New force to be reckoned with for London's "rogue cyclists"
Midtown Rangers paid for by local businesses; will work with police to bring bad cyclists to book
Rogue cyclists in London are being targeted by private wardens paid for by local businesses.
The Evening Standard reports that people in Holborn and Bloomsbury are being encouraged to report bad cycling to the new street “rangers”, who are under instructions to alert the police.
Most receive a verbal warning but some have been given on-the-spot fines. Some could also be sent on a course highlighting the dangers of weaving in and out of traffic and riding too close to lorries.
The initiative has been launched by the inmidtown organisation, which represents about 550 businesses in an area around Holborn. Some have expressed fears that the Mayor's bike hire scheme will increase problems in central London.
The orange-jacketed wardens, the midtown rangers, are already helping visitors and workers and identifying criminal behaviour —including cash machine fraud — which is reported to police. The wardens were involved in the recent arrest of two drug users and also target rough sleepers.
inmidtown, which is funded by a levy on the business rates of its members, works with Transport for London and Camden council.
The organisation will be issuing a Considerate Cyclist Code next month, with 10 tips for better cycling. They will include:
- Don't cycle on pavements
- Don't cycle after drinking
- Use back streets to avoid traffic
Tass Mavrogordato, chief executive of inmidtown, told The Standard, “We encourage cycling in the district and welcome the Mayor's new bike hire scheme. However, we need to ensure responsible cycling, for cyclists' own safety, as well as that of pedestrians.”
A spokeswoman for inmidtown told road.cc, “We are keen to encourage both new and experienced cyclists into the area and wherever possible, to travel off the beaten track and make the most of our side streets. Not only will this reduce congestion on the major roads and help us to reach our target of lowering carbon emissions by 10% but this will give cyclists the opportunity to explore some of the hidden gems of the district.
"The inmidtown Rangers are a friendly face for workers, visitors and residents alike. They are able to provide cycling advice, such as route-planning and shortcuts, and in partnership with the Police and PCSO’s, help improve the behaviour of a minority of poor and anti-social cyclists.”
Mark Ames of ibikelondon told the Standard, “While encouraging people to take to two wheels is a good thing, I don't feel that cyclists need their own rules on top of the Highway Code, which the police should be enforcing.
“However, all cyclists should cycle with consideration and know that pedestrians have number one priority.”