri 2 May 14

davidearnshaw says...

Rootsmtb please understand the idea is not to give cyclists a lane of their own through this park --- but to "mingle" with pedestrians ---- on a 9ft wide pathway ?? !!, then over 2, 4ft 6inches wide bridges; research has informed me that cyclists on shared routes must give way to pedestrians --- for some this will be acceptable -- for others it will not and possible conflict will arise.
Barry, I have lived in Ambleside 43 yrs now, and in the area all my life and have seen plenty that haven't clashed; you may say it works for the rest of the world -- but not without a cost of injury and loss of life ---- FACT; ok it may not be many in the greater scheme of things, but one injury / death is one too many -- and we do not want such here in Ambleside ----- the very fact that we are a recreational area is going to draw more and more cyclists to the area and thereby increase what is now a virtually nil risk to a small but recognisable one --- please do some research on figures -- and incidents --- you will be unpleasantly surprised; accepted cars do cause many many more injuries / deaths to pedestrians, but that surely is irrelevant here.
Can I suggest that you will find some interesting reading Google --- "living streets cycling in parks" --- the first site that shows on the page should be "pdf item: Pedestrians and Cyclists briefing " --- a good deal herein is irrelevant to parks but nevertheless interesting, but there are sections that do cover shared routes in parks ---- pedestrians / cyclists ----- the Rothay park pathway width does not fit in with their guidlines ---- being only 9ft for a long section at its western end. ---- and definitely does neither bridge. I can only repeat once more --- no significant problems with it now, with cycling families and kids mixing ok with pedestrians, so why change something that works well ??
Rootsmtb please understand the idea is not to give cyclists a lane of their own through this park --- but to "mingle" with pedestrians ---- on a 9ft wide pathway ?? !!, then over 2, 4ft 6inches wide bridges; research has informed me that cyclists on shared routes must give way to pedestrians --- for some this will be acceptable -- for others it will not and possible conflict will arise. Barry, I have lived in Ambleside 43 yrs now, and in the area all my life and have seen plenty that haven't clashed; you may say it works for the rest of the world -- but not without a cost of injury and loss of life ---- FACT; ok it may not be many in the greater scheme of things, but one injury / death is one too many -- and we do not want such here in Ambleside ----- the very fact that we are a recreational area is going to draw more and more cyclists to the area and thereby increase what is now a virtually nil risk to a small but recognisable one --- please do some research on figures -- and incidents --- you will be unpleasantly surprised; accepted cars do cause many many more injuries / deaths to pedestrians, but that surely is irrelevant here. Can I suggest that you will find some interesting reading Google --- "living streets cycling in parks" --- the first site that shows on the page should be "pdf item: Pedestrians and Cyclists briefing " --- a good deal herein is irrelevant to parks but nevertheless interesting, but there are sections that do cover shared routes in parks ---- pedestrians / cyclists ----- the Rothay park pathway width does not fit in with their guidlines ---- being only 9ft for a long section at its western end. ---- and definitely does neither bridge. I can only repeat once more --- no significant problems with it now, with cycling families and kids mixing ok with pedestrians, so why change something that works well ?? davidearnshaw
  • Score: -10

2:36pm Fri 2 May 14

WilliamT says...

The Earnshaw Opposition seems to be just that- pretty much limited to one person laying down great long disconnected Streams of Consciousness like Commandments. Time to give up now, I think.
The Earnshaw Opposition seems to be just that- pretty much limited to one person laying down great long disconnected Streams of Consciousness like Commandments. Time to give up now, I think. WilliamT
  • Score: 12

2:50pm Fri 2 May 14

barry@interporter.co.uk says...

many thanks to all who commented, I agree with William, to continue is simply to give a voice to the one objector.
many thanks to all who commented, I agree with William, to continue is simply to give a voice to the one objector. barry@interporter.co.uk
  • Score: 9

3:51pm Fri 2 May 14

ImFromAmbleside says...

Dr. Earnshaw, you really do like to scaremonger don't you?

The 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' mantra is one that will leave Ambleside a poorer place for residents and visitors alike as it could be applied to literally any new idea, initiative or scheme you care to mention. Save your arguments for those fights that really merit them.

