Video: London cyclist gets £50 for straying off shared use path blocked by phone box

Councillor hits out as cycling campaigner hit with £50 fine for moving out of cyclist area of shared use path

by Sarah Barth   July 5, 2014  

Shared Use Path Sign.jpg

A cyclist who strayed into the pedestrian side of a shared use path has been fined £50 by a police officer.

Kristian Gregory, of the Croydon Cycling Campaign, was riding along the New Kent Road on Thursday morning when he was stopped by the officer who asked him why he was not riding on the cycle path. 

Responding that the path was shared use, Kristian is then told that he is in fact on the footpath.

As seen on helmet camera footage Kristian points out that the ‘cycle path’ is blocked at one point by a telephone box which he is forced to move into the footpath to avoid, but the officer is unswayed by his protests that he is making the best of a very bad situation and a Fixed Penalty Notice is issued. It would also seem to be impossible for cyclists to reach the crossing seen at the end of the footage without also crossing the footpath.

 

According to the Highway Code, when using segregated tracks cyclists must keep to the side intended for cyclists as the pedestrian side remains a pavement or footpath.

Cllr Mark Williams, Southwark's cabinet member for regeneration, planning and transport, told the SE1 website:

"Although this is not a Southwark Council managed road, we've already contacted the police asking them to review enforcement action on this stretch as cyclists are forced to cross the pavement to get safely across the New Kent Road.

"We want to encourage and increase the number of cyclists in Southwark, but need to get the balance right between what looks like overzealous action in this case and the safety of others on roads and pavements.

"I am also asking Transport for London to look urgently at the design of the cycle path on the New Kent Road which appears to be the cause of these problems.

"This highlights how we need better design for cyclists across London, which is why we are leading the way by bringing in Danish and Dutch experts to help come up with the best and safest solutions to get more people to cycle and significantly reduce casualties at the same time."

Kristian said: "When the FPN for cycling on the pavement was introduced, the minister responsible at the time, Paul Boateng stated:

 'The introduction of the fixed penalty is not aimed at responsible cyclists who sometimes feel obliged to use the pavement out of fear of the traffic, and who show consideration to other pavement users.

'

"Chief police officers, who are responsible for enforcement, acknowledge that many cyclists, particularly children and young people, are afraid to cycle on the road.

"Sensitivity and careful use of police discretion is required.



"I agree that the police should be using discretion in enforcing this law and would support Paul Boeteng's original guidance."

38 user comments

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I cycle/walk that path most days. The cycle way is pretty poor and does have a phone box in the middle. However cyclists do tend to stray all over the pavement and more than once I have been covered with wheel spray thanks to inconsiderate cyclists that swerve around you and cover you with road muck. When you are trying to make a meeting in your suit or work clothes it is quite irritating. The offenders are usually the supermaket/Halfords hybrid riding crowd.

Saying that, this particular fellow seems to have adhered to the path till the very end when he seems to be trying to overtake the slower cycle in from of him.

That bit of road I hate as it terminates with you being flung into the road with no safety measures of any kind. it is better to cycle on the bus lane in the main road.

posted by indyjukebox [47 posts]
5th July 2014 - 13:47

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There should be an intelligence, fitness and language test, although I have a suspicion this might interfere with the Met's obsession with creating a happy, smiley-multi-national police service that reflects the 'wonderful diversity' of the nation's capital. I'd rather just have decent PCSOs who aren't like the moron in this video.

posted by darrenleroy [44 posts]
5th July 2014 - 13:50

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Oh I only wish plod applied same due diligence against law breakers In motorised vehicles on the roads.

Surely to park 2 officers to collect against this serious antisocial crime is not in the public interest when so many real crimes are left unpunished.

posted by Khas01 [3 posts]
5th July 2014 - 13:53

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I've always just ridden in the bus lane on this road - not perfect, but I would rather be in a fairly empty bus lane than in a tiny bike lane, 20ft from the road, up against a wall.

posted by benclark88 [4 posts]
5th July 2014 - 15:36

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Naughty person on bike should know better than to be naughty.

posted by Beaufort [143 posts]
5th July 2014 - 17:51

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darrenleroy wrote:
While I agree with your sentiments I don't agree with your choice of negative descriptive terms. How do you know the motorist was a gypsy? Was he in a waistcoat and colourful neckerchief, driving a painted wagon

Rusty transit, double axel caravan behind it with all the seats covered in clear polythene and a load of lead from a church roof on his passenger seat.

posted by georgee [137 posts]
5th July 2014 - 18:09

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I've noticed a heavy police prescence on London streets the past few weeks during my morning and evening commutes. Typically this is 3-4 officers standing at junctions.

