Berkshire

Cyclists increase cafe visits after council's meeting ban

Cyclists at Velolife Image copyright PA Media
Image caption More cyclists have been stopping at Velolife since news of the meeting ban spread

More cyclists have been using a cafe after a council banned clubs from using it as a meeting point.

Windsor and Maidenhead Council banned "organised meets" at Velolife, a cafe and bike workshop, to avoid "causing a nuisance to residents".

The number of riders visiting has increased after former Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman and Team Ineos's Chris Lawless criticised the council.

Owner Lee Goodwin said there were lots of new people "showing support".

He said: "Business has certainly picked up. It's been quite busy and there's been a lot of people we've never seen before. It's been quite bizarre."

The council said it introduced meeting restrictions after receiving complaints of "large numbers of cyclists congregating outside the cafe and causing a nuisance to residents" over two years.

An injunction, seen by the Telegraph, was sought against the cafe in Warren Row, Berkshire, and the council initially threatened cycling clubs with enforcement action if they used its car park.

It has since apologised and said action would be taken against the operator of the site, not cycling clubs, "if the situation doesn't improve".

Gold medallist Boardman said the council's move was a "solution looking for a problem".

He tweeted: "This isn't motorcycle gangs, drunks or even noisy people, it's mostly middle-aged people getting some exercise with their friends."

Lawless said the council was a "joke" after it gave its reasons for the ban.

Mr Goodwin, who set up the cafe on the site of an old pub in 2016, said he found it "very difficult to understand why they (the council) are trying to stop it".

"Groups come through - although it's nothing to do with us - and stop and have a coffee and a cake," he added.

Mr Goodwin said there had been a "huge amount of people showing support" since word of the row had spread.

The cafe has a court hearing in November to hear the council's injunction application.

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