CYCLISTS who continue to use the busy main footpath through Bournemouth's Lower Gardens have been slammed as "inconsiderate and ignorant" by a town centre councillor.

Several cyclists were spotted riding their bikes along the central walkway, which is not permitted at any time of the year.

One of the culprits can be seen with their bicycle helmet on their handlebars as the move through the restricted area, while another is travelling without holding on to the handlebars.

Cycling is not permitted on the main path through the Lower Gardens at any time of year and a cycle path runs along one side of the Gardens.

Earlier this year a pedestrian suffered a broken ankle after an accident with a cyclist who was travelling on his bike with his dog on a lead.

The casualty was tripped by the lead and fell to the ground after the cyclist and the dog went either side of this.

Weeks later cyclists were seen continuing to use the main path despite the area being densely populated with pedestrians.

Andy McDonald, Bournemouth Borough Council's head of parks, said:“There is a signposted cycle route at the side of the gardens, and we urge cyclists to be considerate of pedestrians and to use this designated path.

"Cycling in the lower gardens is not allowed. We liaise with the police on a regular basis across a range of topics.”

The council carries out enforcement checks in the Gardens and anyone caught cycling in areas where they are not permitted to do so could face a penalty fine.

Town centre ward councillor David Smith said it was frustrating to hear of cases where people continue to not follow the safety measures in place. "It is very disappointing that inconsiderate and ignorant cyclists continue to try and cycle down the central footpath when it is extremely busy," Cllr Smith said.

"With a bit more consideration they could use the path on the side of the gardens.

"They should be reminded that there are enforcement officers out patrolling the area and action can be taken.

"The council would always encourage people to cycle but please do it responsibility. There are some places to cycle and others for pedestrians so please have respect for pedestrians."