As we approach the summer tourist season, the year-long trial allowing cycling along Felixstowe’s Promenade seems to be going well according to the Council, as there have been very few complaints recorded .
However Suffolk Coastal has repeated its appeal for people using the Prom to take extra care, as the shared space becomes busier. And there were originally heated exchanges at Felixstowe Town Council meetings about the trial going ahead.
If you have had a near miss – or feel the trial is not working for any reason – now is your time to contact Felixstowe Forward at the Town Hall. All comments and complaints are logged – and it is against this record that the final decision will be made.
Since the trial was launched, Felixstowe Forward has only received three complaints and one comment to date. All of which came in within a few weeks of the launch. These related to concerns around the introduction of cycling on the Prom, the need for cyclists to dismount in congested areas and one highlighting a near miss between a pedestrian and cyclist.
The trial to allow cycling on the Prom was officially launched in mid-October 2016, when the byelaw which prohibited cycling was lifted to allow cycling for a period of 12 months.
Temporary signs have been installed to promote the trial and inform both pedestrians and cyclists that the Prom is now a shared space, with cycling permitted. The signs stress the need for cyclists to be mindful of pedestrians and to dismount in crowded or narrow areas.
“We are pleased that the trial to allow cycling on the Prom appears to be going very well. However, we are now coming to the crunch period, with the summer season approaching, when the Prom will become increasingly busy,” said Cllr TJ Haworth-Culf, Suffolk Coastal’s Cabinet Member for Customers, Communities and Leisure.
“As such, we would repeat our warnings for people to take extra care during busy periods. Cyclists need to use this space safely, with respect for pedestrians, and, if need be, dismount in busy or narrow areas.”
“Equally, pedestrians need to be aware that the Prom is now a shared space and is also being used by cyclists, so they need to take extra care, particularly if they have young children or dogs. We need everyone to take care, work together and use their commonsense when on the Prom.”
The trial has been put in place, following a request from Felixstowe Town Council. This led to a public consultation, conducted by Felixstowe Forward in 2016, which showed that the majority of people would like to see cycling allowed along Felixstowe’s Promenade
The trial period will continue to be monitored throughout the year and a final report will be prepared at the end of this period to determine the trial’s success and give recommendations for the future.