Been totally unimpressed by their lack of action during numerous instances of motorists, buses and motorbikes jumping red lights and parking in the ASL next to cyclists!

The police seem more interested in talking to each other than doing anything... An empty exercise and waste of tax payer money.

The frustrating thing for cyclists suffering the total disregard other road users have for the ASL is that its a criminal offence but can only be brought against road users when directly witnessed by police.

The quicker TFL get this decriminalised and turned into an automatic camera penalty perhaps the ASL might eventually be fit for purpose as its a f*cking joke in London at the moment!

posted by hampstead_bandit [127 posts]
5th July 2014 - 18:58

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Wow, road.cc: This article needs a "Dislike: Author is having a bout judgemental, intolerant cock moment" button added to the comments (georgee to a certain extent, then darrenleroy's comment which is pretty much "WTF?!" level racist).

posted by Paul J [595 posts]
5th July 2014 - 19:26

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Things like this really annoy me like you wouldn't believe. That PCSO is a complete and utter twat for issuing a ticket in those circumstances. I would like to think this vid is pointed out to him by his colleagues and maybe even his bosses that I hoped squirmed like hell when they saw it and told him themselves he was a twat.

PCSO's are a complete waste of taxpayers money and they should not be allowed to issue tickets period. Hopefully their numbers will continue to dwindle till there's none left. People like this idiot do not help with the public's confidence in the Police Service.

I hope the guy who got the ticket challenges it and shows the video in court. Where are all the foot pedestrians that were put at unecessary risk? Feckin idiots

posted by Critchio [106 posts]
5th July 2014 - 19:27

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I like the way the PCSO makes the cyclist stand with him in the cycle path, forcing the next riders that come past out onto the footpath. Good thinking.

Chris's picture

posted by Chris [105 posts]
5th July 2014 - 20:22

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he was in a pedestrian zone, he got a fine, good, get over it. If you don't like the cycle path man up and get on the road where we should be.
if we are bullied my motorist this is what we turn into, we bully, pedestrians, dog walkers, even pcsos, that makes us just as bad and un educated as the next fat taxi driver.
join me, guys, all need to:
get back on the road
Get in lane
get insurance
get a helmet
get bright, get lights
get signalling
get off the cycle path, out of the gutter
get back britains roads from the motorists

you know it makes sense, we will live longer after all

posted by Stubuoy [1 posts]
5th July 2014 - 20:49

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The PCSO's are standing on a section of shared footway, as indicated by the sign on the reverse of the no cycling sign - on the pole behind them, and just before the traffic signals is a banner sign indicating that the cycle route returns to the carriageway across the space in which the PCSO's are standing (in the way of cyclists using the cycle route).

It does indicate the imbecilic design where a telephone box sits in the line of the cycle path which simply stops either side of it - with no warning of an obstruction that could easily be ridden into (waiting for a claim?). Then where the path ends the banner sign indicates 2 90 degree turns - clueless that bikes do not make 90 degree turns on the spot.

10 other cyclists appear to make exactly the same move with no reaction from either officer, and an eleventh one carries on past the no cycling sign - again with no reaction. from the officers.

This seems a particularly selective piece of policing, and certainly does the reputation of PCSO's no good at all.

47 years of breaking bikes and still they offer me a 10 year frame warranty!

A V Lowe's picture

posted by A V Lowe [481 posts]
5th July 2014 - 21:31

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It may just be me being a bit of a belligerent tw@ but if a PCSO, who have limited powers of arrest, were to stop me in this situation i would tell them to kindly do one and ride off at great speed giggling with a cry of 'You'll never take me alive copper!"
What is Chief Wiggum going to do? Chase you? This fella certainly isnt up to the job to a high speed chase on foot.
Silly twerps - what a fucking waste of time and resources.
Pathetic, and they should be treated with the contempt they deserve.

posted by Some Fella [744 posts]
5th July 2014 - 21:37

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As I understand it you don't have to accept a fixed penalty notice. That's an admission of guilt. I'd have said 'see you in court'. I'll take the chance it costs me 2 days' pay - fine and lost earnings.

posted by racyrich [117 posts]
5th July 2014 - 21:58

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There was a post on Youtube recently where a guy refused to take a fixed penalty from a peeler and ran rings round him with legalese (though I think he had actually been in the wrong). If I can find the link I'll post it.

posted by Beatnik69 [74 posts]
5th July 2014 - 22:19

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posted by Beatnik69 [74 posts]
5th July 2014 - 22:29

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That slovenly excuse for a PCSO shuffling with his hands in his pockets would have been politely told to fuck off by myself.

posted by Dunks517 [43 posts]
5th July 2014 - 22:44

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What a twat! Give some one a uniform …….. I wouldn't even have stopped, let alone given him the chance to think about writing a ticket…… It would have been see you later pillock when the lights changed to cross the road. As for all the posts and phone box along that cycle path it looks so furkin' dangerous!

