Christchurch Park cycle campaign sparks debate among readers

Sarah Bones, park patrol supervisor for parks and open spaces with the cycling awareness campaign in

Sarah Bones, park patrol supervisor for parks and open spaces with the cycling awareness campaign in Christchurch Park. - Credit: Lucy Taylor

Cyclists riding through Christchurch Park were reminded to use the dedicated cycle path during a council campaign.

Three Ipswich Borough Council workers were out in the town centre green space last Wednesday handing out maps and offering advice.

A borough spokesman said: “We were pleased that the campaign was highlighted so effectively in the Ipswich Star and that a lot of people had already got the no cycling message.

“We did speak to a few riders who were unaware of the by-laws and several park users came up to our team to support the awareness campaign.

“We also spoke to lots of dog walkers who were unclear that the ‘dogs on lead’ rule applied to the Arboretum.”

There is one legal cycle route in the park, from Westerfield Road to the bridleway running alongside Henley Road.

Use of other paths for cycling is a breach of local by-laws.

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Ipswich Star readers have waded into the debate on social media with a mixed bag of opinions.

Sue Ward said: “When I lived near the park 13 years ago, you could cycle anywhere on the paths, within the park. Why are there now restrictions?

“As long as cyclists give way to pedestrians and keep to a sensible speed, let’s share the space!”

Matthew Giles said cyclists using the pedestrian paths was only a problem if they knocked into walkers.

Dean Catchpole added: “Me and my family are lucky to live close to the park and use it a lot. I’m pretty much in the park every single week throughout the year.

“My family also cycle a lot. Providing cyclists use it with care and slow down around other park users, dog walkers and children I see no problem at all.”

Cycling through the park only becomes as issue when riders travel too quickly, Mark Double said.

“You can’t pinpoint the good cyclists from the bad so the only way around it is to ban cycling,” he added.

Christchurch Park was last month awarded a certificate of excellence from customer review travel website TripAdvisor.

The 19th Century green space was given the accolade as a result of receiving consistently good write ups on the site.