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Village's 'ugly' bike rack could be moved after complaints

The new bike racks outside Tesco on Brookley Road, Brockenhurst
The new bike racks outside Tesco on Brookley Road, Brockenhurst

AN “ugly” cycle rack in Brockenhurst could be moved to free up parking spaces after complaints from villagers.

Parish councillors agreed the scheme to install the racks had been a success, but some received complaints about the facility outside the Tesco store in Brookley Road, which has replaced two parking spaces.

Built at a cost of £11,000, the idea of having three racks in the village centre was pursued by the parish council and village business association to encourage healthy lifestyles and make it Covid-19 safe. However, those outside the Tesco cover one-and-a-half of the two spaces there.

At the latest parish council meeting, Cllr Alan Bartlett said he knew of people who were “not happy” about it, adding: “People are upset about the one outside of Tesco; those spaces have been prime parking spaces up until now.”

Cllr Michael Harris was in no doubt the racks were “successful” but was concerned they were “ugly”, adding: “This is a good scheme but I am a little bit worried about the look of the village, which I think is looking a bit untidy.”

He was not in favour of an idea championed by Cllr Michael Croker to feature local children’s artwork on the racks, claiming that could amount to “graffiti”

“I think they are good, I think they are here to stay,” Cllr Harris said. “I would certainly consider moving the one outside of Tesco to the old post office site [on Brookley Road].”

Cllr John Wingham agreed the racks “seemed to be working” but stressed they were a “temporary scheme” and aspects could be changed.

But Cllrs Croker and Pauline Mueller defended the location, the latter adding the rack had been placed outside Tesco as there had been “near misses” with cyclists and pedestrians in the Tesco car park, where there are already some racks.

Cllr Croker said the triangle-shaped design of the racks was for safety and due to the fact grazing animals roamed the village.

While the racks have proved popular with cyclists, they have been divisive among villagers – some of whom have written letters to the A&T in recent weeks.

In one, a resident slammed the idea as “idiocy” and wondered why the parish council was being “so kind to the cyclist” – especially when the Tesco car park already had cycle tracks.

Speaking after the meeting, parish clerk Jim Bailey told the A&T: “The scheme is due to be in until the end of May 2021, but will be subject to review.

“Any proposed changes will be put to the council to debate and pass resolutions on in the usual way.”

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