Dukes Passage: Give the dog walkers also back their path!

As a cyclist and dog walker – I was more than happy to sign this petition because I believed that cyclists and the public (walkers, children, dogs) should all be allowed to continue to use the Dukes Head Passage without restrictions, as has been the case for many years in the past.

In response to this petition, and the influence of people such Vince Cable, I was initially very pleased to see that the Dukes Passage has been returned to the cyclists but then I realised that this lifting of the restriction was not extended to the dog walkers! This is not acceptable – as it demonstrates a blatant bias against dogs and their walkers.

I noticed this some years ago when I wrote to the Parks board suggesting that encouraging notices might be placed in the Dukes Head passage to encourage safe and courteous use of a shared space, such as encouraging cyclists to slow down and ring their bells well in advance so that children and dogs can be safely moved to the side of the path out of harms way. In response to this letter I received a very abrupt response letter that didn’t acknowledge my suggestions but instead just complained about dog owners, moaning about dogs chasing deer etc. This sadly clearly showed someone that had a strong bias against dog owners.

The article below nicely sums up this growing problem under what has been named the ‘busybodies’ charter. Please can we instead recognise that dogs need to be able to run free for their health and wellbeing, and instead of draconian laws against this, we should be working on encouraging responsible shared usage, that could include encouraging notices and ideas. Suggestion for these might be:

  • Recommending speed limits for cyclists through the passage
  • Recommending the use of cycle bells to warn pedestrians of their approach
  • Recommendations for dog owners to listen out for bells and to call their dogs out of harms way
  • Recommendations for dog owners to keep checking behind them when they walk to make sure any dog poo is picked up - and this can be further encouraged by installing more dog poo bins along the passage

Most dog walkers and cyclists are responsible and courteous people – we need to appreciate and encourage this fact, rather than introducing petty and divisive rules that will have the opposite effect.

 Dog walking banned in thousands of parks under 'busybodies’ charter'


21 OCTOBER 2016 • 10:00PM

Dog walking has been banned or severely restricted in more than 3,300 parks and open spaces in just two years since the introduction of new asbo-style control orders nicknamed the “busybodies’ charter”, it can be disclosed.

The Kennel Club accused local councils of using controversial new powers to wage an unnecessary and unjustified “war on dogs and their owners”.

Animal welfare charities said the restrictions could amount to cruelty and could even be forcing owners to break the law by denying their dogs proper exercise.

Meanwhile campaigners against over-regulation said it signalled a worrying trend towards “criminalising” everyday life.


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Niki. I'm with you on this. Have been in touch and had reply from Parks Mgt on reasons why dog ban has not been rescinded. He has said he is willing to meet with me. Would you like to attend with me to make our case?

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