Don't base an argument on fear alone.
Yes, statistics show that between 2008 and 2012 nine pedestrians were killed by cyclists (across the whole of the UK), and while this is sad, it makes it a very rare occurrence.

Shouldn't both cyclists and other park users be aware of whats going on around them anyway?
One of the great things about being part of society and a member of a community is that, on the whole, people are not reckless with there own or other people's safety and we look out for one another. Please credit us all with at least a little common sense.

If the people you imagine using the park actually exist, God help them when they need to cross a road, ascend a flight of stairs, or use cutlery!

There will always be accidents, that's part of life; sometimes people even get bitten by the ducks at Waterhead while feeding them, and I once got stung by a nettle. Shock!
Dr. Earnshaw, you really do like to scaremonger don't you? The 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' mantra is one that will leave Ambleside a poorer place for residents and visitors alike as it could be applied to literally any new idea, initiative or scheme you care to mention. Save your arguments for those fights that really merit them. Don't base an argument on fear alone. Yes, statistics show that between 2008 and 2012 nine pedestrians were killed by cyclists (across the whole of the UK), and while this is sad, it makes it a very rare occurrence. Shouldn't both cyclists and other park users be aware of whats going on around them anyway? One of the great things about being part of society and a member of a community is that, on the whole, people are not reckless with there own or other people's safety and we look out for one another. Please credit us all with at least a little common sense. If the people you imagine using the park actually exist, God help them when they need to cross a road, ascend a flight of stairs, or use cutlery! There will always be accidents, that's part of life; sometimes people even get bitten by the ducks at Waterhead while feeding them, and I once got stung by a nettle. Shock! ImFromAmbleside
  • Score: 8

11:48pm Sun 4 May 14

Ted Liddle says...

I write as a visiting cyclist to Ambleside with extensive experience of cycling all over Europe where shared space is common. Shared space is a practical solution for moving around in open or even confined space through eye contact with other users and civil consideration. It works.
Everywhere in all walks (and cycles) of life, selfish people try to dominate but in civil society the will of the majority holds sway. This is achieved by having sensible rules and the fact most of us want to behave considerately. The park path will be no exception.
9 people are killed EVERY day on Britain's roads and many more are injured due to vehicle collisions (very few are genuine accidents which is why rescue services refer to incidents and not accidents; also ref BRAKE & CTC) yet we aren't planning to close down the road network, rivers, mountains, caves or the sea. Instead our approach is to minimise risk through sensible rules and responsible participation. You must do the same in the park.
The national cycle network argument is a red herring and really is clutching at straws. However it is signed, the fact is this would be a LOCAL route used sensibly by LOCAL and visiting people to access the wider network beyond Ambleside and as such provide a better experience of Ambleside for all parties with no detriment or damage to non cyclists. Why would cyclist speed through a busy park? They won't .
The doctor will know the greatest health risk we face as a nation is obesity due to inactivity (and poor diet). Encourage starting to exercise young and continuing to old age is the antidote to one of those two causes. Don't miss a single opportunity.
To the Civic Society I say you have a responsibility to improve the built environment in ALL its aspects and reducing vehicle impact is part of that as is enhancing quality of life in your lovely town. Check out parks in Geneva, Annecy. Munich or any town in Switzerland or Holland for visual proof of this and to see your worst fears are unfounded.
To all supportive Amblesidians I say take fullest advantage of the campaign Make Space for Cycling to register your support for this scheme in YOUR community. Don't let the Luddites win. Move into the future confident you are enhancing your town - not keeping it locked it in a time warp. The fact is in this respect it is broke (quote) so you must take this opportunity to fix it. Done properly its a no brainer.
Ted Liddle (Cycling development specialist and oft time visiting cyclist)
I write as a visiting cyclist to Ambleside with extensive experience of cycling all over Europe where shared space is common. Shared space is a practical solution for moving around in open or even confined space through eye contact with other users and civil consideration. It works. Everywhere in all walks (and cycles) of life, selfish people try to dominate but in civil society the will of the majority holds sway. This is achieved by having sensible rules and the fact most of us want to behave considerately. The park path will be no exception. 9 people are killed EVERY day on Britain's roads and many more are injured due to vehicle collisions (very few are genuine accidents which is why rescue services refer to incidents and not accidents; also ref BRAKE & CTC) yet we aren't planning to close down the road network, rivers, mountains, caves or the sea. Instead our approach is to minimise risk through sensible rules and responsible participation. You must do the same in the park. The national cycle network argument is a red herring and really is clutching at straws. However it is signed, the fact is this would be a LOCAL route used sensibly by LOCAL and visiting people to access the wider network beyond Ambleside and as such provide a better experience of Ambleside for all parties with no detriment or damage to non cyclists. Why would cyclist speed through a busy park? They won't . The doctor will know the greatest health risk we face as a nation is obesity due to inactivity (and poor diet). Encourage starting to exercise young and continuing to old age is the antidote to one of those two causes. Don't miss a single opportunity. To the Civic Society I say you have a responsibility to improve the built environment in ALL its aspects and reducing vehicle impact is part of that as is enhancing quality of life in your lovely town. Check out parks in Geneva, Annecy. Munich or any town in Switzerland or Holland for visual proof of this and to see your worst fears are unfounded. To all supportive Amblesidians I say take fullest advantage of the campaign Make Space for Cycling to register your support for this scheme in YOUR community. Don't let the Luddites win. Move into the future confident you are enhancing your town - not keeping it locked it in a time warp. The fact is in this respect it is broke (quote) so you must take this opportunity to fix it. Done properly its a no brainer. Ted Liddle (Cycling development specialist and oft time visiting cyclist) Ted Liddle
  • Score: 7

