Police and council officers in Norwich have launched a new campaign targeting cyclists who ride on the city’s pavements, including putting up signs warning them against doing so in areas where the problem is particularly prevalent. The news comes as their counterparts in Essex launch a similar initiative against anti-social cyclists.
The move in Norwich follows complaints from members of the public, and in response Norwich City Council has erected six signs on Magdalen Street as well as four on Earlham Road that highlight that riding on the pavement can be punished with fines varying from £30 up to £2,500.
According to local newspaper the Evening News, the signs cost £229 each, and are designed to be mobile, allowing them to be deployed elsewhere in the city as required.
Julie Brociek-Coulton, Executive Member of Norwich City Council for Residents and Customer Care, told the newspaper: “There have been quite a few complaints from businesses on Magdalen Street about this problem, which endangers their staff and their customers.
She continued: “These signs have been needed for a long time and I hope they will cause people to stop and think about this dangerous behaviour.”
Nigel Richards, Norfolk Constabulary's inspector for West Centre Safer Neighbourhood Team, added: “We are fully supportive of the new signs which will be a great benefit to the West Centre area as well as across the city as a whole.
"We are still seeing too many cyclists riding on pavements causing a danger to pedestrians. People who do cycle on pavements illegally could find themselves with a hefty fine.
“We very much hope these new signs will deter cyclists and make them think twice riding on pavements and putting other people at risk.”
Local cycling campaigners have also welcomed the initiative, with Michael Dale, chairman of Norwich Cycling Campaign, quoted as saying: “We do not support cyclists who put themselves or other people at risk.
“We are aware of the problems on Magdalen Street, and we are supporting the police and the council in their efforts to stop it. It would be very easy to hit someone coming out of a shop.
“We are in continual discussion with the city council about cycling in the city centre to try and get the best solutions for cyclists and pedestrians,” he concluded.
Elsewhere in the city, police are also patrolling the Dereham Road area for the next fortnight targeting people cycling on the pavement.
Meanwhile, cyclists in Braintree, Essex, have been told that they face on-the-spot fines of £30 for riding on footpaths within the town centre, reports the Braintree and Witham Times, with police this month issuing fixed penalty notices to transgressors over the age of 16.
Sergeant Matt Crow told the newspaper: “We welcome cyclists in Braintree, and the vast majority stick to the designated routes, and leave their bikes secured in racks when they get to the town centre.”
But he added: “Operation Salthouse is aimed at deterring the small number of people who ride their bikes on footpaths in the town centre, and any adult caught doing so should expect to receive a £30 fixed penalty notice.”
People caught riding on the pavement will also be advised on cycling safely and informed about ‘safe cycling areas’ such as routes in Weavers Park and Marshalls Park, which presumably would be suitable for recreational riders rather than anyone looking to get from A to B.
In the case of under-16s, letters will be sent to their parents, and the youths could be fined £30 if found offending again.
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.