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New byelaws will ban leisure activities on Bancroft Gardens, the Rec and Tramway in Stratford

NEW byelaws to control a wide range of activities could soon come into force on Bancroft Gardens, the Rec and the Tramway in Stratford.

This could see the banning of lighting sky lanterns, cycling, bathing, playing ball games and throwing missiles; and it could also see motorbikes prevented from parking on certain areas by Waterside.

The proposed regulations will replace the existing byelaws which date back to the turn of the last century and are no longer considered fit for purpose as they don’t reflect ‘modern society’ or cover the gadgets which people can use for leisure, such as flying drones and model aircraft.

The changes were discussed by Stratford District Council last Friday.

View of the Bancroft Gardens in Stratford-upon-Avon. Photo: Mark Williamson.
View of the Bancroft Gardens in Stratford-upon-Avon. Photo: Mark Williamson.

In addition this week, following the meeting, the council’s regulatory committee issued an update to the progress of the byelaws, including what was happening about the motorbikes.

The purpose of the byelaws, according to the council, is to allow it to manage the Bancroft Gardens, Rec and Tramway more effectively and allow the public to understand what they can and cannot do so that everyone can enjoy the three areas.

Once the council’s regulatory committee approves the byelaws, they will be sent for further approval to the secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities.

Cllr Ian Shenton, climate change portfolio holder, said: “The current byelaws are out of date and no longer fit for purpose. The proposed new byelaws reflect today’s modern society. Having a new set of byelaws makes it easier for the public to understand as well as being able to manage the area more effectively.”

Details about some of the proposed byelaws are:

Camping: No person shall, without the consent of the council, erect a tent or use a vehicle, caravan or any other structure for the purpose of camping in the grounds except in a designated area for camping.

Fires and sky lanterns: No person shall light a fire, place, throw or drop a lighted match or any other thing likely to cause a fire or release a lighted sky lantern.

Missiles: No person shall throw or propel a device in the grounds which is liable to cause injury to any other person including javelins, discus or hammer.

Cycling: No person shall, without reasonable excuse, ride a cycle in the grounds except in any part of the grounds where there is a right of way for cycles or on a designated route for cycling. A person shall not, except in the exercise of a lawful right or privilege, ride a cycle on the Tramway Bridge.

Skateboarding: No person shall skate, slide or ride on rollers, skateboards (including electric skateboards) or other self-propelled vehicles.

Ball games: No ball games in the grounds in such a manner: (a) as to exclude persons not playing ball games from use of that part; (b) as to cause danger or give reasonable grounds for annoyance to any other person in the grounds. No person shall throw or strike a cricket ball with a bat except in a designated area in the grounds for playing cricket.

Bathing: No bathing without reasonable excuse in any waterway in the Grounds.

The council added that the byelaws will be clearly signposted and enforcement carried out by a council officer or the police.

In an update on what was happening about the motorbikes, a council spokesperson said:

“The parking of motorcycles falls into two parking groups namely, those parked either on the footway adjoining Waterside, or, at the back edge of the promenade running parallel with the footway.

“As for those motorcycles parked on the footway adjoining Waterside, this area is maintained at public expense and, therefore, under the control and enforcement powers of Warwickshire County Council as the highway authority. As such, this proposed byelaw does not allow the district council to permit any parking of motorcycles on that area.

“For those motorcycles parked at the back of the promenade, this is an area within the control of the district council, however, the proposed byelaw, if confirmed, does not automatically permit parking on the promenade. The proposed byelaw permits the district council to designate an area on the grounds (but likely on Bancroft Gardens where parking is officially sought) if an assessment considers it safe to do so. That assessment will be considered at the appropriate time.”

The secretary of state has 30 days from receipt of the council’s submission to either confirm the request (with or without modifications), acknowledge the submission with a response or refuse the request.

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