8:37am Mon 5 May 14

LanceG2 says...

Good points raised by opponents and supporters - this is an issue which will only fester unless a bold initiative is taken.
Clearly the use of cycles is growing fast (just look how bike shops are prospering). Lakeland is obviously a wonderful area to cycle.
A shared path will work if cyclists respect pedestrians as much as they would like motorists to respect their vulnerability.
An adequate cycle path is going to help but as this island becomes evermore crowded we must also work very hard to eliminate the reckless few who use their vehicle primarily as a ballistic missile.
Good points raised by opponents and supporters - this is an issue which will only fester unless a bold initiative is taken. Clearly the use of cycles is growing fast (just look how bike shops are prospering). Lakeland is obviously a wonderful area to cycle. A shared path will work if cyclists respect pedestrians as much as they would like motorists to respect their vulnerability. An adequate cycle path is going to help but as this island becomes evermore crowded we must also work very hard to eliminate the reckless few who use their vehicle primarily as a ballistic missile. LanceG2
  • Score: 7

8:59am Mon 5 May 14

tourer says...

Most cyclists know how to behave, so please dont blame them, cycling is a all age sport helping to keep mind and body fit and well , as is walking so lets try to be positive, we will be out today on our bikes including Ambleside, so lets move on......
Most cyclists know how to behave, so please dont blame them, cycling is a all age sport helping to keep mind and body fit and well , as is walking so lets try to be positive, we will be out today on our bikes including Ambleside, so lets move on...... tourer
  • Score: 6

12:44pm Mon 5 May 14

davidearnshaw says...

