Organisers of an annual naked bike ride through the capital have hit out at Cardiff council for refusing to allow them to travel through the city’s parks in the buff.
The Cardiff World Naked Bike Ride is set to take place on Saturday, encouraging cyclists to ride through the city naked in a bold statement on road safety.
But organisers of the demonstration, now in its fifth year, say Cardiff council has refused to permit them to travel through parks on their cycling route.
They also claim the council is putting participants at risk by failing to authorise a police escort.
Cardiff council said it would “neither facilitate the event nor condone it”, saying that it did not give permission for nudity in parks.
Nick Wysoczanskyj, coordinator of the Cardiff World Naked Bike Ride, said the group would go ahead with the demonstration, despite Cardiff council’s lack of support.
But the 32-year-old, of Aberdare, said the lack of a police presence could place participants at risk when cycling along Cardiff’s busier roads.
He said: “I don’t want that day which puts a smile on everybody’s face to be marred by an incident where someone rams their way through and injures or possibly kills somebody.”
The Cardiff World Naked Bike Ride is part of a worldwide naked cycling event, which takes place in 80 cities across 17 countries.
Many participants shed all their clothes in an effort to hammer home the message that cyclists are vulnerable to city traffic, while also promoting greener, more sustainable transport.
The Cardiff event will set off from the rear of the National Museum at about 2pm, with participants travelling nine miles across the city.
Organisers had hoped to cycle through Pontcanna Fields and Bute Park towards the end of the route to allow a disabled cyclist to take part.
The section of the route was added last year to allow a rider severely disabled in a road accident while cycling to take part in the event.
But Mr Wysoczanskyj claims that Cardiff council’s parks department has refused to grant permission for the naked cycling event to take place through the parks.
The scenery artist said a shift of responsibility for protest management from South Wales Police to Cardiff council has caused problems for the naked cycling event.
He said: “The best way to deal with demonstrations is to co-operate with the organisers, thereby minimising the disruption to the city and minimising the risk of a road traffic accident.”
A Cardiff council spokesman said: “Cardiff council does not give formal permission for nudity in parks. Although staff would only intervene in the World Public Bike Ride if a complaint is made by a member of the public, we would neither facilitate the event nor condone it.”