‘No proposals’ for Gorleston prom to be opened to cyclists

A busy beach and promenade at Gorleston. The lower prom has been opened to cyclists. Picture: James

A busy beach and promenade at Gorleston. The lower prom has been opened to cyclists. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2012

Town hall leaders have allayed fears that Gorleston's upper promenade will be opened up to cyclists.

Concerns have been raised that after a bylaw was lifted allowing riders to pedal along the lower esplanade the same will be done to the upper path, which is much more narrow.

But Trevor Wainwright, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, stressed there were 'no proposals at all' to allow cycling on the upper prom, when the issue was raised by residents at a meeting.

Mr Wainwright was speaking at the Gorleston Area Committee on Tuesday when cycling on the prom was discussed.

He said extra signs had been put on the upper path telling cyclists they should not be using the area but it was 'impossible' to enforce.

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'We haven't got the manpower, we just hope people respect the signs as they would a speeding sign,' he added. 'If one of our civil enforcement officers happens to be up there at the time he would challenge them.'

The bylaw allowing cycling along the lower prom was lifted in 2013 and since then Mr Wainwright said the mix of bikes and pedestrians had passed without incident and was 'working' but he added: 'There's no question of us making the upper prom for cycling.'

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Pedalling expert Neil Turner, who runs Great Yarmouth's bike hub through social enterprise Activating CiC, was also at the meeting and offered to help get more people in the saddle - and in turn help the relationship between walkers and cyclists on the lower prom.

He said: 'The more we can do to attract pedestrians and cyclists to live together on a stretch of tarmac wider than the Acle Straight the better.

'I would be more than happy to run the 21st century equivalent of cycling proficiency down there aimed at adults and families, getting people to ride safely, improve confidence, bike control and improve the connection to motorists and pedestrians.

'And if we have got individuals concerned about cycling I can take them on the back of a tandem and talk it through with them while we ride.'

During the meeting it was also reported that a bench that had been removed from Gorleston Cemetery would be replaced. The new seat has been ordered and would be reinstated soon.

Residents also asked the committee about the ongoing White Lions Steps saga and if there was any update on their repair.

Mr Wainwright said the matter was still with lawyers because of problems with access. He added: 'I agree it's been going on for years, it's ridiculous. They have managed to get half of it open but it's incredible how long it takes.

'I will ask the question to report back to see exactly where we are in the legal system.'

The steps, a popular shortcut to the seafront, collapsed in April 2012 and have only been opened partially since.

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