Cyclists must dismount on new park pathway to avoid pedestrians, council rules

Cyclists must dismount on new park pathway to avoid pedestrians, council rules

Cyclists must dismount on new park pathway to avoid pedestrians, council rules

First published in News

A DECISION to make cyclists dismount while using a footpath across Rothay Park in Ambleside has been welcomed by a local campaigner.

Dr David Earnshaw opposed plans by the Lake District National Park Authority and Go Lakes to include the path in a Lakes cycle network.

Park officials said the ‘shared use’ route would provide a safe and effective link for cyclists from the centre of Ambleside to the Under Loughrigg Road.

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This would eventually link to a wider Go Lakes-promoted bike route to Keswick.

However, in a presentation to South Lakeland District Council’s monthly cabinet meeting, Dr Earnshaw claimed cyclists would increase the risk of accidents to other park users.

Afterwards, the cabinet voted unanimously to include the route through the park as part of the cycle route network, but with notices displayed requiring cyclists to dismount while using this section.

Dr Earnshaw told The Westmorland Gazette that it was ‘dangerous’ to allow cyclists to ride along the same routes as pedestrians, especially where children walk and play.

“I’m pleased with the cabinet’s unanimous decision. It will only take a dismounted cyclist two-and-a-half minutes to walk across Rothay Park, ensuring the route is safe for all users.

Dr Earnshaw said he was now campaigning for a similar safety-first approach to a proposed section of the cycle route in Grasmere.

Comments (20)

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10:53am Fri 15 Aug 14

newcmr says...

There are places in Kendal with notices for cyclists to dismount (The footbridge and linking pathways near Gooseholme for example). Guess what ? They never do! So good luck Ambleside
There are places in Kendal with notices for cyclists to dismount (The footbridge and linking pathways near Gooseholme for example). Guess what ? They never do! So good luck Ambleside newcmr
  • Score: -12

11:15am Fri 15 Aug 14

Gingery says...

Makes it a waste of time for cyclists. I'd be sticking to the road or using a car.
Makes it a waste of time for cyclists. I'd be sticking to the road or using a car. Gingery
  • Score: 16

2:18pm Fri 15 Aug 14

TwoHat says...

The sort of cyclists who can ride fast enough to be a danger to pedestrians would use the road anyway. All this does is make it inconvenient for those who cycle as a family with young children. Its time all vulnerable road users co-operated, but it isn't going to happen whilst we have such a vociferous anti-cycling lobby. Shame.
The sort of cyclists who can ride fast enough to be a danger to pedestrians would use the road anyway. All this does is make it inconvenient for those who cycle as a family with young children. Its time all vulnerable road users co-operated, but it isn't going to happen whilst we have such a vociferous anti-cycling lobby. Shame. TwoHat
  • Score: 19

6:36pm Fri 15 Aug 14

couldn't make it up says...

Shame both sides of the debate can't Raleigh' around to sort it out.
Shame both sides of the debate can't Raleigh' around to sort it out. couldn't make it up
  • Score: 0

7:38pm Fri 15 Aug 14

tourer says...

very silly result , most cyclists know how to behave ...
very silly result , most cyclists know how to behave ... tourer
  • Score: -3

11:50am Sat 16 Aug 14

barry@interporter.co.uk says...

As there is no bye-law stopping people cycling through the park, will this sign request that cyclists dismount?
What will happen to a cyclist that chooses to ignore the sign and ride through the park? At one time the Parish Council was in favour of removing all signs that were not relevant. What will be the point of this one? I for one will continue riding through the park.....
As there is no bye-law stopping people cycling through the park, will this sign request that cyclists dismount? What will happen to a cyclist that chooses to ignore the sign and ride through the park? At one time the Parish Council was in favour of removing all signs that were not relevant. What will be the point of this one? I for one will continue riding through the park..... barry@interporter.co.uk
  • Score: 4

2:34pm Sat 16 Aug 14

WebMoaners says...

