A CYCLIST has criticised the planning of the new cycle paths at Whitecliff and Baiter parks for being too susceptible to flooding.

BCP Council has redeveloped the harbourside path from Whitecliff to Baiter in Poole with a separated cycle path introduced alongside the existing shared path for pedestrians.

This followed a public consultation last year, in which the council outlined plans to “create a safer environment for those travelling on foot or by bike”.

However, a local cyclist says he and others would “be better off” travelling on the adjacent pedestrian path following instances of the Whitecliff cycleway being flooded.

The resident, who did not wish to be named, told the Echo: “You'll notice that the cycle path, on the right, is flooded and covered in debris which is likely to cause punctures, whereas the pedestrian path is virtually dry and clean of debris.

Bournemouth Echo: Access point between Whitecliff Road and Baiter ParkAccess point between Whitecliff Road and Baiter Park

“This is repeated in several sections along the new path.

“There doesn't seem to be any provision for flooding, and the groundwork seems to work against the camber of the path and water run-off.

“I [have] watched several cyclists trying to avoid the lake.”

According to council documents on the path, alternate routes were considered through the park but a desire to be sympathetic to the green space meant waterfront paths were preferred.

The resident added: “As a keen cyclist, why on earth would I want to cycle on a waterlogged path, full of debris and risk having to renew inner tubes and even tyres, getting soaked in the process? I’d be better off cycling on the clean and dry pedestrian path.”

The cycleway is located on the park side because this option had a 20 per cent greater level of support. BCP Council advertised their consultation on the proposals on various social media channels.

Bournemouth Echo: Whitecliff Park in Poole prior to the workWhitecliff Park in Poole prior to the work

On one such social media post, a woman said: “Considering some areas of the park are quite prone to flooding, I’d say wider or more paths would only make it worse.”

A BCP Council spokesperson said: “Earlier in the year we completed the installation of the widened footpath and cycle lane at the popular Whitecliff Recreation Park in Poole. This has created a safer route for people to walk and cycle.

“We are aware that some small sections of the cycle path have been flooding at times of heavy rain and high tidal waters which has also spread some debris onto the path.

“We are currently arranging for further earthworks to be carried out to address the issues, however, due to the recent wet weather, this work has been challenging without causing further damage to the field. We have also organised for the path to be cleaned in these areas.”