Page last updated at 10:59 GMT, Thursday, 24 September 2009 11:59 UK

Walkers 'frightened' by cyclists

Chaz Knight
Mr Knight says there is a lack of understanding about mountain-bikers

Complaints from walkers saying they were scared by cyclists riding at high speed along footpaths in an area of Jersey have prompted new signs.

But the notices, which explain it is an offence to cycle on Noirmont Common, are inconsistent, said a spokesman for Jersey Cycling Association.

Chaz Knight said horse-riding was allowed on some paths so he did not understand why bike riding was not.

The States said cycling on the common is banned under Policing of Parks Law.

Mr Knight told BBC Jersey the paths mainly used by bike riders were hard gravel or rock.

"The mountain-biking community really does fail to see how we cause more damage to the flora and fauna than other user groups," he said.

Sign at Noirmont Common
Cycling is banned at Noirmont Common under Policing of Parks Law

John Pinel, who is head of Countryside Management, said it had always been against the law to cycle at Noirmont Common because it is legally classified as a park.

In Jersey it is an offence to cycle in a park unless there is a designated cycle route. The penalty for doing so is a fine up to £500.

"The signs were put up on Noirmont recently after pedestrians said they were frightened by the speed some bikes were coming down the footpaths," Mr Pinel said.

"The department is currently working on ideas to increase cycling provisions around the island. What we'd like to do is extend the opportunity for off-road cycling."

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