Please Ted, just take a look at the footpath through Rothay Park as it is ----- 9ft in width for about half of it; yesterday I walked along it with lots of other folks ---- I took some photos --- if you want to see the pedestrian positioning on the path, I am happy to email pics to you -- even three walking abreast left very little room for a cyclist, then there were groups of 5 and 6 with kids, dogs on leads and pushchairs --- I am fed up with folks saying I do not promote exercise -- yes I do, and participate myself --- having walked / ran all my life, and more recently walked 45 days in the Nepali Khumbu / SoloKhumbu region to Everest Base Camp and back; although well past retirement age, I still work in a minor injuries unit and Out of Hours Care; I have always preferred to advise / promote exercise and healthy eating as advice to patients rather than medications ------ families do use the park for gentle cycling -- no problems --- but ask many folks around here, who just want a quiet walk and many will tell you how they are regularly "buzzed" by cyclists giving no warning ( why oh why can they not have the decency to warn of their approach ) and travelling at speed -- the first one knows they are there is the whirr of the wheels passing close by --- usually less than an arm's length -- that has to be dangerous ( I do not expresses concern for the sake of it ) on the Under Loughrigg Rd -- used by many walkers, one can hear a car engine approaching, but not so with bikes ---- I do not lie, when I tell you some mountain bikers DO speed through the park --- it links the 2 sides of Rothay Valley fells --- Wansfell range, and Loughrigg / Rydal fells and that makes for a good circuit; the present pathway through the park has 2 widths, 11ft and 9ft, and 2 bridges approx 4ft 6inch wide ---- families, and groups of friends walking, easily fill the width of the path; I agree there is plenty of open space in the park and in my mind would accept, ( if the powers that be cannot work hard on another possible route nearby for which land has been offered ) a compromise of a completely separate cycle track -- there is ample room for such; this would then give a better safety level for all ---- apart from the unpredictable child chasing a ball or just enjoying a run around.
In summary to all my critics ---- I totally agree that the Lakes is and must be a great place for recreation and exercise of all varieties ----- all I am trying to get across is that whatever form that takes, it should be enjoyable, safe and relaxing ----- hitherto Rothay Park has been such a haven ---- but I fail to see how introducing wheels and speed onto the present pathway -- not fit for purpose for cyclists and pedestrians --- will in any way enhance the much loved way it is and has been for generations since it was gifted to the people of Ambleside for their enjoyment ( whatever you or others say about it becoming an official local route -- it will be part of the National network ), and like / believe it or not, some cyclists do have an unpleasant cavalier attitude to pedestrians in their way; folks come to Ambleside because it is as it is -- perhaps a bit left behind in time, but that is its charm and attraction to thousands who visit each year -- the town attracts a different type of visitor than those to Bowness many of whom seem to look upon it as an inland Blackpool.
Please Ted, just take a look at the footpath through Rothay Park as it is ----- 9ft in width for about half of it; yesterday I walked along it with lots of other folks ---- I took some photos --- if you want to see the pedestrian positioning on the path, I am happy to email pics to you -- even three walking abreast left very little room for a cyclist, then there were groups of 5 and 6 with kids, dogs on leads and pushchairs --- I am fed up with folks saying I do not promote exercise -- yes I do, and participate myself --- having walked / ran all my life, and more recently walked 45 days in the Nepali Khumbu / SoloKhumbu region to Everest Base Camp and back; although well past retirement age, I still work in a minor injuries unit and Out of Hours Care; I have always preferred to advise / promote exercise and healthy eating as advice to patients rather than medications ------ families do use the park for gentle cycling -- no problems --- but ask many folks around here, who just want a quiet walk and many will tell you how they are regularly "buzzed" by cyclists giving no warning ( why oh why can they not have the decency to warn of their approach ) and travelling at speed -- the first one knows they are there is the whirr of the wheels passing close by --- usually less than an arm's length -- that has to be dangerous ( I do not expresses concern for the sake of it ) on the Under Loughrigg Rd -- used by many walkers, one can hear a car engine approaching, but not so with bikes ---- I do not lie, when I tell you some mountain bikers DO speed through the park --- it links the 2 sides of Rothay Valley fells --- Wansfell range, and Loughrigg / Rydal fells and that makes for a good circuit; the present pathway through the park has 2 widths, 11ft and 9ft, and 2 bridges approx 4ft 6inch wide ---- families, and groups of friends walking, easily fill the width of the path; I agree there is plenty of open space in the park and in my mind would accept, ( if the powers that be cannot work hard on another possible route nearby for which land has been offered ) a compromise of a completely separate cycle track -- there is ample room for such; this would then give a better safety level for all ---- apart from the unpredictable child chasing a ball or just enjoying a run around. In summary to all my critics ---- I totally agree that the Lakes is and must be a great place for recreation and exercise of all varieties ----- all I am trying to get across is that whatever form that takes, it should be enjoyable, safe and relaxing ----- hitherto Rothay Park has been such a haven ---- but I fail to see how introducing wheels and speed onto the present pathway -- not fit for purpose for cyclists and pedestrians --- will in any way enhance the much loved way it is and has been for generations since it was gifted to the people of Ambleside for their enjoyment ( whatever you or others say about it becoming an official local route -- it will be part of the National network ), and like / believe it or not, some cyclists do have an unpleasant cavalier attitude to pedestrians in their way; folks come to Ambleside because it is as it is -- perhaps a bit left behind in time, but that is its charm and attraction to thousands who visit each year -- the town attracts a different type of visitor than those to Bowness many of whom seem to look upon it as an inland Blackpool. davidearnshaw
  • Score: -3

7:38pm Tue 6 May 14

Cragrat1 says...

