Controversial dog lead plan binned

The cycle path near Asda.
The cycle path near Asda.

COUNCILLORS have dumped controversial plans to force dog owners to keep their animals on leads on the district’s cycleways.

The idea, which provoked fierce debate among owners and cyclists, was this week abandoned by Lancaster City Council’s cabinet, but councillors agreed that the rule should come into force on most roads and footpaths in the area.

It was one of four new dog control orders proposed the council.

A public consultation sparked 849 responses, but a council report said that most of them, including those from cyclists, were against the cycleway proposal.

Councillors also decided that dogs should not have to be kept on leads on quiet rural lanes with a 40mph or higher speed limit after receiving objections from several rural parishes.

The orders agreed will make it an offence to:

* Fail to keep a dog on a lead on defined areas of land including all public highways, footways, verges, pedestrianised areas, council-run car parks, cemeteries, churchyards, certain council parks and gardens and Morecambe promenade slipways.

* Fail to remove dog faeces from publicly accessible land which is open to the air on at least one side.

* Allow a dog to enter defined exclusion areas including enclosed playgrounds, sports pitches and the Happy Mount Park splash pool – Morecambe’s north and south beaches are already exclusion areas during the summer.

Anyone breaching the new orders faces an £80 fixed penalty – reduced to £50 if paid promptly.

See this week’s Lancaster Guardian for the fullo story.