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Message that “people on bikes aren’t welcome in Mansfield” is reinforced by the fine, says Cycling UK

A cyclist caught riding his bike in Mansfield town centre, where cycling is banned under a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), has been ordered by a court to pay almost £600 in fines and costs, with Cycling UK saying that it reinforces the perception that “people on bikes aren’t welcome” there.

Christopher Cobb, aged 22, was spotted by a council neighbourhood warden heading on his mountain bike from Market Place to the Nottinghamshire town’s library, reports the Mansfield Chad.

He got off his bike after being told to do so, but 10 minutes later the same warden saw him riding on West Gate and given a fixed penalty notice in the sum of £100.

After failing to pay it, Cobb was summonsed to appear at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court but failed to appear and, with no plea entered, was fined £440 plus £100 costs and a victim surcharge of £44.

Mansfield District Council’s portfolio holder for safer communities, Councillor Bill Drewett, commented: “Cycling has been prohibited in the pedestrianised area of Mansfield town centre to protect pedestrians.

“There are alternative routes around the town centre or cyclists can act in a responsible fashion and get off and push their bicycles through the town centre.

“This cyclist had the opportunity to pay a much lower fixed penalty of £100 but chose to ignore it which is why he is now facing a much higher penalty as a result of the case having to go to court.”

Introduced last year in a bid to combat anti-social cycling, Mansfield’s PSPO received national attention in August after road.cc reported that Stage 4 of last month’s Tour of Britain was scheduled to start in the part of the town where cyclists are banned, with BBC News among the outlets that subsequently reported on it.

> Council that bans cyclists from town centre … hosts Tour of Britain stage start in town centre

Last year, Cycling UK, acting through the cyclists’ defence fund, said it was supporting an appeal by six cyclists against the PSPO in what is believed to be the only legal challenge yet brought against a local authority in connection with the controversial legislation.

That appeal has not yet been heard, with the charity telling road.cc that the case has been adjourned since the Home Office were revising their guidance on PSPOs, and the circumstances in which they should be made, and because Mansfield Council were prepared to consult again, with a view to varying the PSPO.

That consultation has now been launched in response to the revised Home Office guidelines. It remains open until 25 October and Cycling UK is currently drawing up its response.

The council proposes changing the times the PSPO is in effect from 24 hours a day to between 6pm and 7am, as well as reducing the area to which it applies.

 Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns at Cycling UK, told road.cc: “A fine of nearly £600 for cycling in the town centre sends a very simple message: people on bikes aren’t welcome in Mansfield, unless of course the Tour of Britain’s coming to town for a stage start, when all of sudden cyclists aren’t a menace and a danger to pedestrians, but can be welcomed with open arms.

 “Hopefully Mansfield Council will reflect on the reputation they’ve created for themselves as the town that doesn’t like cyclists, and consider the revised Home Office guidance on PSPOs during its new consultation on proposed variations to the existing bicycle ban,” he continued.

“They might like to ask themselves whether they’re really tackling anti-social behaviour, or just imposing a ban because they think they can.”

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.

81 comments

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Paul J [948 posts] 3 months ago
10 likes

He should have grabbed a car and ran the warden down....

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Duncann [1177 posts] 3 months ago
24 likes

Rather misleading headline. 

For ignoring the rules the cyclist was asked to dismount. That could have been the end of it. That it just snowballed was his own responsibility at every turn.

If he carries on like this he could end up in gaol - but it won't be for cycling in the pedestrianised zone.

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alansmurphy [1472 posts] 3 months ago
4 likes

Two ways to stop / defen - as Paul J suggests, running the warden down was likely to cost around £600 and potential victim compensation of £50.

 

Alternatively, just claim that you were in the City of Mansfield recently and saw how bike friendly it was and that a large group of men on race bikes did the same thing.

 

Can't help but think it's a publicity opportunity for someone like Team Raleigh to pay it...

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ChrisB200SX [587 posts] 3 months ago
14 likes

You get a smaller fine for driving over a cyclist  2

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don simon [1709 posts] 3 months ago
9 likes
Quote:

Mansfield District Council’s portfolio holder for safer communities, Councillor Bill Drewett, commented: “Cycling has been prohibited in the pedestrianised area of Mansfield town centre to protect pedestrians.

