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30th Jun, 2022

Stratford's century-old byelaw update could spell the end of motorbike 'spectacle'

PLANS to update a century-old byelaw in Stratford which could lead to the end of motorbikes parking up on Waterside looks set to get the green light.

Stratford District Council’s Regulatory Committee is set to decide on a re-drafted set of clauses relating to Bancroft Gardens and the Recreation Ground.

That the existing byelaw was over 100 years-old was brought to their attention when a resident complained about the number of motorbikes frequently parked across paving in the adjoining Waterside.

Many residents have long claimed the number of bikes which park up, particularly at weekends, was a safety hazard.

A drafted clause caused some controversy when the proposed byelaw went out for consultation in 2020.

It aimed to prevent bikes from parking there since the district council pointed out the paving was maintained at the public’s expense and Warwickshire County Council was in control of highways.

The clause does however permit the district council to create a designated parking area in Bancroft Gardens providing an assessment finds it safe to do so.

Bikers – who regularly meet for gatherings – argue the spectacle is an attraction for both tourists and townspeople.

Other clauses which caused anger were the prohibition of cycling on part of the Rec.

But the council says cyclists were welcome to use the designated cycle route which includes the Sustran’s Route (41) which passes over the Tramway Bridge and through the grounds towards Shipston Road. The byelaw also does not rule out the possibility of future routes. Clearer signs will also be put up to help ensure cyclists dismount over the bridge – another issue raised during the consultation.

Other redrafted clauses include permitting skateboarding in parts of the Rec, as long as ‘undertaken in a safe and reasonable manner’, along with tighter rules around ball games and excessive noise.

It also bans the use of sky lanterns which have prompted safety concerns in recent years following a number of fires.

Councillors were recommended to agree the changes at a meeting today (Friday).

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