barry@interporter.co
.uk
wrote:
As there is no bye-law stopping people cycling through the park, will this sign request that cyclists dismount?
What will happen to a cyclist that chooses to ignore the sign and ride through the park? At one time the Parish Council was in favour of removing all signs that were not relevant. What will be the point of this one? I for one will continue riding through the park.....
Sadly this comment tells you all you need to know about the selfish attitude of a minority of our cyclists. All the gear like they're Mark Cavendish but too cool to have a working bell to warn others of their approach! Do they ever think of children or elderly persons using the footpath who arent aware of them? No because theyre usually too ensconced in pretending to be Wiggo. We dont all have eyes in the backs of our heads you know. I will challenge any cyclist I see disobeying the signs and would encourage others to do the same until they are driven from the park! Cyclopaths!
[quote][p][bold]barry@interporter.co .uk[/bold] wrote: As there is no bye-law stopping people cycling through the park, will this sign request that cyclists dismount? What will happen to a cyclist that chooses to ignore the sign and ride through the park? At one time the Parish Council was in favour of removing all signs that were not relevant. What will be the point of this one? I for one will continue riding through the park.....[/p][/quote]Sadly this comment tells you all you need to know about the selfish attitude of a minority of our cyclists. All the gear like they're Mark Cavendish but too cool to have a working bell to warn others of their approach! Do they ever think of children or elderly persons using the footpath who arent aware of them? No because theyre usually too ensconced in pretending to be Wiggo. We dont all have eyes in the backs of our heads you know. I will challenge any cyclist I see disobeying the signs and would encourage others to do the same until they are driven from the park! Cyclopaths! WebMoaners
  • Score: -7

5:18pm Sat 16 Aug 14

barry@interporter.co.uk says...

Ah web moaners. With what authority will you be challenging me and my 9 year old boy. We will be dinging our bell happily as we go. Yes we have bells, no we have never killed anyone or had a near miss. When people are in the way or with children playing we simply give a wide berth.

I recently cycled along with my son over Brathay bridge. Now that was scary.. Cycling through Ambleside especially this time of year is as scary as it gets... Live and let live the world is big enough for cyclists and pedestrians. Without the authority to prosecute the signs make no sense.
Ah web moaners. With what authority will you be challenging me and my 9 year old boy. We will be dinging our bell happily as we go. Yes we have bells, no we have never killed anyone or had a near miss. When people are in the way or with children playing we simply give a wide berth. I recently cycled along with my son over Brathay bridge. Now that was scary.. Cycling through Ambleside especially this time of year is as scary as it gets... Live and let live the world is big enough for cyclists and pedestrians. Without the authority to prosecute the signs make no sense. barry@interporter.co.uk
  • Score: 4

5:45am Sun 17 Aug 14

Grumpyoldbiker says...

There are a lot of undisciplined people in all walks of life; dog walkers who will not pick up after their pet, people who put their dirty shoes on bus seats, people who hog the middle lane of the M6 at 70mph etc. Yes, some cyclists too do not care about the safety of others and will carry on regardless. With on one to 'police' this, there are incidents waiting to happen. A minority will spoil it for the many. If an injury is caused by an errant cyclist, clearly disobeying a simple instruction, I trust the council will prosecute.
There are a lot of undisciplined people in all walks of life; dog walkers who will not pick up after their pet, people who put their dirty shoes on bus seats, people who hog the middle lane of the M6 at 70mph etc. Yes, some cyclists too do not care about the safety of others and will carry on regardless. With on one to 'police' this, there are incidents waiting to happen. A minority will spoil it for the many. If an injury is caused by an errant cyclist, clearly disobeying a simple instruction, I trust the council will prosecute. Grumpyoldbiker
  • Score: 2

2:48pm Sun 17 Aug 14

WebMoaners says...

@barryinterporter.co
.uk Dont go cycling with your son if you don't like it or try a race track? Paths through parks were not built for middle-aged tour de france wannabes.
@barryinterporter.co .uk Dont go cycling with your son if you don't like it or try a race track? Paths through parks were not built for middle-aged tour de france wannabes. WebMoaners
  • Score: -4

3:04pm Sun 17 Aug 14

lakesailor says...

tourer wrote:
very silly result , most cyclists know how to behave ...
Barry seems to disprove your point
"What will happen to a cyclist that chooses to ignore the sign and ride through the park? At one time the Parish Council was in favour of removing all signs that were not relevant. What will be the point of this one? I for one will continue riding through the park...."
[quote][p][bold]tourer[/bold] wrote: very silly result , most cyclists know how to behave ...[/p][/quote]Barry seems to disprove your point "What will happen to a cyclist that chooses to ignore the sign and ride through the park? At one time the Parish Council was in favour of removing all signs that were not relevant. What will be the point of this one? I for one will continue riding through the park...." lakesailor
  • Score: -3

11:33pm Sun 17 Aug 14

Fenderee Durathor says...

