Safety fears over cycling on Worthing promenade

First published in News by

A controversial promenade cycling trial has been given the go-ahead despite fears for the safety of children walking on the seafront.

The Government has sanctioned a change in bylaws to allow cyclists on Worthing prom between Splash Point and George V Avenue from August 28.

The borough council hopes new signs will be in place by then, allowing the 12-month trial to start.

The issue has divided Worthing, with views for and against evenly split.

Critics believe the promenade should be for walkers only, and fear an accident similar to one which happened about 15 years ago when a woman pedestrian suffered brain damage in a collision.

The council was forced to pay out more than £100,000 in damages and the cycle lane between the Lido and George V Avenue was scrapped.

But cycling campaigners said far more cyclists have been killed and seriously injured on roads since then.

The council has decided on mixed use of the promenade instead of a designated lane.

Councillors also rejected calls for a speed limit, claiming it would be unenforceable.

Jim Davis, chairman of Worthing Cycle Forum and Worthing Revolutions cycling campaign group, said he was very pleased the trial was going ahead.

He said: “Obviously we now need to focus on promoting safe cycling. The whole point is to enjoy the prom and not to treat it like Manchester Velodrome.

“The problem with having a speed limit is it calls for additional signage. It is also difficult to police and enforce.

“What's needed is a campaign to make people aware that the prom is for everybody.

“The prom is there to enjoy, not to get from A to B quickly.

“I am anticipating some small conflict, primarily because it is something new, allied to the fact that people will remember the regretful incident 15 years ago.

“But we must also consider how many cycling casualties there have been on our roads.”

Mr Davis conceded that it would take only one “idiot” on a bike to ruin it for everybody and scupper the trial.

Coun John Rogers, the borough's cycling champion, said: “It is great news, something people have been waiting for for a long time.

“We have a start date of August 28 but we must first get the appropriate signage up.”

He said the trial would be monitored and a report presented to the council after a year.

Coun Rogers warned: “If people want it permanently they have got to behave themselves.”

Coun Bob Smytherman said mixed usage was a “recipe for disaster” and feared for youngsters walking into the paths of cyclists.

Will the mixed use cycle path work? Tell us what you think below.

Argus reporter Tim Ridgway filmed a ride on Brighton's controversial seafront cycle path in May this year. After riding its length, he has vowed never to set wheel on it again. Click on play below to see how he got on.

Comments (10)

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4:52pm Wed 5 Aug 09

Lil says...

I'm sorry but where have you dredged up "The issue has divided Worthing, with views for and against evenly split."

That sniffs of journalistic twaddle.

Why?

http://www.worthing.
gov.uk/do-it-online/
consultations/cyclin
gonthepromenaderesul
ts/

The results show that only 13% objected to the cycling plans. How is that an even split?

It's no where near.

You may however mean that views are split over whether it should be segregated or shared usage where there is indeed a 60:40 split in favour of segregated use.

There are positives and negatives to everything.

FWIW, when the consultation was running, I was in favour of a segregated lane.

Sorry to point the first fact out but I'm worried that of late it seems The Argus' reported are just making things up because they sound good and get people to buy papers.
I'm sorry but where have you dredged up "The issue has divided Worthing, with views for and against evenly split." That sniffs of journalistic twaddle. Why? http://www.worthing. gov.uk/do-it-online/ consultations/cyclin gonthepromenaderesul ts/ The results show that only 13% objected to the cycling plans. How is that an even split? It's no where near. You may however mean that views are split over whether it should be segregated or shared usage where there is indeed a 60:40 split in favour of segregated use. There are positives and negatives to everything. FWIW, when the consultation was running, I was in favour of a segregated lane. Sorry to point the first fact out but I'm worried that of late it seems The Argus' reported are just making things up because they sound good and get people to buy papers. Lil
  • Score: 0

5:18pm Wed 5 Aug 09

ShorehamBeachcomber says...

So can we know what measurements the 'brains' behind this have set so it can be judged whether it is success or not...How many collisions is acceptable over a year?..What incident will cause an immediate halt i.e. broken leg or death?..how many children per month and elderly use the prom now, so that if they DONT use it in future this will be taken into account?...

security word guess & hope
So can we know what measurements the 'brains' behind this have set so it can be judged whether it is success or not...How many collisions is acceptable over a year?..What incident will cause an immediate halt i.e. broken leg or death?..how many children per month and elderly use the prom now, so that if they DONT use it in future this will be taken into account?... security word guess & hope ShorehamBeachcomber
  • Score: 0

5:48pm Wed 5 Aug 09

Harry Callahan says...