“There are alternative routes around the town centre or cyclists can act in a responsible fashion and get off and push their bicycles through the town centre.

Would I be correct in thinking that these alternative routes are likely to roads? Those very roads that appear on a daily basis in Road.cc's close pass articles.

But hey, we're only cyclists until election time.

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scouser_andy [44 posts] 3 months ago
19 likes

Compare and contrast...

"A West Norfolk motorist who knocked down and killed a seven-year-old boy while talking on her mobile phone was fined just £90 and given five points on her driving licence."

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/crime/clenchwarton-motorist-fined-90-for-cra...

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schlepcycling [85 posts] 3 months ago
13 likes

Why did he even bother to stop, should have just kept going or refused to give the cockwomble warden any details.  I suspect the wardens don't have the power to detain.  Stop for the police but not for these numpties.

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jaysa [41 posts] 3 months ago
7 likes
schlepcycling wrote:

Why did he even bother to stop, should have just kept going or refused to give the cockwomble warden any details.  I suspect the wardens don't have the power to detain.  Stop for the police but not for these numpties.

So you're suggesting he flout the law, and a previous poster suggested he run the warden down (hopefully that was a 'joke') ???

And we wonder why cycling is getting a bad rap at the moment!

In my view, he disregarded a law he found inconvenient, then ignored the legal process that follows. What an idiot.

Motorists are not going to treat us with respect if some of us behave so irresponsibly.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1930 posts] 3 months ago
13 likes
jaysa wrote:
schlepcycling wrote:

Why did he even bother to stop, should have just kept going or refused to give the cockwomble warden any details.  I suspect the wardens don't have the power to detain.  Stop for the police but not for these numpties.

So you're suggesting he flout the law, and a previous poster suggested he run the warden down (hopefully that was a 'joke') ???

And we wonder why cycling is getting a bad rap at the moment!

In my view, he disregarded a law he found inconvenient, then ignored the legal process that follows. What an idiot.

Motorists are not going to treat us with respect if some of us behave so irresponsibly.

Why should anyone treat motorists with respect, using your logic?

Did you even read the linked news item on Scouser_andy's post?

Are you seriously suggesting motorists would all behave perfectly towards cyclists if all cyclists miraculously became perfectly well-behaved? What colour is the sky on your world?

And what's with the 'we'? There's no 'we', certainly I don't agree to being a member of any group with anyone as clueless as you.

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Grumpy17 [92 posts] 3 months ago
13 likes

What harm was he ACTUALLY doing by riding his bike in that area? Probably none.

Did he endanger the safety of any other people or cause any inconvenience whatsoever to other road users or pedestrians?  Probably not.

Just  senseless enforcement of a  blatantly anti-cyclist local order devised by petty-minded bureaucrats who have never and will never ride a bicycle themselves. All they know about bicycles and cyclists and all they want to know is that they don't like 'em.

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rdmp2 [27 posts] 3 months ago
6 likes

Misleading- there was initially no penalty for cycling where not permitted. For the second offense within minutes he was fined £100. The larger fine was only for not appearing at the magistrates court

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ClubSmed [536 posts] 3 months ago
9 likes
schlepcycling wrote:

Why did he even bother to stop, should have just kept going or refused to give the cockwomble warden any details.  I suspect the wardens don't have the power to detain.  Stop for the police but not for these numpties.

What exactly did this Warden do to deserve you calling them a "cockwomble" and a "numpty"? As far as I see it they were perfectly reasonable as they gave a warning first and did not resort to a fine until the cyclist was later discovered to be ignoring the earlier warning. From what I have read, the only person deserving of the labels "cockwomble" and "numpty" is the cyclist who ignored warnings and court summons.

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BehindTheBikesheds [1129 posts] 3 months ago
8 likes
Duncann wrote:

Rather misleading headline. 

For ignoring the rules the cyclist was asked to dismount. That could have been the end of it. That it just snowballed was his own responsibility at every turn.

If he carries on like this he could end up in gaol - but it won't be for cycling in the pedestrianised zone.

And yet the order is unlawful.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/12/part/4/chapter/2/enacted

S64:

(5)A public spaces protection order may not restrict the public right of way over a highway that is the only or principal means of access to a dwelling.

