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A joint statement on behalf of the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, British Cycling and Cycling UK: Velolife Cafe

Published: Friday, 16th August 2019

Yesterday the council held very constructive talks with representatives from British Cycling and Cycling UK, who represent many cyclists and cycling clubs in the UK

The aim of the talks was to look for a pragmatic solution that gives clubs and cyclists clarity regarding the council’s position on Velolife Cafe.

Following the meeting, the council are pleased to confirm that they will not be taking any action against cycling clubs or individuals who use the facilities at Velolife Café and apologises for suggesting that they might. Letters sent to cycling clubs indicating that legal action might be considered have already been withdrawn.

All three organisations will continue to work with the café owner, the freeholder, and local people to ensure that the business is able to continue while respecting the rights of nearby neighbours.

It has never been the council’s intention to stop a local business from thriving or prevent groups from enjoying the facilities at the café. However, in its role as a local authority the council must consider the rights of local residents. The council hope that with the support of British Cycling and Cycling UK we will be able to strike the right balance for all concerned.

Duncan Sharkey, managing director at the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, said: “I am pleased that we have been able to hold these very constructive talks with British Cycling and Cycling UK.

“Ensuring that the café and those who want to use its facilities are able to continue, while respecting the rights of those who live nearby has proven tricky. However, I hope that by working together we will find a solution everyone is happy with.”

Colin Walker British Cycling’s lead cycling delivery manager said:

“First and foremost, we’re delighted that the threat of legal proceedings against cycling clubs for using the Velolife café on their weekend rides has been lifted.  Hats off to the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead for meeting with us to discuss this issue, recognise the mistake that had been made in raising the possibility of legal action, and withdrawing the letters sent to clubs.

“We know that cyclists in the region really value the Velolife café as a place to visit on their weekend rides, so we certainly hope that the café and council can engage constructively to ensure that the planning issues that have been raised can be resolved. We’ll continue to talk with all concerned and do our bit to help achieve a positive outcome”.

Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns at Cycling UK said: “Cycling clubs and their members shouldn’t be concerned about legal proceedings if they stop at a particular café, so we’re relieved that the council has now confirmed that it will not take any such action.

“Given the council’s willingness to meet with and listen to representations from both Cycling UK and British Cycling, and then review their position regarding the cyclists attending Velolife, we hope a swift resolution to the planning dispute concerning the café can also be achieved.

“We spoke with Velolife’s owner Lee Goodwin this morning, and will continue to liaise with him, local clubs and the Council to ensure that this much loved and thriving local business can continue.”

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