KITE flying has been banned on Bridlington’s beaches – because of new health and safety laws branded “mad” by locals.
Kiting enthusiasts could face a fine of up to £500 if caught on the sands, due to new East Riding of Yorkshire Council bye-laws.
Up until these bye-laws were introduced, members of the public were free to take kites, kite buggies or land yachts on Bridlington’s North or South beaches.
But now, the council has the power to enforce the fines if it finds the bye-laws have been broken.
However, a spokesman for East Riding of Yorkshire Council confirmed council officials will be using “discretion” when applying the new laws – which they say will be mainly targeted at kite buggies.
The spokesman said: “The council has discretion regarding enforcement and it is not our intention to unnecessarily enforce the bye-law in the case of the traditional domestic pleasure kite where the activity is clearly not putting anyone at risk.
“The bye-law is, however, relevant in respect of very large kites, often propelled at high speeds, which have become popular and are considered a risk in a beach setting.
“Others not conducting themselves in a safe manner or causing a nuisance to third parties will also be challenged.
“The safety of kite users and those in the vicinity will take priority and the bye-law enforced, but if the activity is deemed to be of minimal risk council officers will not unnecessarily curtail enjoyable activities.”
Free Press reader Marion Carr, of Pinfold Court, said: “I couldn’t believe it when I heard about the kite ban.
“We go walking along the beaches, and enjoy seeing people with their kites, even the buggies and land yachts which are good fun to watch.
“Our children used to fly kites and our grandchildren, although they are only young, enjoy seeing the different types up and down the beach.
“Also, I haven’t seen any signs up about it so how are people supposed – continued on Page 3
to know? It’s health and safety gone mad.”
The council spokesman explained that the wording of the bye-laws is difficult to change as they are set nationally, and therefore must cover the use of all kites – including ordinary kites.
This means that the bye-law could be enforced if a hand-held kite was being used on the beach, but the spokesman confirmed that this was unlikely unless the beach was very busy and the user was causing a risk to the health and safety of others.
The council spokesman continued: “The East Riding adopted the seashore and promenade bye-laws on March 11 2011 covering Bridlington North and Bridlington South beach, after a period of consultation with various parties.
“They are national, model bye-laws and therefore the ability to influence the content locally is extremely limited.”
The bye-laws will be enforced by East Riding of Yorkshire Council foreshore officers in conjunction with Humberside Police.
The new bye-laws apply to the entire coast of the East Riding, including Fraisthorpe beach, which is well known as a popular location for the use of kite buggies and land yachts. Many enthusiasts travel to Fraisthorpe from across Yorkshire to use the beach.