Brighton cyclists fined... for riding on a bike path

Police annul fixed penalty notices after realising mistake

by Simon_MacMichael   April 30, 2010  

Cycle lane

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.”
 

10 user comments

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"A spokeswoman for Sussex Police said that the incorrect signage had led to the problem..."

What about all the 'correct' 20 / 30mph signage that drivers ignore on a daily basis?

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posted by jobysp [145 posts]
30th April 2010 - 9:40

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Had a similar run in with PCSOs a few years back who tried to tell me I was doing something wrong (riding the wrong way up a one way street) when I wasn't. They're not selected for their brains. When I showed them they were wrong they didn't even apologise. I was also referred to throughout as 'hey you' and had I not been rushing to get my son from the childminder I'd have taken their details and made an official complaint about their behaviour.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2180 posts]
30th April 2010 - 9:55

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OldRidgeback wrote:
Had a similar run in with PCSOs a few years back who tried to tell me I was doing something wrong (riding the wrong way up a one way street) when I wasn't

It does sometimes appear that PCSOs aren't quite as clued-up as your typical PC - for instance, looking at photography forums, it seems PCSOs are involved in a lot of the cases of photographers who get hassled for taking pictures (perfectly legally) in public.

Have any other road.cc users been stopped for cycling along a bike path or anywhere else that is legal by a PCSO or anyone else in uniform?

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [8017 posts]
30th April 2010 - 10:27

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I don't think the pcsos would have even got as far as issuing the fine to me in the first place, in that situation.

posted by wild man [279 posts]
30th April 2010 - 10:45

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As ever, the comments posted by readers of the local rag are highly amusing. In this case, the urge to demonize an outgroup (cyclists) is conflicting with their hatred of anything new (PCSOs.)

posted by handlebarcam [527 posts]
30th April 2010 - 11:16

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I remember riding to work one morning and telling off two PCSOs, much to the amusement of other cyclists. They'd parked their scooters in a bicycle lane at Kennington in S London by a major junction while the busied themselves looking officious and doing nothing close by. I shouted over, "You can't park there, it's a bicycle lane and your causing an obstruction which is a traffic offence."
They looked round with expressions of contempt, as befitted their shiny buttons and apparent minimal intellect while other cyclists waiting at the lights sniggered. One of the PCSOs then manhandled his little Piaggio scooter onto the pavement (they aren't heavy but he made a fist of it, must've been a weakling) and I said, "You can't do that, you're causing an obstruction to pedestrians. That's an offence."
This caused more tittering amongst the cyclists at the lights who were clearly enjoying the exchange. The lights changed and I pedalled off, trying to not to laugh. Had it not been for the idiots telling me not to ride my bike the right way up the one way street just a few days before of course, I wouldn't have bothered.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2180 posts]
30th April 2010 - 12:53

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Smile Smile Smile
Excellent OldRidgeback.

Wish I was there!

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posted by jobysp [145 posts]
30th April 2010 - 14:11

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Maybe PCOS's should get more training?!

This is worse than businesses releasing untrained staff and hope they learn as they go!

I guess its down to cash as we would have proper PC's on the beat.

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posted by Zaskar [137 posts]
30th April 2010 - 14:16

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one wonders why these people take on a job like this and then blunder around creating an atmosphere which causes them so much critisism?
Volunteers normally take on work for satisfaction and to contribute to their community but what i am seeing in these comments is a section of the community setting out to antagonise "law abiding, environmentally friendly citizens", what do they get from this behaviour?
"Old Ridgeway" and those like him are quite right to set these "I am better than thou" miscreants straight! IF these PCOS's are being paid for their efforts then shame on them for their poor judgement, antagonistic attitude and agressive behaviour to "Joe Public". Better they stay in their own household and terrorize their family & friends

Skippy(advocate for "Disabled / Para Sport")@skippydetour. blogging as skippi-cyclist.blogspot & Parrabuddy.blogspot currently on the road with ProTour Grand Tour Events .

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posted by skippy [383 posts]
30th April 2010 - 18:53

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I can't speak for all PCSOs but I know a couple of them, and have friends who are or have been real Police Officers.

The real Police Officers don't think much of the PCSOs and tend to view them as busybodies and jobsworths, more concerned with the power trip of telling people what to do than motivated by any sense of public service. The two PCSOs I know pretty much fit this bill. They like being given a uniform and told that they can tell people off.

As I say, this is my subjective experience but the above posts and story do not surprise me.

: P

posted by Pierre [79 posts]
1st May 2010 - 12:24

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