Seems to be a lot of misinformed people supporting a non legal decision by SLDC.

For the record, the decision made by SLDC has to be backed up with a new by law requested by the Lakes Parish Council otherwise it's just a request - and as a by law isn't in place, then riding through the park cannot be enforceable until one is.
Seems to be a lot of misinformed people supporting a non legal decision by SLDC. For the record, the decision made by SLDC has to be backed up with a new by law requested by the Lakes Parish Council otherwise it's just a request - and as a by law isn't in place, then riding through the park cannot be enforceable until one is. Fenderee Durathor
  • Score: 5

9:18am Mon 18 Aug 14

kendal brat says...

WebMoaners wrote:
@barryinterporter.co

.uk Dont go cycling with your son if you don't like it or try a race track? Paths through parks were not built for middle-aged tour de france wannabes.
I cycle 140 to 200 miles per week on the road. I'm a middle aged Mamil Nibali wannabe for whom cycling (and running) are my passports to health and fitness. I cycle at a speed appropriate for the circumstance, and I use the road. Like Barry, I don't enjoy taking my young family on the busy roads in the Lakes tourist honeypots. We use cyclepaths, and we will use this one.
I'm sure that civil compromise will ensure a working balance between cyclists and pedestrians through this park, in much the same way as happens on the "no cycling" cycle routes through Kendal. Although I have a vision of local wannabe politicians standing in the park blowing a whistle and frantically waving their arms at children on tricycles.
[quote][p][bold]WebMoaners[/bold] wrote: @barryinterporter.co .uk Dont go cycling with your son if you don't like it or try a race track? Paths through parks were not built for middle-aged tour de france wannabes.[/p][/quote]I cycle 140 to 200 miles per week on the road. I'm a middle aged Mamil Nibali wannabe for whom cycling (and running) are my passports to health and fitness. I cycle at a speed appropriate for the circumstance, and I use the road. Like Barry, I don't enjoy taking my young family on the busy roads in the Lakes tourist honeypots. We use cyclepaths, and we will use this one. I'm sure that civil compromise will ensure a working balance between cyclists and pedestrians through this park, in much the same way as happens on the "no cycling" cycle routes through Kendal. Although I have a vision of local wannabe politicians standing in the park blowing a whistle and frantically waving their arms at children on tricycles. kendal brat
  • Score: 7

1:56pm Mon 18 Aug 14

davidearnshaw says...

