Outrage at kite-flying ban on East Riding beaches
FAMILIES have been banned from flying kites on award-winning beaches in East Yorkshire.
East Riding Council has introduced £500 fines to people flying kites on beaches.
The new health and safety bylaws cover Bridlington's north and south beaches, Hornsea, Withernsea and Hessle's foreshore.
The council chose to adopt the bylaws to address increasing concern over the use of kite buggies on beaches, although no accidents had been reported.
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But it has not ruled out penalising ordinary kite-flyers if they are considered "a risk" to other beach-goers.
Withernsea town councillor Terry Render said: "I have never heard of anything so ridiculous in my life and it does not help us when we are trying to attract more visitors to Withernsea.
"It is barmy to include all forms of kiting in the new regulations.
"I can understand banning big kite buggies and sail kites because somebody could be badly hurt or killed if hit by them.
"But technically, a little lad flying his home made kite, constructed from bamboo cane and a bit of paper and plastic, could also be prosecuted."
Mr Render said he could not recall one accident involving a kite on Withernsea's beach in the last 60 years.
He said: "I can't understand banning children's kite flying – it is like saying you can come to the beach but you can't enjoy yourself."
The bylaws will be enforced by East Riding Council foreshores officers in conjunction with Humberside Police.
Families who use East Yorkshire's beaches have been shocked to learn about the new regulations.
Mother of one Jenny Hird, of Travis Street, Bridlington, said: "It is absolutely stupid and I think officials are being over-zealous.
"I have lived in Bridlington all my life and flew kites on the beach when I was a little girl – it is a great seaside tradition.
"My six-year-old son Jake likes to fly a kite and he also loves watching the kite buggies on the beach."
Mrs Hird, 26, said Bridlington had large beaches and everyone should be allowed to enjoy themselves.
Richard and Vicky Thompson along with their son Christopher, ten, and Natalie, six, from Leeds, are on holiday in Hornsea.
Mrs Thompson said: "We come to the seaside to enjoy beach activities, like making sand castles and flying our kites.
"I have been shocked by the decision to stop people enjoying themselves, especially flying kites.
"The local council may not be targeting children and young people
who love beach pastimes, but it does seem a fairly harsh way of doing things."
The council said it adopted the seaside and promenade bylaws after consulting with interested parties.
A spokesman said: "They are national, model bylaws and, therefore, the ability to influence the content locally is extremely limited.
"The council has discretion regarding enforcement and it is not our intention to unnecessarily enforce them in the case of the traditional domestic pleasure kite where the activity is clearly not putting anyone at risk.
"The bylaw 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."
He said people causing a nuisance to others on the beach will also be challenged about their behaviour.
He said: "The safety of kite users and those in the vicinity will take priority and the bylaw enforced.
"But if the activity is deemed to be of minimal risk, council officers will not unnecessarily curtail enjoyable activities."