If you follow Dr. Earnshaw's reasoning, then all motorised traffic and tourists should be banned from Ambleside (a town under siege!!!!!!!), because there will always be a minority who spoil it for the majority. Talk about narrow minded, as a GP he should be advocating more cycle use with all the health benefits it brings. As usual a minority of very loud voices are affecting decisions that are welcomed by the majority.
"the town attracts a different type of visitor" says Dr Earnshaw, what snobbery, and completely untrue as many visitors after visiting "inland Blackpool" (Bowness), travel onto Ambleside. But no doubt Dr Earnshaw would introduce some kind of vetting to allow the Right Kind of tourist into Ambleside. So after insulting Blackpool and all the visitors to Bowness, he won't be happy until Ambleside is empty except for the odd visitor with the right accent and background. A typical NIMBY.
If you follow Dr. Earnshaw's reasoning, then all motorised traffic and tourists should be banned from Ambleside (a town under siege!!!!!!!), because there will always be a minority who spoil it for the majority. Talk about narrow minded, as a GP he should be advocating more cycle use with all the health benefits it brings. As usual a minority of very loud voices are affecting decisions that are welcomed by the majority. "the town attracts a different type of visitor" says Dr Earnshaw, what snobbery, and completely untrue as many visitors after visiting "inland Blackpool" (Bowness), travel onto Ambleside. But no doubt Dr Earnshaw would introduce some kind of vetting to allow the Right Kind of tourist into Ambleside. So after insulting Blackpool and all the visitors to Bowness, he won't be happy until Ambleside is empty except for the odd visitor with the right accent and background. A typical NIMBY. Cragrat1
  • Score: 2

11:41pm Tue 6 May 14

davidearnshaw says...

Hey Ho Cragrat1 --- here we go again !!! as they say lol -- you just don't / haven't read things carefully and with any true understanding !!! ----- what DID I say about promoting healthy exercise ?? ---- I DO and that includes cycling --- in the right place ---- NOT amongst large numbers of pedestrians on a footpath only comfortable for 4 abreast and small children enjoying freedom and safety in the Park. I have no personal interest to declare, so there is no question of NIMBY as you say --- just the preservation for all in and visitors to, Ambleside of a peaceful and safe Park as it has been for generations --- , which IS what the majority want and which whatever anyone says -- it will not be if it becomes an official cycle route. There is a separate alternative possibility --- Stony Lane, which will be away from the crowds in the park -- so what's the problem there ? As for being part of a minority, and wanting Ambleside to retain its present more traditional charm, I think not --- why is there to be a Public meeting next week ?? ( see separate Gazette Article ) ---- because many Amblesidians ARE describing the town as "under seige" not just myself ----- they are concerned about several big changes that are being attempted to be thrust upon the town and not for its good,Traders and Accommodators will suffer losses and consequent on this, local residents will suffer --- service shops will disappear ----- residents and locals have to look after the town -- no -one else will -- others just seek to exploit its charms to make profit --- I have had nothing to do with organising this meeting. Please take a look at Bowness on a sunny day then look at Ambleside ----- there can be no denying Bowness does have a "beach" type ambience ---- ice dreams and chips aplenty ---- You will not see a preponderance of this in Ambleside ---- more for the genuine "outdoor" folks and shoppers for outdoor clothing and gear; no bad thing --- many many visitors do not want Ambleside to "modernise" they prefer its slightly "back in time" being; everyone is welcome here -- whatever their accent -- no plums alowed !!! -- what utter rubbish you talk.
Hey Ho Cragrat1 --- here we go again !!! as they say lol -- you just don't / haven't read things carefully and with any true understanding !!! ----- what DID I say about promoting healthy exercise ?? ---- I DO and that includes cycling --- in the right place ---- NOT amongst large numbers of pedestrians on a footpath only comfortable for 4 abreast and small children enjoying freedom and safety in the Park. I have no personal interest to declare, so there is no question of NIMBY as you say --- just the preservation for all in and visitors to, Ambleside of a peaceful and safe Park as it has been for generations --- , which IS what the majority want and which whatever anyone says -- it will not be if it becomes an official cycle route. There is a separate alternative possibility --- Stony Lane, which will be away from the crowds in the park -- so what's the problem there ? As for being part of a minority, and wanting Ambleside to retain its present more traditional charm, I think not --- why is there to be a Public meeting next week ?? ( see separate Gazette Article ) ---- because many Amblesidians ARE describing the town as "under seige" not just myself ----- they are concerned about several big changes that are being attempted to be thrust upon the town and not for its good,Traders and Accommodators will suffer losses and consequent on this, local residents will suffer --- service shops will disappear ----- residents and locals have to look after the town -- no -one else will -- others just seek to exploit its charms to make profit --- I have had nothing to do with organising this meeting. Please take a look at Bowness on a sunny day then look at Ambleside ----- there can be no denying Bowness does have a "beach" type ambience ---- ice dreams and chips aplenty ---- You will not see a preponderance of this in Ambleside ---- more for the genuine "outdoor" folks and shoppers for outdoor clothing and gear; no bad thing --- many many visitors do not want Ambleside to "modernise" they prefer its slightly "back in time" being; everyone is welcome here -- whatever their accent -- no plums alowed !!! -- what utter rubbish you talk. davidearnshaw
  • Score: -6