Very interesting and civil debate so far ---- I totally agree with Kendal Brat about Civil Compromise ---- if it could be observed by ALL who wished to use the Park Route --- but would it be observed ?? . Last week, I observed a cyclist, fully kitted out on the shared track / pavement approaching White Cross Bay Site entrance going "flat out" ,head down towards Ambleside ---- he / she was rapidly closing in on a Mum and small child with their backs to him / her ------ he / she shot past them at speed ---- how sure could he/she be that the small child might not have moved without warning ( as kids do ) to one side into his path ?? ---- this is an example of gross inconsideration, that could have very serious injury consequences; another incident in 2010 -- Staveley -- Ings shared route, resulted in serious and permanent disability to pedestrian after collision with cyclist; forgive me -- being a Medic, involved with trauma in Central Lakes often as first on scene for the last 46yrs, I have seen on many occasions the distressing and often grizzly consequences of just the cyclists parting company with their mounts --- mostly due to speed on minor roads and tracks and not involving anyone else. Accepted, there is probably a minority, but a significant one, of cyclists that just "don't care" ( I know someone will say, this happens in all walks of life and all forms of road users ) -- sadly, it is this minority that cause problems for those who ARE happy with a Civil Compromise principal; at this stage, all one can hope for is that folks who have cycles to get across the Park, do take great care --- best hoped for = dismount ( it is a 2.5 minute walk with bike end to end ) exchange pleasantries with fellow path users and if must remain mounted on bike ---- be extra considerate to the pedestrian conditions prevailing at the time, and be prepared at all times to "emergency stop" safely, in the event of child suddenly appearing on the path from behind the dividing hedge ----- there is no room for "it is my right to cycle on this path" come what may --- the cyclist described above near White Cross Bay should surely have slowed right down on his approach to Mum and small child; concern is that if this becomes a designated cycleroute, it will be seen as a connecter to the main South --- North route, Windermere --- Keswick,Under Loughrigg to Rydal, and become a heavily used cycle highway, then inevitably we will get that significant minority forging through at speed without due care. All this could be helped if cycles used by adults had some form of easily identifiable registration -- why not ??-- they are road users and as such should obey the rules of the road -- again --- many do not.
Very interesting and civil debate so far ---- I totally agree with Kendal Brat about Civil Compromise ---- if it could be observed by ALL who wished to use the Park Route --- but would it be observed ?? . Last week, I observed a cyclist, fully kitted out on the shared track / pavement approaching White Cross Bay Site entrance going "flat out" ,head down towards Ambleside ---- he / she was rapidly closing in on a Mum and small child with their backs to him / her ------ he / she shot past them at speed ---- how sure could he/she be that the small child might not have moved without warning ( as kids do ) to one side into his path ?? ---- this is an example of gross inconsideration, that could have very serious injury consequences; another incident in 2010 -- Staveley -- Ings shared route, resulted in serious and permanent disability to pedestrian after collision with cyclist; forgive me -- being a Medic, involved with trauma in Central Lakes often as first on scene for the last 46yrs, I have seen on many occasions the distressing and often grizzly consequences of just the cyclists parting company with their mounts --- mostly due to speed on minor roads and tracks and not involving anyone else. Accepted, there is probably a minority, but a significant one, of cyclists that just "don't care" ( I know someone will say, this happens in all walks of life and all forms of road users ) -- sadly, it is this minority that cause problems for those who ARE happy with a Civil Compromise principal; at this stage, all one can hope for is that folks who have cycles to get across the Park, do take great care --- best hoped for = dismount ( it is a 2.5 minute walk with bike end to end ) exchange pleasantries with fellow path users and if must remain mounted on bike ---- be extra considerate to the pedestrian conditions prevailing at the time, and be prepared at all times to "emergency stop" safely, in the event of child suddenly appearing on the path from behind the dividing hedge ----- there is no room for "it is my right to cycle on this path" come what may --- the cyclist described above near White Cross Bay should surely have slowed right down on his approach to Mum and small child; concern is that if this becomes a designated cycleroute, it will be seen as a connecter to the main South --- North route, Windermere --- Keswick,Under Loughrigg to Rydal, and become a heavily used cycle highway, then inevitably we will get that significant minority forging through at speed without due care. All this could be helped if cycles used by adults had some form of easily identifiable registration -- why not ??-- they are road users and as such should obey the rules of the road -- again --- many do not. davidearnshaw
  • Score: -3

7:02pm Mon 18 Aug 14

Smarticus says...

