FOUR speed indicator signs costing £3,000 each have been put in place on Bournemouth seafront in a bid to encourage cyclists to slow down.

The vehicle-activated signs flash up the speed limit of 10mph to warn offending riders they are going too fast along the prom.

Three of the signs have been paid for by the council while the fourth has been funded by fed up beach hut owners.

Last year a 72-year-old grandmother was left badly hurt after she was knocked over by a cyclist doing 20mph.

Joanna Scott suffered swelling and bruising to her foot and knee following the incident as she walked along Alum Chine.

Two months later a boy of five was left with cuts and bruises after being struck by a cyclist going too fast.

The new signs are on top of existing signage informing cyclists of the 10mph speed limit and that pedestrians have the right of way.

As well as the speed limit, the prom is also subject to a bylaw that bans cycling in July and August between 10am and 6pm. The signs change to show ‘no cycling’ during the summer ban.

Chris Saunders, Bournemouth and Poole Tourism’s head of operations, said: “Cycling along the promenade is a pleasure that many residents and visitors enjoy and the council actively promote as a safe route to commute and keep fit.

“The interactive signs are designed to encourage cyclists and delivery vehicles to slow down and help ensure the promenade is safe for all to use.”

Ann Gerrard, chairman of the Bournemouth Beach Hut Association, said: “We have tried to stop people and tell them the speed limit but we just get a lot of verbal abuse.

“The council said they were doing a couple of these signs as Bournemouth and Boscombe and we had enough funds to sponsor one, we thought it was beneficial and our members agreed.

“It’s an ongoing issue and there have been a lot of near misses, especially with holiday-makers who don’t expect to see cyclists there.

“Hopefully these signs will be a bit more noticeable and get people to slow down.”

Sam Jones, from Cycling UK, said: “We always encourage people to go carefully and considerately and people shouldn’t be using the promenade as a cycle motorway, it is a shared space.

“But £12,000 for four signs does seem a bit excessive, maybe the money would be better spent addressing the few troublemakers, rather than vilifying all cyclists.

“There was a story recently about a cyclist who was killed - people are dying and being injured on the roads around Bournemouth, wouldn’t council funding be better focused on saving lives?”

Jason Falconer, chairman of Bournemouth Cycling Forum, said: “We have always supported peak time restrictions on the sea front, but that seems like a lot of money to spend on signage.

“There are a small minority that mess it up for the bigger proportion of people on two wheels. I hope it would be worth it, but it’s down to individuals to be responsible for their actions.”