Police campaign against riding on pavement sees just two cyclists a day warned or fined

Greater Manchester Police hail success of initiative taken in response to local concerns despite seemingly low hit rate

by Simon_MacMichael   December 8, 2009  

Pedestrian zone cyclist.JPG

Police in Greater Manchester have described a three-week campaign targeting pavement cyclists as a success – despite warning or fining an average of just under two transgressors a day, only half of whom were issued with £30 fixed penalty notices.

The clampdown, initiated on November 17, followed complaints by residents, businesses and shoppers regarding anti-social cyclists in The Rock and Kay Gardens in Bury and resulted in 21 cyclists being fined, with a further 19 warned about their behaviour.

By any standards, it seems a remarkably low ‘hit’ rate, especially when weighed against recent police initiatives elsewhere targeting law-breaking cyclists, such as one in Norwich that saw nearly 200 cyclists stopped, although it should be acknowledged that people riding without lights and not just pavement cyclists were targeted in that instance.

Inspector Charlotte Cadden of the Bury East Neighbourhood Police Team, told the Bury Times: “Incidents of cyclists using pavements and pedestrianised areas to cycle around the town is a genuine concern and is regularly raised by residents at community meetings.

“Many people, particularly older people, can feel very intimidated by cyclists using footpaths and, of course, there is a real risk that someone could be hurt,” although the newspaper didn’t cite any specific examples of that having happened.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police added: “Officers have so far had a lot of positive feedback from shopkeepers.”

One, Julia Mcloughlin, manager of Help The Aged in The Rock, told the paper: “People cycling on the pavements has been a problem in recent years because sometimes they don't realise how fast they are going and it is unsettling for elderly people.

“I have noticed fewer cyclists in pedestrianised areas since the start of this scheme and I welcome it strongly,” she continued.

That does beg the question of whether cyclists who would otherwise ride on pavements or through pedestrianised areas are simply dismounting the second they see a police officer ahead of them, although the number of cyclists stopped in other police campaigns such as the one in Norwich cited above suggests that errant cyclists only register a police presence once it is too late for them to stop.

Meanwhile, police in Southend have adopted a different approach towards cyclists caught riding their bikes in areas reserved for pedestrians. As reported last month on road.cc, rather than issuing fixed penalty notices, Essex Police are instead offering Bikeability training to cyclists.
 

8 user comments

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Julia Mcloughlin... "People cycling on the pavements has been a problem in recent years because sometimes they don't realise how fast they are going and it is unsettling for elderly people."

Be interesting to know how many cyclists over the recent years for a start Smile and how many unsettled old people she's spoken to over these recent years?

And now they've got rid of the cyclists - lets now concentrate on the joggers - they're going much too fast for the old people - and with those pesky ipods on too!

I also wonder how many times Julia has gone above the 30mph speed limit in her car, or the 70mph on the motorway? Or done 30mph in a 20mph zone? Bet she doesn't even think twice about that.

jobysp's picture

posted by jobysp [145 posts]
9th December 2009 - 13:21

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The "pedestrianisation" of streets was initially a good thing as it excluded motor vehicles, diverting it around the area. However it makes no allowances for cyclists who would have used the existing route and now face having to follow the diverted route or chance it through the precinct. Speculating on how many cyclists avoided being stopped is useless. This smacks of demonisation by the Daily Mail brigade in the same vein as the hoodie threat.

I would say that the increasing number of powered mobility scooters driven at high speeeds poses a bigger danger to pedestrians in this area than cyclists. Lets see how a campaign where they are stopped and fined is received.

posted by billiobob [48 posts]
10th December 2009 - 11:47

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I've had to jump out the way of a mobility scooter a few times now. Some of those things can shift and given that many of the operators have poor eyesight and reaction times, they aren't exactly under full control.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2130 posts]
10th December 2009 - 12:58

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There is a mad old woman in the small market town I live in who charges round on her mobility scooter, cackling away with eyes bulging, and God help you if you're in the way. I'm not kidding. Upsets the dog something terrible, it does.

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [7900 posts]
10th December 2009 - 13:03

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She sounds like Mrs Brady Old Lady from Viz - some of these mobility scooter people are a menace. They'll be mugging hoodies next.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2130 posts]
10th December 2009 - 14:07

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That's right Manchester police missing the point again. Lets crack down on cyclists not gangs of youths threatening old people. On my way to uni last year i was knocked off my bike by a car, i have mentioned it in an old post, i was wearing a high vis jacket, using my lights and it was my right of way, yet this lady just didn't see me, well she did, but only when i went over her bonnet. So obviously i was a little scared to cycle on the road for the rest of the day, so i cycled on the pavement and on designated cycled paths and 3 youths (about 17-19) stopped me and tried to steal my bike on the way home, this was only across the road from the police station, i went and told the police and they said sorry there's nothing we can do. What a joke. What a day too Sad talk about unlucky.

dave

Rookie rider

posted by dave6779 [36 posts]
10th December 2009 - 21:06

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Dave6779 I sympathise with you mate.

I cycle round Manchester every day and it has to be one of the worst experiences of my life! (Check out JobySp on youtube for video proof).

I think, in the year I've been cycling too and from work, I've managed to get away with 5 days without any incidents!

As for the above post - I might cycle over to Bury and up the street to see what all the fuss is about - watch out oldies - I'm a coming for ya! Wink

jobysp's picture

posted by jobysp [145 posts]
11th December 2009 - 12:33

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jobysp, i'm with you on that! Woah i like the lucozade video, the little swines! Kids can be such a pain sometimes with parent not bothered where the are. I'm glad you chased after them! Good on ya! I bet if you'd av found their parents they'd av shouted at you for telling their kid off, bring back the cane!!! lmao

dave

Rookie rider

posted by dave6779 [36 posts]
15th December 2009 - 18:50

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