(6)In relation to a highway that is the only or principal means of access to premises used for business or recreational purposes, a public spaces protection order may not restrict the public right of way over the highway during periods when the premises are normally used for those purposes.

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dafyddp [443 posts] 3 months ago
5 likes

Mansfield - about 4 miles from Sherwood Pines MTB trails and a million miles away from welcoming cyclists.

In Leicester, just down the road, all our main city-centre shopping streets are either shared use or have purpose built cycle lanes. We have a few moaners, but I doubt very much that the accident rate is any higher. It just feels like a modern European city.

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ClubSmed [536 posts] 3 months ago
3 likes
Grumpy17 wrote:

What harm was he ACTUALLY doing by riding his bike in that area? Probably none.

Did he endanger the safety of any other people or cause any inconvenience whatsoever to other road users or pedestrians?  Probably not.

Just  senseless enforcement of a  blatantly anti-cyclist local order devised by petty-minded bureaucrats who have never and will never ride a bicycle themselves. All they know about bicycles and cyclists and all they want to know is that they don't like 'em.

What harm would a car travelling down a pedestrianised street at ~5mph do? Probably none.

Would it endanger the safty ofany other people or cause any inconvenience whatsoever to other road users or pedestrians?  Probably not.

Should it be fined for not following the ban on vehicles in pedestrianised areas? Yes

 

Same rules should apply to all

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simonmb [571 posts] 3 months ago
6 likes
rdmp2 wrote:

Misleading- there was initially no penalty for cycling where not permitted. For the second offense within minutes he was fined £100. The larger fine was only for not appearing at the magistrates court

This.

There are areas we can't ride, we can't drive, we can't walk. Fact. He was warned.

He clearly has no respect for the laws and deserves the fine. 

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simonmb [571 posts] 3 months ago
10 likes

The correct headline should be: Arrogant Twat Accumulates Fines of £600.

And it can be published everywhere - it wasn't a cycling-specific story until road.cc made it one.

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fenix [862 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

Why not just go round the town square ? Is that too tricky to ride somehow ?

 

I think the cyclist is being a bit silly. 

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oozaveared [937 posts] 3 months ago
5 likes
Grumpy17 wrote:

What harm was he ACTUALLY doing by riding his bike in that area? Probably none.

Did he endanger the safety of any other people or cause any inconvenience whatsoever to other road users or pedestrians?  Probably not.

Just  senseless enforcement of a  blatantly anti-cyclist local order devised by petty-minded bureaucrats who have never and will never ride a bicycle themselves. All they know about bicycles and cyclists and all they want to know is that they don't like 'em.

 

Oh the Jeremy Clarkson approach.  "What harm does a little speeding on an open road ACTUALLY do?"

I don't agree with this rule,  but it is the rule and legally and properly in place.  He was warned. He was given a FPN then he played more silly buggers.   Since we are vulnerable road users I think it would be better if all road users obeyed the rules and the laws. I am fine with drivers being fined for any number of infringments that they could easily argue aren't doing any harm and they do claim that all the time.

If you want the roads to be a free for all with everyone deciding for themselves which laws and rules they do or don't want to follow then I suggest a bike isn't the strongest suit in that game.

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oldstrath [928 posts] 3 months ago
10 likes
scouser_andy wrote:

Compare and contrast...

"A West Norfolk motorist who knocked down and killed a seven-year-old boy while talking on her mobile phone was fined just £90 and given five points on her driving licence."

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/crime/clenchwarton-motorist-fined-90-for-cra...

Dear gods, that is bizarre and horrible. So where's the demands from Briggs, the Daily Fail and Jesse pointless Norman for all phone usage to be banned in cars?

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Yorkshire wallet [1628 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

He was probably a chav on a BSO so I'm not too bothered about this.

Unless you actually gave your real name how would they get you unless you were known to them anyway?

If I got stopped by 'warden' for a triviality I wouldn't tell them anything and just ride off. What would they do about it? I doubt they are allowed to physically retrain you anyway.

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Helmut D. Bate [86 posts] 3 months ago
3 likes
ClubSmed wrote:
schlepcycling wrote:

Why did he even bother to stop, should have just kept going or refused to give the cockwomble warden any details.  I suspect the wardens don't have the power to detain.  Stop for the police but not for these numpties.

