A CYCLIST from Southport believes that the sand-covered cyclepath near to Southport Pier has become dangerous as it is ‘virtually impassible’ - and next to a 10ft drop.
Champion reader Stephen Davies took two images of the current state of a section of National Cycle Route 62 near Southport Pier.
He said: “In some places, it is entirely covered by sand, rendering it virtually impassable by bicycle and unsafe for anyone to attempt, given that they face either a ten foot drop to the beach on one side or colliding with the raised sea wall on the other if they lose control of their bicycle on the deposited sand.
“This sand needs to be removed and the cycle lane restored to its full safe width which would allow cyclists to travel along it without risk. It is extremely disappointing that, while Sefton Council is running a public consultation about more cycle routes through Southport, it cannot maintain its current routes to a safe standard, particularly a National Route and one that it ‘lauds’ in various promotional documents for use by visitors to the town and locals, such as ‘Walking and Cycling Guide to Sefton’s Natural Coast’.
“Discussions between my wife and a member of Sefton Council’s staff while on this stretch of the route revealed that the staff member had already fielded a number of complaints about the state of the cycle way and that he had passed them on, but nothing had been done.
“Also, the total lack of signage at both ends of the cycle lane along this section means that it is unclear that this is a dedicated cycle lane and so cyclists are always having to avoid pedestrians walking along it. There is signage at the crossing points from the pedestrian path to the beach warning pedestrians that they are crossing a cycle lane, but not at the start/finish at both ends. Surely it is necessary here also.”
A spokesperson for Sefton Council responded: “Due to its location and the weather conditions at the coast, the cycle route will always be prone to windblown sand, as people will understand.
“Our Green Sefton team, who manage the coast, undertake regular observation and maintenance to ensure that these coastal footpaths and cycleways are kept clear for all users. This work is undertaken both proactively and reactively as quickly as our limited resources allow, with the current good weather, increased visitor numbers and extra covid measures this can sometimes take time.
“We ask the public to be patient as we try to reach those affected areas and clear the path as quickly as we can.”