11:45pm Tue 6 May 14

barry@interporter.co.uk says...

Funny still the same lone voice against. Dave your getting boring now.
Funny still the same lone voice against. Dave your getting boring now. barry@interporter.co.uk
  • Score: 5

12:05pm Wed 7 May 14

WilliamT says...

Yes, time to hang up the quill and parchment now.
Yes, time to hang up the quill and parchment now. WilliamT
  • Score: 1

2:05pm Wed 7 May 14

HowieMG says...

I was involved in planning and implementing a network of shared use cycle routes across the borough of Rochdale, down in the Lancashire (Greater Manchester officially) cotton belt. In all cases we clearly stated that they were shared routes. There was some vociferous opposition before implementation, and like in your case, cyclists were already using some of these routes, including through parks. In practice there has been no problematic conflict - everyone has to get on and share the space. Allowing cycling in parks has been a positive action, leading to community cycling programmes.
I was involved in planning and implementing a network of shared use cycle routes across the borough of Rochdale, down in the Lancashire (Greater Manchester officially) cotton belt. In all cases we clearly stated that they were shared routes. There was some vociferous opposition before implementation, and like in your case, cyclists were already using some of these routes, including through parks. In practice there has been no problematic conflict - everyone has to get on and share the space. Allowing cycling in parks has been a positive action, leading to community cycling programmes. HowieMG
  • Score: 3

2:14pm Wed 7 May 14

Rootsmtb says...

Dave

If I can quote you
" which IS what the majority want "
and then direct you to survey on the home page http://www.thewestmo
rlandgazette.co.uk/
It appears that what the majority want is a cycleway in the park. It's there in black and white. You are also the only person in this conversation that is opposed to the plans. The majority are in favour.

I can not comprehend why you think that such a storm of Armageddon is going to descend on the park if cyclists are permitted. Take a look at the rest of the national cycleway routes that run throughout the national park. These routes are no more than 2 metres wide at most and are generally lined by fences, hedges or trees. These trails are used by walkers and cyclists alike and unless I've missed something I'm unaware of any conflict between these groups on this network. They act responsibly and share the trail. No one has died.

If you were to place a person in Rothay park today, and then also on the first day of a cycle route being allowed, they would notice no difference in the parks use. A peloton of cyclist will not be waiting at the gates at midnight waiting to TT across the park.

