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‘Stick to speed limit,’ Commons Council warns cycling groups

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COASTAL paths around L’Ancresse could be closed to cyclists in response to the behaviour of a few, it was revealed at the last Vale Commons Council meeting.

Vale Commons Council members Roger Dadd said there had been several complaints by members of the public in relation to some cyclists using the paths. (21261538)

The paths around the common have been open to cyclists on a trial basis for eight years.

The council has written to the various bicycle groups on the island warning them about the potential closure of the paths.

Council member Roger Dadd, who was elected for another term during the meeting, said there had been several complaints by members of the public in relation to some cyclists using the paths.

‘Probably about eight years ago we gave them a trial as long as they stuck to the 5mph speed limit and gave way to pedestrians,’ said Mr Dadd.

‘The complaints we get are that when [pedestrians] remonstrate with them they get a load of abuse back. We’ve asked cyclists to abide by the rules – if they don’t everyone will lose out. We don’t want to spoil it for people enjoying the common, the majority will always suffer,’ he said.

In response, during open questions at the meeting, cyclist and Guernsey Velo Club committee member Andy Gibson said he believed the paths were used by mountain bikers of which there are less than 100 in the island.

He suggested opening the common area up for cyclists to use rather than attempt to over-police the footpaths.

‘It has been proven that a rolling wheel does not cause that much damage to the turf, no more than a tractor or bracken strimmer,’ he said.

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The meeting also called for a vote by show of hands as to the best course of action for the L’Ancresse anti-tank wall, which showed three out of around 100 attendees were in favour of removing the wall.

A presentation was also given by archaeologist Tania Walls in which it was revealed that the Clifton Antiquarian Club will visit the island in May to undertake a number of digs of potential prehistoric sites on the common, including one to ascertain whether certain areas once operated as burial barrows.

La Societe Guernesiaise conservation officer Jamie Hooper spoke about, among other issues surrounding plant and wildlife conservation, the danger of the Spanish bluebell appearing in the area. The plant is noticeable for its upright stems, lack of scent and conical bell-shaped flowers with open tips. The native species could be wiped out as a result of the encroachment of the foreign bluebell. The advice was to pull the plant out at the root if seen.

Several speakers thanked the council for a productive meeting before the close of thanks.

Alex Warlow

By Alex Warlow
News reporter

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