The 20-second sequence, titled The Gift That Keeps On Giving, was filmed on Patterson’s Walk in Ferring, West Sussex, where signs threaten cyclists with a £100 fine if they ignore the strict no-cycle zone. The ban was brought in so the area’s largely elderly population could enjoy peaceful strolls along the third-of-a-mile stretch of tarmac footpath. Among comments left online beneath a YouTube video of the ad, one resident wrote: “This was filmed on a no cycling path!!!! Naughty Halfords.”
Another wrote “Good job it’s not a 30-second advert else it would show the NO CYCLING signs along that footpath”.
Arun District Council said residents have complained about the advert being filmed there.
A spokeswoman said: “An application to film was received from Halfords in early October and approved for Ferring Beach. We appreciate this has caused some concern and will be taking steps to review the current situation.”
She said signs were put up after rows between cyclists and pedestrians, although there were no by-laws in force.
The spokeswoman confirmed: “While there is signage at Patterson’s Walk, Ferring, stating no cycling, there is no actual by-law in place to prohibit it at this site, neither is there an official public footpath/public bridleway designation in place.”
She added: “We are aware that the situation and signage requires review.”
A Halfords spokeswoman said: “We are passionate about encouraging more people to cycle and our Christmas TV ad aims to do just that.
“Ahead of and during filming of our six-year-old star, we sought all relevant permissions from local councils and created the ad in good faith, working closely with local organisations.
“We take the safety of all road users and pedestrians very seriously and apologise for any upset caused.”