What exactly did this Warden do to deserve you calling them a "cockwomble" and a "numpty"?

1) They are a jobsworth warden 2) enforcing a stupid rule.

They probably have other attributes, but cockwombliness and numptiness can be assumed with some confidence.

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hawkinspeter [1200 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes
jaysa wrote:
schlepcycling wrote:

Why did he even bother to stop, should have just kept going or refused to give the cockwomble warden any details.  I suspect the wardens don't have the power to detain.  Stop for the police but not for these numpties.

So you're suggesting he flout the law, and a previous poster suggested he run the warden down (hopefully that was a 'joke') ???

And we wonder why cycling is getting a bad rap at the moment!

In my view, he disregarded a law he found inconvenient, then ignored the legal process that follows. What an idiot.

Motorists are not going to treat us with respect if some of us behave so irresponsibly.

You seem to be treating cyclists as a collective group and suggesting that we'll all get punished (close passes? "get off the road and use the cycle path" taunts?) if any one of us behaves improperly.

However, that kind of collective punishment is actually considered a war crime and I'd like to direct you to article 33 of the Geneva Convention as to why punishing "cyclists" is illegal.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Geneva_Convention#Article_33:_Individual_responsibility.2C_collective_penalties.2C_pillage.2C_reprisals

 

Avatar
Grumpy17 [92 posts] 3 months ago
3 likes
ClubSmed wrote:
Grumpy17 wrote:

What harm was he ACTUALLY doing by riding his bike in that area? Probably none.

Did he endanger the safety of any other people or cause any inconvenience whatsoever to other road users or pedestrians?  Probably not.

Just  senseless enforcement of a  blatantly anti-cyclist local order devised by petty-minded bureaucrats who have never and will never ride a bicycle themselves. All they know about bicycles and cyclists and all they want to know is that they don't like 'em.

What harm would a car travelling down a pedestrianised street at ~5mph do? Probably none.

Would it endanger the safty ofany other people or cause any inconvenience whatsoever to other road users or pedestrians?  Probably not.

Should it be fined for not following the ban on vehicles in pedestrianised areas? Yes

 

Same rules should apply to all

Nobody brought cars into the argument, except you.

This has nothing to do withcomparisons between car drivers  and cyclists or who has the rougher deal as a road user. 

It's all about petty rules loved by petty-minded people, includng yourself  it would appear.

 

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Ush [1035 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes
ClubSmed wrote:
schlepcycling wrote:

Why did he even bother to stop, should have just kept going or refused to give the cockwomble warden any details.  I suspect the wardens don't have the power to detain.  Stop for the police but not for these numpties.

What exactly did this Warden do to deserve you calling them a "cockwomble" and a "numpty"?

They enforced a cockwomble, numpty rule.  That shows quite clearly that they are a cockwomble, numpty.  

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Crippledbiker [23 posts] 3 months ago
7 likes

I wonder how they'd react to me on my handcycle?

Any order to dismount is going to be met with a smart-arsed response along the lines of "and how do you propose I do that then?".

I've had this discussion with a warden in Guildford, who basically told me that they didn't care about careful cycling on the (pedestrianised) highstreet and only went after cyclists who were acting like tits.

Tempted to go to Mansfield, just to tell them to shove it...

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craigstitt [85 posts] 3 months ago
4 likes

Complete non-story.

Useless twunt gets a warning and told don't do it again.  Gets spotted doing it again within a short space of time, gets fined, doesn't pay the fine and then creates a court case as a result of not paying fine and doesn't show up.  Deserves everything he got.

But as for the case highlighted by @scouser_andy that is utterly horrifying.  How could a judge impose such a lenient punishment on someone who has killed someone while driving using their mobile phone.

“Amy made and received seven calls while driving from her mum’s in Leverton.” and "The inquest heard that she was on the phone at the time - and a number of calls made on her phone had been deleted after the crash." and "She claimed she had no idea how that calls had disappeared and said her mobile had been placed in the pocket of the driver’s door on loud speaker when the collision happened."

After reading all of the above statements I call bullshit - She was driving while using the phone with no hands free, once she realised she hit the child she deleted the phonecalls to try and cover her tracks.  Did the judge get someone to go and sit in a stationary car with the phone on loudspeaker in the drivers door pocket and call into the court while on loudspeaker.... because the chances of either side of the conversation being viable would be about zero.