Speaking as someone who regularly cycles around Ambleside I know just how many dangers there are for cyclists. Particular danger spots are at the junction of Rothay Road and Borrans Road (both by the RugbyClub and near the Ambulance Station) and on the narrow bridge heading out of town, just before the right turn on to Under Loughrigg . I was badly injured last year when a car travelling from Clappersgate failed to stop to look for a bike and took me out at over 20mph. Cars can injure or kill a cyclist without any physical risk to themselves. Whereas a cyclist colliding with a pedestrian is very likely to be injured as much or more than the pedestrian. The vast majority of cyclists will take care to avoid pedestrians. Even though pedestrians occasionally act very badly towards cyclists. Recently when cycling slowly and considerately down Loughrigg Terrace a walker tried to push their walking pole into my wheel spokes. The breathtaking stupidity of this act was not lost to his companions who took him to task far more than I. So I look forward to cycling safer around Ambleside now that the park route is open and hope pedestrians and cyclists all work together to ensure their mutual safety and enjoyment of traffic free areas.
Speaking as someone who regularly cycles around Ambleside I know just how many dangers there are for cyclists. Particular danger spots are at the junction of Rothay Road and Borrans Road (both by the RugbyClub and near the Ambulance Station) and on the narrow bridge heading out of town, just before the right turn on to Under Loughrigg . I was badly injured last year when a car travelling from Clappersgate failed to stop to look for a bike and took me out at over 20mph. Cars can injure or kill a cyclist without any physical risk to themselves. Whereas a cyclist colliding with a pedestrian is very likely to be injured as much or more than the pedestrian. The vast majority of cyclists will take care to avoid pedestrians. Even though pedestrians occasionally act very badly towards cyclists. Recently when cycling slowly and considerately down Loughrigg Terrace a walker tried to push their walking pole into my wheel spokes. The breathtaking stupidity of this act was not lost to his companions who took him to task far more than I. So I look forward to cycling safer around Ambleside now that the park route is open and hope pedestrians and cyclists all work together to ensure their mutual safety and enjoyment of traffic free areas. Smarticus
  • Score: 4

7:25pm Mon 18 Aug 14

kendal brat says...

You've opened up a few topics David, and I agree that the most important consideration is the safety of vulnerable road users. You also appear to agree that the best compromise use of the path would be for each user to use it in a considered courteous manner, but fear this would be impossible to attain.
The difficulty in making a law that even you can see flaws in, is that the enforcement is necessarily going to be problematic because the enforcers will hardly ever be present. On the occasions when they are present, the nature of human enforcement means that they will be unlikely to prosecute a father with a six year old child slowly and safely cycling along an exceptionally quiet path. They will also have the added difficulty of dealing with cyclists who are not prepared to stop and listen, which will be the vast majority of feral cyclists who heed no laws whatsoever. They will stick one finger up while they cycle into the distance.
Law abiding cyclists, the type who would use such a path with their families, would respond to signs asking them to take care, and use the path as a shared space. They will not want to push their bikes, especially if their panniers are laden with picnics, cycling kit, clothing, etc.
Lycra 'louts' like me wouldn't choose to use such a route, instead taking the Under Loughrigg road from the start.
I believe the best solution would be to remind cyclists that it is a shared path, and to cycle carefully. Most decent cyclists will respond to that. My own experiences of cycling in the same space as pedestrians (I do it every day in Kendal ped zone) is that pedestrian movements are predictable, and very easy to anticipate and avoid.
Cyclists can be prosecuted for careless or dangerous cycling. We should need no more than that.
FWIW, I can't imagine many cyclists getting off their bikes in response to your by-law. Most decent people don't like being legislated against. Most feral cyclists won't care, so I don't think much will change.
You've opened up a few topics David, and I agree that the most important consideration is the safety of vulnerable road users. You also appear to agree that the best compromise use of the path would be for each user to use it in a considered courteous manner, but fear this would be impossible to attain. The difficulty in making a law that even you can see flaws in, is that the enforcement is necessarily going to be problematic because the enforcers will hardly ever be present. On the occasions when they are present, the nature of human enforcement means that they will be unlikely to prosecute a father with a six year old child slowly and safely cycling along an exceptionally quiet path. They will also have the added difficulty of dealing with cyclists who are not prepared to stop and listen, which will be the vast majority of feral cyclists who heed no laws whatsoever. They will stick one finger up while they cycle into the distance. Law abiding cyclists, the type who would use such a path with their families, would respond to signs asking them to take care, and use the path as a shared space. They will not want to push their bikes, especially if their panniers are laden with picnics, cycling kit, clothing, etc. Lycra 'louts' like me wouldn't choose to use such a route, instead taking the Under Loughrigg road from the start. I believe the best solution would be to remind cyclists that it is a shared path, and to cycle carefully. Most decent cyclists will respond to that. My own experiences of cycling in the same space as pedestrians (I do it every day in Kendal ped zone) is that pedestrian movements are predictable, and very easy to anticipate and avoid. Cyclists can be prosecuted for careless or dangerous cycling. We should need no more than that. FWIW, I can't imagine many cyclists getting off their bikes in response to your by-law. Most decent people don't like being legislated against. Most feral cyclists won't care, so I don't think much will change. kendal brat
  • Score: 4

10:24pm Mon 18 Aug 14

Smarticus says...

