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Call for cyclist speed limit on Otterspool prom

Wheels in motion to put brakes on lethal stretch

Written by . Published on June 19th 2013.

Call for cyclist speed limit on Otterspool prom

A CALL for what would be Liverpool’s first legal speed limit for cyclists has been made by a city councillor. It comes as the council prepares for the launch of its first ever cycle-hire scheme.

Mossley Hill Lib Dem councillor Tina Gould wants the city council at its July meeting to consider a speed limit along Otterspool Promenade which runs alongside the River Mersey for several miles in South Liverpool.

It follows pleas from pedestrians using the walkway who complained some cyclists use the promenade as a speed track.

Elegant Cyclists In LiverpoolElegantCllr Gould said: “The last think I want to do is deter people from cycling and I am delighted we are getting a cycle hire scheme in the city. But the promenade is shared by cyclists and pedestrians, often child walkers, and at times in the summer the place is crowded.

“Most cyclists use common sense and adjust their speeds accordingly, but others race along at a terrifically fast speed. I have heard people talk of 15 to 20 mph which is far too quick for what is essentially a pedestrian walk way.

“Regular users of the prom tell me it is only a matter of time before an accident occurs with serious consequences.  We need either a legal speed limit and/or signs to warn cyclists of the dangers of going too fast when the prom is packed with pedestrians.”

InelegantInelegantIn the motion she has submitted Cllr Gould says: “Council welcomes the increasing use of Otterspool Promenade as a recreational area of the river front.  Council notes that the Promenade is used by pedestrians and cyclists and whilst we encourage more people to use cycles as a green mode of transport, it notes the concerns of some pedestrians by the speed of some cyclists. 

Council requests that the Cabinet Member for Transport investigate this situation and  look at the possibility of introducing a bye-law which would place a speed limit on cyclists using Otterspool Promenade. 

If a bye-law is not feasible Council requests a publicity campaign which would raise awareness of this issue to try and ensure that the promenade remains a safe place for pedestrians and cyclists to enjoy.”

Since multi-million pound improvement work was completed at Otterspool, the riverfront in south Liverpool has become a major visitor attraction, particularly for families wanting a day out during the warm summer weather.  

Linked with the riverfront promenade at Brunswick and Queens Docks, it also provides a road-traffic free cycle route stretching several miles from Grassendale virtually into the heart of Liverpool. This has encouraged increasing numbers of city centre workers to commute to their jobs by cycle.

Added Cllr Gould: “This issue needs to be carefully looked at now rather than wait until there is an unfortunate incident. If cyclists adjust their speeds according to conditions that would be fine, but unfortunately far too many ride at excessive speeds when the prom is busy with pedestrians.”


The issue is scheduled to come before the city council on July 17. 




Many years ago a 15mph speed limit was introduced around the perimeter road of Sefton Park. This bye-law set a maximum fine of 40s (£2) for speeders, though the rules appears to have become obsolete.
Under the Highway Code there is no separate speed limit advice for cycles, apart from complying with limits set for all roads.
Cyclists can face prosecution, for offences such as ‘cycling furiously’ – but it would be interesting to know when that charges was used anywhere in the UK.
In 2004 the Department of Transport, in a discussion document suggested cyclists wanting to travel at more than 18mph should be riding on the roads.


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11 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

SpokespersonJune 19th 2013.

It is true that the Lycra and helmet nutcases can be very anti-social; they don’t even doff their helmets as a matter of courtesy to other road-users. However the Council ought also to consider a limit to the number of fat people who are allowed to waddle - line abreast - blocking the prom and refusing to give way to anyone, pedestrian or cyclist.

Mickeydrippin'June 19th 2013.

I am not against cycling in principle but sadly there are quite a few two-wheeled nutters around. For example those who ride at high speed on pavements and give the excuse that the roads are too dangerous. A couple of weeks ago, I was waiting for a bus on Queens Drive, by East Prescot Road and a cyclist (no helmet) rode past, muttering to himself about the Highway Code. He then proceeded to cross the junction against a red light, dodging traffic heading into the city centre. My bus caught up with him at the Rocket, where he did exactly the same thing against traffic going to/from the M62. He obviously liked the idea of riding in ambulances.

Georgina OwenJune 19th 2013.

It's not about introducing speed limits, this should be about the Council investing in specific areas and lanes for cyclists. It could be achieved at Otterspool along the riverside roadway as it is wide. Please amend the motion and ask for a designated lane?

Tom HunterJune 19th 2013.

There should be a designated cycle path and pedestrian area - that way there will be no issues

Edward BarrettJune 19th 2013.


1 Response: Reply To This...
Doctor BolusJune 19th 2013.


MurphJune 19th 2013.

Well Done Georgina. Close Libraries and Childcare facilities, sell off parks and swimming baths, but spend half a million on cycle paths for cyclists who don't even pay to go on the roads!!! Good Grief!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
John BradleyJune 19th 2013.

Well Done Murph, pedestrians don't pay to use the pavement so perhaps sell should sell them?

Chain GangJune 19th 2013.

Hear hear! The roads belong to pedestrians and cyclists and they have every legal right to use them. It was the cycling lobby that more a century ago pressured the government into providing smooth roads. Cars came much later. Drivers of motor vehicles are only legally allowed on the roads if they have a licence.

SpokespersonJune 19th 2013.

Cycle lanes are not a solution. On the roads they are too narrow and are located in the gutter along with all the grids, drains, sharp stones, broken glass, illegally-parking cars etc., and cyclists riding close to the kerb are not so apparent to drivers and are more likely to be hit by a car. . . When they are clearly painted no more than five feet wide on a thirty-foot wide promenade as they are over the water between Seacombe Ferry and New Brighton they are obstructed by dopes pushing baby buggies, dog-walkers exercising their dogs’ bowels, cannabis smokers, more waddling fatties, poorly-supervised toddlers and the sort of antisocial pedestrians who will not move aside.

RobertJuly 17th 2013.

15-20mph! They must have been riding into a headwind, for speeds along the Prom are subject to one crucial factor - the wind direction..... I should know having been riding to work along it for 15-years now. I think speeds of 30mph and upwards are common with a tailwind. It's a new cyclist thing, for old hands at riding know that people / children / dogs = unpredictability = you slow down and give a wide berth. I do see accidents coming through inconsiderate behaviour by both cyclists AND pedestrians / dog walkers. The council cannot police dog fouling so their control freakish attitude to all ill's in society will come to nothing. A few signs about awareness of presence might make a difference but its simple common sense that is lacking in the populous - which the council again can never legislate for!

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