I ride along the prom anyway and if they ban it again I will continue to do so, however I always ride with consideration to others as I am a proper cyclist not just some muppet who happens to ride a bike with no thought for anyone else!
I ride along the prom anyway and if they ban it again I will continue to do so, however I always ride with consideration to others as I am a proper cyclist not just some muppet who happens to ride a bike with no thought for anyone else! Harry Callahan
  • Score: 0

10:23pm Wed 5 Aug 09

king says...

Consideration by everyone is all that is needed.

As a cyclist myself, I am shocked sometimes at how people go down the prom at speed...

Sooo...boys slow down when there are pedestrians around.
Consideration by everyone is all that is needed. As a cyclist myself, I am shocked sometimes at how people go down the prom at speed... Sooo...boys slow down when there are pedestrians around. king
  • Score: 0

7:29am Thu 6 Aug 09

John Steed says...

im not sure why there should be a comparison with brightons ill planned, badly sited ridicoulouly narrow attempt at a cycle lane. nothing but a political sop and worthings situation.
Worthing prominade is flat and wide, & much higher than the road with exceptionaly good visibility and generally completly unobstructed, a joy to cycle or roller skate down.
I have cycled it many times for an enjoyable evening or very early morning exercise, at these times it is, unlike brighton incredably tranquill
the council wisely have decided to officially reopen what unofficially has never been closed
as to detractors, well there are always a few, in this case they will, even if they objected still be able to safely use the prom
im not sure why there should be a comparison with brightons ill planned, badly sited ridicoulouly narrow attempt at a cycle lane. nothing but a political sop and worthings situation. Worthing prominade is flat and wide, & much higher than the road with exceptionaly good visibility and generally completly unobstructed, a joy to cycle or roller skate down. I have cycled it many times for an enjoyable evening or very early morning exercise, at these times it is, unlike brighton incredably tranquill the council wisely have decided to officially reopen what unofficially has never been closed as to detractors, well there are always a few, in this case they will, even if they objected still be able to safely use the prom John Steed
  • Score: 0

10:09am Thu 6 Aug 09

tilburyre says...

The problem is simple. There will be moronic idiots cycling at 25mph along a crowded promenade on a summer afternoon expecting pedestrians to get out of their way.

This yet another daft idea promoted on the basis that cyclists are some sort of environmental hero. They are not. They pay no tax, pass no test and have no insurance (or lights or bell usually). They cycle on the pavement and the wrong way down one way streets. They ignore red lights and pedestrian crossings. A significant minority of them are nothing but anti-social nuisances.

Who will pay the compensation for the first inevitable serious injury? It's long odds the cyclist won't be insured.

If these people want exercise I can recommend walking on the promenade. - which, by it very name is meant for walking.
The problem is simple. There will be moronic idiots cycling at 25mph along a crowded promenade on a summer afternoon expecting pedestrians to get out of their way. This yet another daft idea promoted on the basis that cyclists are some sort of environmental hero. They are not. They pay no tax, pass no test and have no insurance (or lights or bell usually). They cycle on the pavement and the wrong way down one way streets. They ignore red lights and pedestrian crossings. A significant minority of them are nothing but anti-social nuisances. Who will pay the compensation for the first inevitable serious injury? It's long odds the cyclist won't be insured. If these people want exercise I can recommend walking on the promenade. - which, by it very name is meant for walking. tilburyre
  • Score: 0

10:49am Thu 6 Aug 09

Fercri Sakes says...

I'm sure there was a car accident on the M27 a few weeks ago. Using the current logic maybe we should ban all cars on that road so it never happens again?
I'm sure there was a car accident on the M27 a few weeks ago. Using the current logic maybe we should ban all cars on that road so it never happens again? Fercri Sakes
  • Score: 0

12:06pm Thu 6 Aug 09

TrumanP says...

