Charity rider fined for motorway mix-up

Scots rush to say sorry for police behaviour

by Tom Henry   July 14, 2009 news

Generous Scots have been quick to support an English charity cyclist who accidentally strayed on to a motorway and was fined by police.

Jamie Barton, 34, who is riding from land’s End to John O’Groats was pulled over by traffic officers on the A74(M) motorway near Gretna.

But his explanation – that he had his ‘head down’ and was following his sat nav – fell on deaf ears and he was fined £60 with three penalty points on his licence.

The police have now admitted they were wrong and have closed the matter.

A spokesman for Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary said: "In reviewing the case it now appears that incorrect procedures were taken in the issuing of this ticket and as such this has now been cancelled.The matter will not be taken any further by the force."

Mr Barton, from Essex, is riding for a hospice for very sick children and was hoping to raise £1,000. However, his total has now reached £2,755 which includes donations from Scots angry that he has been treated so harshly by the police.

On his charity webpage he has received various messages of good luck and pledges of cash. One man, donating £10, said: “Apologies for dumb behaviour of plod. Hopefully when you get to the Highlands you'll be made more welcome! Cheers and good luck!”

Mr Barton had been on the road for four days when he had his brush with the law.

He explained: "I had just crossed the border. I was following a sat nav and had my head down. I didn't realise it was taking me onto the A74(M)."

He said he had been on the motorway for just a few minutes when he pulled over.

"They spent about 30 minutes with me in the car. They seemed intent on giving me the biggest penalty," he said.

He added: "I realise they had to take me off the motorway for my safety and the safety of others and to an extent I agree with the fine but I think getting points on your licence is a bit harsh."

He has now resumed his ride and hopes to reach John O'Groats by the end of the week.

5 user comments

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I didn't think that getting points on your licence is possible when cycling in the UK. At least that's the impression I got from reading this bikeforall web page on cyclists and the law. If it happened to me I'd be on to the CTC lawyers (since I'm a member).

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1448 posts]
14th July 2009 - 13:23


Oh, I've just read on this BBC web page that he challenged the police that he wasn't driving a motor vehicle, so couldn't get penalty points on his licence. They have cancelled his ticket.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1448 posts]
14th July 2009 - 13:33


I'm pretty sure it is possible to get points on your driving licence when cycling. If you're caught over the limit for alcohol while cycling, you will be fined and I remember when newspaper articles in the press in London some years back highlighted how bicycle couriers could lose their driver's licences for such offences.


posted by OldRidgeback [2581 posts]
14th July 2009 - 13:59


No, it is not true that you can get endorsements on your driving licence for cycling when drunk. It is a myth. That only true in some US states. But you can still be penalised. Read the cyclists and the law page I linked to.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1448 posts]
14th July 2009 - 22:43


*pseudo-legal notice*

Not that you are condoning cycling under the influence which is a BAD thing ... right?

Buddha said:

Believe nothing, No matter where you read it,
Or who has said it, Not even if I have said it,
Unless it agrees with your own reason
And your own common sense.

mad_scot_rider's picture

posted by mad_scot_rider [586 posts]
14th February 2012 - 15:18