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But Sustrans say the city is one of the worst in Britain for cycling

Police in Cardiff have adopted a 'zero tolerance' policy towards pavement cyclists in the city, despite it being named one of Sustrans's worst cities in Britain for cycling, forcing riders over the kerbs to stay safe.

The operation will run in Canton, Cardiff, for the next seven weeks, until August 31. Police will patrol one day a week, handing out £30 fines to anyone they catch.

Lee Waters, national director of Sustrans Cymru, told the BBC that pavement cycling could be a reaction to feeling unsafe on the roads.

He said: "They may find it safer to go on the pavements. If they feel unsafe they may withdraw from the situation.

"In Cardiff, it's significantly worse than most British cities.

"We know that there's great potential in Cardiff. The conditions are ripe but there's evidence to show we've got a long way to go to make it attractive to most who don't walk or cycle.

"But people shouldn't cycle on pavements and that should be enforced along with parking on cycle lanes, driver behaviour and bike thefts.

"I would hope the police take an equally vigilant attitude to these."

Acting Sgt Gerallt Hughes said that the impetus had come from locals' complaints.

He said: "Residents said they have encountered cyclists using the public footpaths on a daily basis particularly on Cowbridge Road East which is clearly a very busy commercial street, congested with pedestrians.

"We share their concerns that somebody could get hurt soon and in response to these concerns we have began an awareness and enforcement campaign."

In the comments below the BBC story, there was a mixed reaction from readers.

Anne Louise Trebus said: "The pavements in Tremorfa, Cardiff, are a real hazard because of cyclists - both adult and children - riding their bikes at speed with no thought for pedestrians. And when you ask them to move - all you get is a mouthful of abuse."

But another commenter wrote: "I am police cyclist in Wales and unless someone is absolute dangerous or in a busy shopping centre would never ticket for riding on the pavement .

"Why not a cycle path through the main shopping centre this works in every other country and it works fine why not here? All it would cost is white paint and a line."

 

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.