Airzound

posted by Airzound [274 posts]
5th July 2014 - 23:10

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I would of just ridden off.

“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”

― George Carlin

Cyclist's picture

posted by Cyclist [144 posts]
6th July 2014 - 0:46

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This is just moronic!! Maybe they should fine pedestrians who stray (Walk the entire length) in cycle lanes. The guy was just trying to overtake a slower cyclist (who was riding in the wrong lane of the cycle path), and also why did they do nothing about the (at least) 2 others that did exactly the same thing, and 1 that continued past the No Cycling sign?!! Complete muppets!!

posted by keith_newnham [59 posts]
6th July 2014 - 0:53

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Lights blue touch paper and wait to be flamed!

The Plod is correct, the footage clearly shows a departure from the lane to avoid the slower cyclist, this was maintained by going to the right of the signpost and the double sign. Before taking the line of desire to the crossing point. And that's after the phone box.

There also seems to be cyclist moving quickly on the road.

posted by Yorkshie Whippet [289 posts]
6th July 2014 - 8:01

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That has to be jut a bout the worst cycle path in the coutry. Who on earth thought it was a good idea to put a lane hard up against a brick wall?

posted by spen [81 posts]
6th July 2014 - 9:36

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PCSO are just glorified traffic wardens. Agree just refuse to accept or give any of your details. They can only detain you for 30 mins from the time they have called a real constable to arrive. After 30 mins had expired if constable has not arrived you're Free to go about your business.

posted by toothache90 [33 posts]
6th July 2014 - 9:37

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I'd like to know why it is that police are allowed to piss off cyclists with their petty 'spirit of the law' ignoring egotistical badgering of cyclists but apparently your average copper is not authorised to do anything about traffic violations by motorists other than call the traffic cops, which of course they're not going to do.

posted by kie7077 [451 posts]
6th July 2014 - 10:42

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PCSO's are possibly the most pointless creations ever, you either have been trained to know the law and enforce it, or you haven't. It's pretty clear which category this plastic copper falls into.
They're out in force at the moment outside Southwark tube station and having witnessed a really bad high speed near miss with a car recklessly turning right across a cyclist and watched the PCSO turn actively his back on it and walk away just earlier in the week, I can only include they are a form of tax raising drones.

posted by arfa [476 posts]
6th July 2014 - 10:43

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This reminds me of the Daniel Cadden case, where police got it completely wrong, though his conviction was eventually overturned on appeal.

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posted by Simon E [1941 posts]
6th July 2014 - 18:27

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Lesson to be learned - get out of the cycle paths and onto the roads!

Money has just been spent building a completly useless shared use path in the town where I live recently. It's not at all intregrated with the road network, so I've no idea how you are even supposed to access it and it doesn't actually seem to go to or from anywhere. Worst of all it's only a few hundred yards long so only good for about 20 seconds of cycling, which would take much longer as you'd need to give way to cross a side street and avoid dozy pedestrians. It's going to be great for pavement cyclists but that's about it. I'll stick with the road thanks chaps, how about sorting out some of those pot holes seeing as you've got money to throw away?

posted by Matt eaton [395 posts]
6th July 2014 - 22:10

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Beaufort wrote:
Naughty person on bike should know better than to be naughty.

[[[[[ Oh really? But I wonder how many fines get handed to naughty pedestrians endangering cyclists, by strolling along in the DESIGNATED BIKE LANES....I believe the answer is ZERO.
[[[[[ In fact, that would have been a question I'd have asked of the uniformed "jobsworth" entrapping cyclists, probably all day long.....luvly jubbly, eh?

PhilRuss

posted by PhilRuss [276 posts]
6th July 2014 - 22:16

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This hasn't quite managed to rouse me to anger this morning. All I can manage is a mild sigh and a dispirited "yup".

I've had precisely one interaction with a PCSO since their introduction. One shouted "shouldn't you be on the road" at me, when I cycled passed on a shared use pavement. To be fair, he did shout sorry when I gave him an exasperated look and gestured at the sign.

posted by pikeamus [32 posts]
7th July 2014 - 9:45

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The Cyclists' Defence Fund (CDF, which is now a subsidiary charity of CTC) is now calling for donations to support Kristian's challenge to this FPN and other cases like it. To contribute, please visit http://justgiving.com/FPNfightingfund

Roger Geffen
Campaigns & Policy Director, CTC

posted by Roger Geffen [32 posts]
23rd July 2014 - 11:28

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