Who are these "feral cyclists" that heed no laws whatsoever ? I can't say I have ever met or seen one. They must be a very rare beast indeed so not worth worrying about too much. They are certainly not justification for restricting the freedom and safety of all of the law abiding, respectful and sensible cyclists who mean and do no harm.
Who are these "feral cyclists" that heed no laws whatsoever ? I can't say I have ever met or seen one. They must be a very rare beast indeed so not worth worrying about too much. They are certainly not justification for restricting the freedom and safety of all of the law abiding, respectful and sensible cyclists who mean and do no harm. Smarticus
  • Score: 1

11:15pm Mon 18 Aug 14

kendal brat says...

Feral cyclists? No there are not many of them, but they punch way above their weight in terms of influencing public opinion against cyclists. They usually ride around on 15 year old unmaintained £50 mountainbike lookalikes, on the road, pavement, public park, wherever, bumping onto the pavements to avoid lights, riding with no lights at night.

You and I should worry about them, Smartacus, because they are what many of the non-cycling public base their negative opinion of cyclists on.
Feral cyclists? No there are not many of them, but they punch way above their weight in terms of influencing public opinion against cyclists. They usually ride around on 15 year old unmaintained £50 mountainbike lookalikes, on the road, pavement, public park, wherever, bumping onto the pavements to avoid lights, riding with no lights at night. You and I should worry about them, Smartacus, because they are what many of the non-cycling public base their negative opinion of cyclists on. kendal brat
  • Score: 2

11:28pm Mon 18 Aug 14

davidearnshaw says...

Not sure I would describe any as "ferral cyclists", but for those of us who live in and walk around the streets, the park and other routes around Ambleside, it is a regular sight to see cycling on pavements, cycling against the one way traffic flows, and silently zipping up behind and very close to -- often at speed -- pedestrians on pasvements and footpaths --- just not acceptable, and for two of the afore mentioned -- against highway code / law. Cycles are wheeled vehicles controlled by humans -- and as such are subject to the same rules as every other wheeled vehicle --- why not ??. Sadly it is now a rare occasion to see Police Officers on the Streets to enforce that law.
Not sure I would describe any as "ferral cyclists", but for those of us who live in and walk around the streets, the park and other routes around Ambleside, it is a regular sight to see cycling on pavements, cycling against the one way traffic flows, and silently zipping up behind and very close to -- often at speed -- pedestrians on pasvements and footpaths --- just not acceptable, and for two of the afore mentioned -- against highway code / law. Cycles are wheeled vehicles controlled by humans -- and as such are subject to the same rules as every other wheeled vehicle --- why not ??. Sadly it is now a rare occasion to see Police Officers on the Streets to enforce that law. davidearnshaw
  • Score: 0

1:11pm Tue 19 Aug 14

kendal brat says...

As with motorists, there are a proportion of cyclists who will break laws. Unlike motorists, who generally only break laws for their own convenience, many cyclists bend rules for their own safety. Your by-law will have no effect other than to stop those cyclists such as me and my family from cycling through the path safely. Those who cycle against one way systems and speed past pedestrians will have no qualms about doing the same in Rothay Park.

While motorists are responsible for about 5,000 times the injury and death risk posed by the cyclist, and while cycling is a significant contributor to the heath and wellbeing of the country, we should be looking at ways to make cycling easier in this county, rather than putting up barriers and restrictions.
As with motorists, there are a proportion of cyclists who will break laws. Unlike motorists, who generally only break laws for their own convenience, many cyclists bend rules for their own safety. Your by-law will have no effect other than to stop those cyclists such as me and my family from cycling through the path safely. Those who cycle against one way systems and speed past pedestrians will have no qualms about doing the same in Rothay Park. While motorists are responsible for about 5,000 times the injury and death risk posed by the cyclist, and while cycling is a significant contributor to the heath and wellbeing of the country, we should be looking at ways to make cycling easier in this county, rather than putting up barriers and restrictions. kendal brat
  • Score: 0

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