“Barking mad”: Businessman criticises council for cycle event snub

A sign to Britain's most easterly point 'Ness Point'. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

A sign to Britain's most easterly point 'Ness Point'. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

A Lowestoft businessman has branded a decision by the town council to refuse a free organised cycle ride to finish at Ness Point 'barking mad'.

Duncan Adams, who owns Dunx Cycles on the High Street in Lowestoft, had organised Solstice Sunride, starting in Cambridge on Saturday, June 23, before being informed by the council he needed permission to end the ride at Britain's most easterly point.

Lowestoft Town Council refused Mr Adams permission to hold the event after he failed to show evidence of the required public liability insurance of a minimum of £5 million alongside risk assessments and other paperwork.

The ride, an informal event where people aim to arrive in Lowestoft for the sunrise at 4.30am, is still going ahead, albeit without a formal finishing point and has no upper limit of people taking part.

Mr Adams said: 'When you consider the fact that we will have ridden 99 miles across the country, you can get within 100 yards of Ness Point but can't go there - it is barking mad.

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'They are calling it an event whereby I need insurance and risk assessments and a point of contact available all day.

He added: 'It has definitely put me off organising events. What is the point of trying to organise something when common sense doesn't prevail?'

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A spokesman for Lowestoft Town Council said regardless of an event being free, organisers of events advertised to the general public are required to book the land and meet certain criteria.

She gave the example of the Dawn to Dusk Harley Davidson motorcycle event which starts at Ness Point as one which does so on a yearly basis.

She said: 'If, as in this case, an event is advertised on social media, transport is being arranged for cycles and a refreshment stall will be present, it is reasonable to anticipate that basic measures will be in place.

'This protects both the Council and any organiser who could find they have personal liability.

She added: 'Normally for a free event, we would not charge but it is reasonable for us to require that any littering or damage is rectified by the organiser as part of the terms.'

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