NEW FEE: Cyclists will have to pay to use the Burns Point Ferry at Ballina.
NEW FEE: Cyclists will have to pay to use the Burns Point Ferry at Ballina. The Northern Star

Ferry fee concessions for bikes not enough, says cyclist

BALLINA cyclist David Cowdery says changes to new fees for the Burns Point Ferry to South Ballina don't go far enough to protect cyclists from falling "on their backside" when they go to purchase a ticket.

The 72-year-old cyclist said while season passes were good for regular users, they didn't alleviate the problem for tourists or visiting cyclists.

"The big risk is simply walking on that ferry unaided on certain types of road bike boots," he said.

"For me on a road bike, my shoes balance on a narrow steel point at the front and a little narrow plastic 'V' at the back.

"Without the bike to hang on to they do represent a significant danger on the ferry.

"Sooner or later, despite what the councillors think, somebody's going to fall on their backside and hopefully they sue the council."

Mr Cowdery suggested a simple solution would be to place non-slip matting on the ferry where the cyclists congregate.

He also said the amendment to exclude school children from paying a cycling ferry fee should also include pensioners.

"They've taken the charge off school children, but they haven't done anything on the other end which is to reduce the charge for aged pensioners," he said.

"Several of the people I ride with on a regular basis ... just live on a pension and they don't have much in the way of means.

"And to charge them $50, even though it's a small amount for other people, is outrageous."

Mr Cowdery said the council should also have included information about where to purchase the cycling passes, whether or not short-term passes would be available for tourists and whether the season pass was for 12 months from the time of purchase.

"None of this information has been made available yet," he said.