Councillor calls for restrictions on Portsmouth naked bike ride

An image from the 2013 naked bike ride in Portsmouth Picture: Paul Jacobs
An image from the 2013 naked bike ride in Portsmouth Picture: Paul Jacobs

City MP appointed to accounts committee at parliament

  • Tory deputy leader Cllr Luke Stubbs calls protest ride ‘public exhibitionism’
  • He has written to police and crime commissioner
  • Naked bike ride lasts 40 minutes each year
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CALLS have been made for Hampshire’s police and crime commissioner to impose tough restrictions on Portsmouth’s naked cycle ride.

Tory deputy council leader Luke Stubbs has written to Simon Hayes demanding that he block nudists going through small residential areas – and fears the event is not a protest and just an excuse for ‘public exhibitionism’.

If I was to walk outside of my flat with no clothes on, I would be arrested, and rightly so

Cllr Luke Stubbs

He is also concerned about riders loitering on the seafront, which he claims happened at the event in 2013.

The latest World Naked Bike Ride is set to happen on Saturday and will see dozens of cyclists strip off and pedal for 40 minutes along Southsea seafront and through the city.

The aim is to highlight the dangers cyclists face and the nation’s dependency on oil.

But Cllr Stubbs does not think there are enough conditions in place.

He wrote: ‘Two years ago the group stopped and queued for ice cream in a busy part of the seafront even though they had been told in advance that they would not be served.

‘It’s hard to see how that is the protest against oil use that the organisers claim and not just an excuse for public exhibitionism.

‘I have no objection to nudism in designated areas: that is a personal choice.

‘However, while recognising that people have a right to live their lives as they see fit, there are limits when that impacts on other members of society.

‘Walking or cycling along any random road with no clothes on is not okay. Stripping off outside houses where children live is not okay.’

Cllr Stubbs added: ‘I would ask that next year the police at least require a change in start point to protect residents of Marine Court.’

The move comes after The European Court of Human Rights rejected a final legal challenge brought by former Royal Marine Stephen Gough, known as the Naked Rambler, who had claimed he had a right to be nude in public.

Cllr Stubbs told The News: ‘If I was to walk outside of my flat with no clothes on, I would be arrested, and rightly so.’

Resident Gill Silk, of Marine Court, Southsea, said: ‘We are not against the event per se, we just don’t think it should be in a residential area where people congregate and dress and undress. This is a children’s place with families and dogs.’

The event’s organiser, Simon Terry, recently insisted there was nothing sexual about the ride and said computer games were more harmful to children.

For more, see portsmouthwnbr.org