I am delighted to read the news that us residents can at last officially cycle along the sea front. My heart has been in my mouth each time I've seen a child cycling to school on the road just metres in front of the promenade. Cycling to work will promote long term health for my other half and hopefully for other working types.
There are always people who are careless, be they cyclists, pedestrians, motorists or pensioners in their motorised wheelchairs. Let's hope that overall most of us exercise caution when on the promenade.
I wish however that the council would designate clearly signposted lanes for the cyclists - not doing that leaves us cyclists vulnerable I believe. Having a cycling lane puts more responsibility on pedestrians.
I am delighted to read the news that us residents can at last officially cycle along the sea front. My heart has been in my mouth each time I've seen a child cycling to school on the road just metres in front of the promenade. Cycling to work will promote long term health for my other half and hopefully for other working types. There are always people who are careless, be they cyclists, pedestrians, motorists or pensioners in their motorised wheelchairs. Let's hope that overall most of us exercise caution when on the promenade. I wish however that the council would designate clearly signposted lanes for the cyclists - not doing that leaves us cyclists vulnerable I believe. Having a cycling lane puts more responsibility on pedestrians. TrumanP
  • Score: 0

12:14pm Mon 17 Aug 09

Local hero says...

I welcome these proposals, it is a long overdue decision from the Council. Anything to promote sustainable transport and remove cars in Worthing sounds great to me!
I welcome these proposals, it is a long overdue decision from the Council. Anything to promote sustainable transport and remove cars in Worthing sounds great to me! Local hero
  • Score: 0

9:15pm Thu 20 Aug 09

teethytaylor says...

In response to tilburyre's comments, it's a shame that you have made this sweeping generalisation that cyclists are "moronic idiots" that "cycle along a crowded promenade at 25mph expecting pedestrians to get out of their way". I have been using the promenade to cycle for many years now and have not once had an accident. If there are pedestrians in my way, I slow down and pass them safely, and the only person who has ever complained was a man who moved quite a long way accross the promenade to purposely walk in my way and started shouting at me, which frankly is ridiculous as I was cycling at a safe speed and causing absolutely no harm. And to claim that cyclists think they are environmental heroes is also very false, even though they do not pollute (apart from their manufacture, which is far less than a car) and do not use any of the worlds dwindling oil supplied (yes people, the world needs oil for other things than cars you know), it's also very good for peoples health. You might like to try it some time, it makes you feel pretty good. I use the promenade to get to work from Lancing to Goring, but it would take me an awful long time to walk it (i've tried it, it takes an hour and a half). People need a quick and efficient alternative to driving cars. As for all the other acusations you make towards cyclists (going through red lights, going the wrong way down one way streets), these are petty and have nothing to do with cycling along the promenade. And, on the subject that you mentioned about potential injuries on the promenade, how many cyclists get killed or injured on the roads due to careless driving? A lot more than pedestrians on the promenade I can assure you. Please try to be more open minded, then maybe, just maybe, we can all use the promenade safely and responsibly.
In response to tilburyre's comments, it's a shame that you have made this sweeping generalisation that cyclists are "moronic idiots" that "cycle along a crowded promenade at 25mph expecting pedestrians to get out of their way". I have been using the promenade to cycle for many years now and have not once had an accident. If there are pedestrians in my way, I slow down and pass them safely, and the only person who has ever complained was a man who moved quite a long way accross the promenade to purposely walk in my way and started shouting at me, which frankly is ridiculous as I was cycling at a safe speed and causing absolutely no harm. And to claim that cyclists think they are environmental heroes is also very false, even though they do not pollute (apart from their manufacture, which is far less than a car) and do not use any of the worlds dwindling oil supplied (yes people, the world needs oil for other things than cars you know), it's also very good for peoples health. You might like to try it some time, it makes you feel pretty good. I use the promenade to get to work from Lancing to Goring, but it would take me an awful long time to walk it (i've tried it, it takes an hour and a half). People need a quick and efficient alternative to driving cars. As for all the other acusations you make towards cyclists (going through red lights, going the wrong way down one way streets), these are petty and have nothing to do with cycling along the promenade. And, on the subject that you mentioned about potential injuries on the promenade, how many cyclists get killed or injured on the roads due to careless driving? A lot more than pedestrians on the promenade I can assure you. Please try to be more open minded, then maybe, just maybe, we can all use the promenade safely and responsibly. teethytaylor
  • Score: 0

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