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Cyclists visiting cafe safe from prosecution but no assurances made to owner

Cyclists visiting a popular cafe will not face legal action over a planning dispute – but no such reassurances have been made for the owner.

Under planning rules, Velolife, a cafe and cycle workshop in Warren Row Road, is not allowed to have ‘cycle meets’ starting or finishing at its premises.

The dispute has made national headlines in recent weeks after letters were sent out to cycling clubs warning them about visiting the cafe. They have now been retracted.

After council leader Cllr Simon Dudley and Royal Borough managing director Duncan Sharkey met with representatives from British Cycling and Cycling UK last week, the council has confirmed that no action will be taken against clubs or individuals that visit Velolife.

But the same assurance has not been offered to the cafe.

On Twitter, Mr Sharkey said the council could still ‘take action’ against the cafe and its owner, Lee Goodwin.

Mr Sharkey said: “Velolife has promised to suggest to RBWM changes they can make and if RBWM accept those there will be no need for an injunction.

“If Velolife don’t resolve the problems then the council will need to take action. This wouldn’t include any action against clubs or cyclists.”

This stance has been met with criticism by Cycling UK.

Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s head of campaigns, said: “Cycling UK was informed that the council had informed Mr Goodwin that he still needed to ensure that clubs did not use the cafe as a stop before, during or after organised rides, and that to do so would breach the terms of the draft injunction the council has sought.

“Cycling UK will be discussing matters with Mr Goodwin and considering what further steps need to be taken as a matter of urgency.”

Mr Goodwin was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

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