Now, I'm going to ride my bike to the Old Smithy and then ride to the park to eat my chips and wait for Steven Seagal to arrive.
Dave If I can quote you " which IS what the majority want " and then direct you to survey on the home page http://www.thewestmo rlandgazette.co.uk/ It appears that what the majority want is a cycleway in the park. It's there in black and white. You are also the only person in this conversation that is opposed to the plans. The majority are in favour. I can not comprehend why you think that such a storm of Armageddon is going to descend on the park if cyclists are permitted. Take a look at the rest of the national cycleway routes that run throughout the national park. These routes are no more than 2 metres wide at most and are generally lined by fences, hedges or trees. These trails are used by walkers and cyclists alike and unless I've missed something I'm unaware of any conflict between these groups on this network. They act responsibly and share the trail. No one has died. If you were to place a person in Rothay park today, and then also on the first day of a cycle route being allowed, they would notice no difference in the parks use. A peloton of cyclist will not be waiting at the gates at midnight waiting to TT across the park. Now, I'm going to ride my bike to the Old Smithy and then ride to the park to eat my chips and wait for Steven Seagal to arrive. Rootsmtb
  • Score: 3

3:11pm Wed 7 May 14

davidearnshaw says...

Fact of matter is, that very few of the Gazette's readers use or know about the on line version ---- if they did, I am very certain the "swing" would obliterate the "fors".
Please just take a look at the path on a busy weekend or holiday day, it can be swamped with walkers. Why push this one through if there is an alternative on Stoney Lane where cyclists will have it virtually to themselves ??
If the route does get the green light -- only time will tell; unfortunately -- despite one instance of publicity, many Ambleside folk are just not aware it is likely to happen ---- being somewhat overshadowed by the said coming of "on street car parking charges"
As for Quill and Parchment --- a good name for a Pub !!!
Fact of matter is, that very few of the Gazette's readers use or know about the on line version ---- if they did, I am very certain the "swing" would obliterate the "fors". Please just take a look at the path on a busy weekend or holiday day, it can be swamped with walkers. Why push this one through if there is an alternative on Stoney Lane where cyclists will have it virtually to themselves ?? If the route does get the green light -- only time will tell; unfortunately -- despite one instance of publicity, many Ambleside folk are just not aware it is likely to happen ---- being somewhat overshadowed by the said coming of "on street car parking charges" As for Quill and Parchment --- a good name for a Pub !!! davidearnshaw
  • Score: -4

4:35pm Wed 7 May 14

Cragrat1 says...

Phew...just got back from Ambleside. Managed to sneak past the Earnshaw Taliban who were checking to see that the "right type" of visitor was allowed into Ambleside. (& me just having come from visiting that den of iniquity "inland Blackpool" Bowness) What did I see in Ambleside ? Fish & Chip shops, Ice Cream Sellers aplenty, what I didn't see was a stream of ambulances taking pedestrians away after being mown down by Lycra Clad Cyclists terrorising the populace. Still it was nice having "gone back in time" in Ambleside for a couple of hours.
Some people (Dr Earnshaw) do talk (& talk & talk) & write utter rubbish and love to scaremonger.
Pedestrians & Cyclists can (and do) live together in perfect harmony using shared use rights of way, Grange-over-Sands Promenade a case in point, a bit of give and take and politeness and consideration of others goes a long way. Now I'm off to polish up my Accent for the next time I visit Ambleside.
Phew...just got back from Ambleside. Managed to sneak past the Earnshaw Taliban who were checking to see that the "right type" of visitor was allowed into Ambleside. (& me just having come from visiting that den of iniquity "inland Blackpool" Bowness) What did I see in Ambleside ? Fish & Chip shops, Ice Cream Sellers aplenty, what I didn't see was a stream of ambulances taking pedestrians away after being mown down by Lycra Clad Cyclists terrorising the populace. Still it was nice having "gone back in time" in Ambleside for a couple of hours. Some people (Dr Earnshaw) do talk (& talk & talk) & write utter rubbish and love to scaremonger. Pedestrians & Cyclists can (and do) live together in perfect harmony using shared use rights of way, Grange-over-Sands Promenade a case in point, a bit of give and take and politeness and consideration of others goes a long way. Now I'm off to polish up my Accent for the next time I visit Ambleside. Cragrat1
  • Score: 1

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