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ClubSmed [536 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
Helmut D. Bate wrote:
ClubSmed wrote:
schlepcycling wrote:

Why did he even bother to stop, should have just kept going or refused to give the cockwomble warden any details.  I suspect the wardens don't have the power to detain.  Stop for the police but not for these numpties.

What exactly did this Warden do to deserve you calling them a "cockwomble" and a "numpty"?

1) They are a jobsworth warden 2) enforcing a stupid rule. They probably have other attributes, but cockwombliness and numptiness can be assumed with some confidence.

There is no indication that this warden was a jobsworth, in fact he did not fine initially which would actually indicate that they were not a jobsworth.

As for the rule itself, I do not agree with it but equally having never lived in the area and have not researched it so I do not know what sort of issues they were having to deal with that led to this order being put in place. Until either of these 2 criteria are met then I will try and keep an open mind. If, for example, they had issues with bag snatchers on bikes operating in the area then it would make as much sense as installing bollards at each end of a pedestrianised area to stop ram raiders. If they were just doing it because they are all backward and have issues because they feel children should hibernate between the ages of 12-20 and not be seen hanging out in public space on their skateboards and bikes it is another matter....

 

Avatar
ClubSmed [536 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
Grumpy17 wrote:
ClubSmed wrote:
Grumpy17 wrote:

What harm was he ACTUALLY doing by riding his bike in that area? Probably none.

Did he endanger the safety of any other people or cause any inconvenience whatsoever to other road users or pedestrians?  Probably not.

Just  senseless enforcement of a  blatantly anti-cyclist local order devised by petty-minded bureaucrats who have never and will never ride a bicycle themselves. All they know about bicycles and cyclists and all they want to know is that they don't like 'em.

What harm would a car travelling down a pedestrianised street at ~5mph do? Probably none.

Would it endanger the safty ofany other people or cause any inconvenience whatsoever to other road users or pedestrians?  Probably not.

Should it be fined for not following the ban on vehicles in pedestrianised areas? Yes

 

Same rules should apply to all

Nobody brought cars into the argument, except you.

This has nothing to do withcomparisons between car drivers  and cyclists or who has the rougher deal as a road user. 

It's all about petty rules loved by petty-minded people, includng yourself  it would appear.

 

 

Petty rule? Why is it a petty rule? I do not know about the circumstances around this order being put in place and what antisocial aspects it was supposed to resolve and if it has or has not resolved these issues. I am happy to be educated in these circumstances and whether the order addressed the route cause or not though

Avatar
Helmut D. Bate [86 posts] 3 months ago
3 likes
ClubSmed wrote:
Helmut D. Bate wrote:
ClubSmed wrote:
schlepcycling wrote:

Why did he even bother to stop, should have just kept going or refused to give the cockwomble warden any details.  I suspect the wardens don't have the power to detain.  Stop for the police but not for these numpties.

What exactly did this Warden do to deserve you calling them a "cockwomble" and a "numpty"?

1) They are a jobsworth warden 2) enforcing a stupid rule. They probably have other attributes, but cockwombliness and numptiness can be assumed with some confidence.

There is no indication that this warden was a jobsworth, in fact he did not fine initially which would actually indicate that they were not a jobsworth.

As for the rule itself, I do not agree with it but equally having never lived in the area and have not researched it so I do not know what sort of issues they were having to deal with that led to this order being put in place. Until either of these 2 criteria are met then I will try and keep an open mind. If, for example, they had issues with bag snatchers on bikes operating in the area then it would make as much sense as installing bollards at each end of a pedestrianised area to stop ram raiders. If they were just doing it because they are all backward and have issues because they feel children should hibernate between the ages of 12-20 and not be seen hanging out in public space on their skateboards and bikes it is another matter....

 

It's always for that latter reason, miserable misperception of 'yoof' - same as the moaning about kids pulling wheelies. Plenty of posts about it being nonsense.

I'm confident it's a bullshit rule implemented for bullshit reasons.

And we have someone who has taken a job to uphold nonsense like this, who has actually upheld this rule.

I'm confident they're a jobsworth.

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