Longboard plea

SIR - I am writing to you in response to Mr Denman’s letter (January 28 2011).

I and my friends enjoy longboarding around to get exercise and have fun, but we have few places to go. The police said we could go to the skate park in Manstone, but they are not designed for our boards as our boards are designed for going down long hills and around sharp corners, so we explore Sidmouth and other towns.

The one reason I am writing is to get our point across. We know, and take into consideration, the risks, so as soon as we hear a car we all get off our boards and wait until it has passed. The noise Mr Denman is referring to is us ‘sliding’, which we rarely do now.

The time that Mr Denman asked if we could leave Cotmaton Road was just after 6pm, which we thought was not late at all. We were the group that left when he asked us to.

But there have been countless occasions when we have been on our boards and the police would just cruised past. In the last week, more than half a dozen police cars have driven past on different days without a blink of an eye.

The police have told us to stay on the pavements, so we try to follow the law but when we do, pedestrians tell us to get off and stay on the road. We have no clue as to what to do.

We need somewhere to go, the skate park isn’t built for our longboards and we’re not allowed on the roads by law, so we have to go on the pavements. When we go out, we are not intending to upset anybody, my friends and I were not in the group that Mr Denman said were rude to him.

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With all its hills, Sidmouth is and ideal place for us. We are finding more and more places to go every week. Most of my friends think we are less of a nuisance to the public on the roads, as the pavements are too narrow to be safe for the pedestrians with us on them.

Mr Denman would like to know that we do not go to Cotmaton Road any more as we have found a better location. It is a residential area, but the residents we have spoken to say it’s alright for us to be there, as long as we don’t crash into their houses, so we promised this will not happen as we know how to stop!

J Bishop

Age 15

Passionate Longboarder