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Cyclists treat York Minster piazza ‘like slalom course’
CYCLISTS who treat crowds gathering outside York Minster as a “sort of slalom challenge” have been slated by York Civic Trust.
The conservation watchdog said that if irresponsible behaviour by a few cyclists in the Minster’s new piazza area did not improve, City of York Council might have to order people to dismount from their bicycles.
The trust claimed in its annual report that while the vast majority of cyclists rode carefully and considerately through the piazza, a few appeared to believe they had priority and it was pedestrians’ responsibility to get out of the way.
“They cycle increasingly fast through the area and appear to regard negotiating their way through the crowds as a sort of slalom challenge,” it said.
It argued there were plenty of continental models which proved pedestrians and cyclists could co-exist harmoniously, but there had already been a few near misses at the piazza.
The trust claimed the responsibility for public safety belonged absolutely to the council.
“In order to avoid a serious accident and the real possibility of a substantial claim for damages, the council may have to order cyclists to dismount,” it said.
“This could be avoided by everyone acting responsibly and with due consideration for all who are using this splendid new addition to the city’s landscape.”
The trust also criticised skateboarders, who it said looked on any ramps, railings of flights of steps as a playground and had already inflicted some minor damage to the new stonework.
Paul Hepworth, spokesman for North Yorkshire CTC, said it strongly supported 24/7 access continuing through the piazza area but said better signage was needed to warn pedestrians that cyclists were passing through, perhaps in the manner that pedestrians were warned at Walmgate Bar.
Richard Bogg, highway development manager, said: “The council is and will continue to work closely with the Minster to monitor how people use the piazza over the forthcoming months, and has placed a number of temporary signs around the piazza to remind people that it is an area that pedestrians, cyclists and horse drawn carriages use.”
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