'Zero tolerance' for pavement cyclists in Cardiff

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

by Sarah Barth   July 9, 2012  

cardiff congestion.jpg

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."

 

16 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

That picture must be a fake... no cars encroaching on the pedestrian crossing.

posted by JohnS [198 posts]
9th July 2012 - 8:06

4 Likes

I live in Canton and cycle along Cowbridge Road every day; I can safely say that I've never felt the need to ride on the footway.

I can however see that some people may feel safer doing this, as there is very little parking enforcement, so cars are permanently blocking the (intermittent) cycle lanes. Removing these obstacles may make things a little better, but the people I mostly see riding on the footway (which is generally busy, and in places narrow)look as though they would probably ride like this regardless of the road conditions.

posted by nellybuck@msn.com [156 posts]
9th July 2012 - 8:07

3 Likes

JohnS wrote:
That picture must be a fake... no cars encroaching on the pedestrian crossing.

I used to ride through that junction daily on my commute, I would've struggled to believe there was an ASL there!

posted by nellybuck@msn.com [156 posts]
9th July 2012 - 8:08

3 Likes

I am not a fan of pavement cycling but I can understand why some people would.

There is a narrow cycle track painted onto parts of Cowbridge Road East but unless you are confident and quick to get away from junctions that road wouldn’t be a good ride. The road a high number of traffic lights, traffic is heavy and it’s also a main bus route.

Another example of Cardiff is the junction near the new Evans Cycles (https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&authuser=0&q=Chwarae+teg&ie=UTF-8&e...) , again complicated lanes, heavily used – although this one does have a full size bus lane.

Or here near the university ... https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&authuser=0&q=Chwarae+teg&ie=UTF-8&e...

But Cardiff is a beautiful city, a city which is hemmed in by the sea to the south and mountains to the north, the roads a narrow and heavily used – it just needs some common sense, from cyclists and from the police,

Chwarae teg.

RhysW's picture

posted by RhysW [77 posts]
9th July 2012 - 8:13

3 Likes

What do we want to enforce here ? The greener movement of people, or the right to park anywhere you please? Cars do get a bad deal in the scheme of things, but that is only because other, cheaper, smaller vehicles are coming into their own. A push for profits, combined with a push for health has massively increased the numbers of people NEEDING to have an alternative to cars. So, just like in a relationship, we need to compromise. NO PAVEMENT RIDING = NO BLOCKAGE OF CYCLE LANES. Or one will wipe out the other in the ticket writing wars ! Good luck Cardiff, from Lance Bumstrong (FB-bike-blog) Cool

Lance Bumstrong's picture

posted by Lance Bumstrong [20 posts]
9th July 2012 - 8:32

5 Likes

nellybuck@msn.com wrote:
JohnS wrote:
That picture must be a fake... no cars encroaching on the pedestrian crossing.

I used to ride through that junction daily on my commute, I would've struggled to believe there was an ASL there!

I didn't say there was. But there is a pedestrian crossing.

posted by JohnS [198 posts]
9th July 2012 - 9:13

2 Likes

Lance - I never understand why people think they have a right to steal bits of public land to dump their cars on for half the day.

It seems they don't believe in paying to clutter up the street.

posted by JohnS [198 posts]
9th July 2012 - 9:17

3 Likes

Zero-Tolerence is roughly what I have for anti-cycling laws..

..Although the no *riding* on pavements laws were actually written before there were any bicycles the laws where aimed at horse-riders and carriages which makes far more sense.

"Police will patrol one day a week" Lol, they try so hard don't they.

posted by kie7077 [567 posts]
9th July 2012 - 11:05

4 Likes

Going by that photo, it doesn't look as if there are so many pedestrians to feel threatened by pavement cyclists. It also doesn't look as if the traffic is particularly heavy though, in such a way that would intimidate cyclists using the road.

It's been a while since I was last in the city.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2308 posts]
9th July 2012 - 11:18

4 Likes

Perhaps the Welsh Assembly will whip Cardiff into line, with its proposed obligation on local authorities to make suitable cycling provision.

Meanwhile I think the police could far more usefully apply their time prosecuting pavement parkng by cars, as this is a terrible curse of almost every city these days.

posted by Paul M [325 posts]
9th July 2012 - 12:32

3 Likes

Correct - driving a car on a footway is the same offence as cycling and somehow all the drivers of parked cars on a footway don't get a ticket.

That said I would welcome a purge on footway cycling but in the form of a deal with the riders - for your first stop you'll get no FPN if you

1) tell us where you are going and why you are riding on the footway.

2) arrange to attend a half day cycle training course.

Footway cycling is rife in Glasgow even the Police cyclists do it when they have no real reason to do so, and it is often done at dangerous speeds.

47 years of breaking bikes and still they offer me a 10 year frame warranty!

A V Lowe's picture

posted by A V Lowe [504 posts]
9th July 2012 - 13:31

5 Likes

will there be zero tolerance towards the real causes of death and serious injury on our roads?

bad driving
speeding
mobile phone use
drink driving
cars jumping red lights

no, I didn't think so

posted by fluffy_mike [87 posts]
9th July 2012 - 13:33

3 Likes

OldRidgeback wrote:
Going by that photo, it doesn't look as if there are so many pedestrians to feel threatened by pavement cyclists. It also doesn't look as if the traffic is particularly heavy though, in such a way that would intimidate cyclists using the road.

It's been a while since I was last in the city.

That photo isn't Cowbridge Road, which is the subject of this latest crackdown. Cowbridge Road has much more pedestrian activity (and narrower footways), as well as a reasonably heavy traffic flow with high proportion of bendy buses.

posted by nellybuck@msn.com [156 posts]
9th July 2012 - 13:49

6 Likes

JohnS wrote:
nellybuck@msn.com wrote:
JohnS wrote:
That picture must be a fake... no cars encroaching on the pedestrian crossing.

I used to ride through that junction daily on my commute, I would've struggled to believe there was an ASL there!

I didn't say there was. But there is a pedestrian crossing.

I never said you did. It was merely a comment to express my surprise that there is a photo in existence when the ASL isn't being used by cars and buses. It seemed to follow quite nicely your comment regarding cars encroaching on the crossing; sorry if I confused you.

posted by nellybuck@msn.com [156 posts]
9th July 2012 - 13:51

3 Likes

I assisted a parent cyclist and baby who were hit by a van driver who failed to look on entering a roundabout. I was overjoyed to see the pair back on the bike the other day, at the same junction. Guess where they were cycling? Yes, on the pavement. Any police officer ticketing them would get the same piece of my mind as the paramedic who told him he should be wearing hi-viz, and was probably in a blind spot.

Patrick.

posted by Littlehuan [46 posts]
9th July 2012 - 16:47

3 Likes

I like a lot of the posters here detest the pavement cyclist but I find this approach by the police to be totally inappropriate, tell people to cycle on the roads by all means but target the REAL reason why they are on the pavement BAD drivers!

FATBEGGARONABIKE's picture

posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [605 posts]
10th July 2012 - 10:28

3 Likes