Eight cyclists in Brighton have been handed fixed-penalty notices by police… for riding their bikes on a cycle path.
According to The Argus, PCSOs from Sussex Police issued the fines as part of a clampdown on unsafe road users, despite the fact that the cyclists were all riding on a path clearly marked as a cycle path on a map issued by the local council.
The newspaper added that police had since acknowledged that the fines should not have been issued and that the cyclists involved should contact them to get the notices annulled.
The cyclists were each stopped while riding from Wild Park, Moulsecoomb, to Coldean Lane, a dual purpose route for cyclists and pedestrians, which erroneously had ‘no cyling’ signs on one side of the path.
Tony Green, treasurer of local cycling campaign group Bricycles, told the Argus: “It's a bit poor. It's perfectly legal to cycle from the entrance of Wild Park to the bottom of Coldean Lane.
“The police should've checked before they handed out the fines,” he added.
A spokeswoman for Sussex Police said that the incorrect signage had led to the problem, telling the newspaper: “The fixed penalty notices were issued to cyclists in good faith as part of a multi-agency operation to tackle antisocial driving and cycling in the Moulsecoomb area.
“The PSCOs were standing beneath a 'no cycling' sign and issuing the notices to cyclists using the pedestrian lane instead of the cycle lane.”
She continued: “The signs are contradictory to the Brighton and Hove City Council cycle map, which designates the route as dual purpose, and for this reason Sussex Police has cancelled the penalty notices.
“Sussex Police is writing to each of the eight cyclists who received a penalty notice and issuing a refund to the six cyclists who have already paid the fine.”
“We are working with the council to ensure the signage is clear to avoid future confusion,” she concluded.
A spokeswoman for Brighton & Hove Council said: “The lane is designated on city cycle maps as a ‘dual use’ route for cyclists and pedestrians.
“We are currently working with the police to look at this, and other cycle routes in the city, to clarify use and ensure that signage is clear.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.