Awareness course plan for Oxford's errant cyclists

Meeting in city this Thursday to discuss issues

by Tom Henry   March 23, 2010  

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A scheme to send miscreant cyclists in Oxford on road-awareness courses has been proposed by local campaigning group Cyclox.

Instead of being fined, the group would like to see those caught jumping red lights or cycling on pavements sent for attitude-adjustment training.

Cyclox chairman James Styring told road.cc: “It’s partly about safety but more about behaving responsibly and not annoying people.

“This scheme is my personal suggestion for a good carrot to use with miscreant cyclists that would work along the lines of speed awareness courses for drivers. It would need to be agreed by the council and the police for it to happen.

“It would be a cool way to get people to understand there are reasons why such behaviour annoys people.”

The scheme could be run in parallel withCyclox's Bike Polite scheme, which is due to be launched next year. Similar schemes are already run in Glasgow and Edinburgh and are aimed at creating a more responsible attitude among cyclists.

A public meeting this Thursday (March 25), at the Friends’ Meeting House in St Giles between 7.30pm and 9pm, will discuss issues around the initiative.

In 2009, Thames Valley Police handed out 278 fixed penalty notices to cyclists for contravening road sign orders.

Over the same period 437 motorists got fixed penalties for running red lights.

Reactions to the proposed scheme have been mixed. While councillors and police have tacitly welcomed it, some road users are aggrieved. Posting on the Oxford Times website, 'Sophia' from Oxford said: “I'm a cyclist myself but also a tax payer: why should I pay for 'courses' on how to ride a bike for idiots who put themselves and others in danger? What's wrong with a hefty/ confiscation of the bike?

“Council money would be better spent in showing clearly, in the Broad and Cornmarket especially, where cyclists should go and where pedestrians should expect them to be.

“At the moment there is a vague free for all with some areas pedestrianised some of the time, some semi-pedestrianised, some totally unclear, and no indication of where within these areas cyclists should ride

“It's the total absence of sensible road design that is creating problems, as much as inconsiderate cyclists/drivers/walkers.”