Bristol councillor calls on new police commissioner to crack down on pavement cycling

Wants action taken against 'dangerous and illegal' riders

by Sarah Barth   January 6, 2013  

road.cc news

A Lib Dem city councillor has urged Bristol's first elected police commissioner to crack down on what he says is dangerous cycling in his ward.

David Willingham, who represents Bishopston, is particularly concerned with pavement cycling, and has asked new commissioner Sue Mountstevens to crack down on the 'anti-social' antics of riders.

Mr Willingham told This Is Bristol: "Bristol enjoys the accolade of being a Cycling City and much has been done by the city council to encourage and promote cycling.

"The vast majority of cyclists are sensible and law-abiding but there is a small minority of them whose behaviour is dangerous and illegal.

"Many of my constituents find them intimidating.

"The complaints I receive about people cycling on the pavement are often from vulnerable sections of the community."

Pavement cycling has been a hot topic in Bristol in the last year, with pensioners filming cyclists on the walkways (and then campaigning for better cycle infrastructure), and the local paper The Bristol Evening Post running a polls of 4,000 people, in which 3,130 of them saying cyclists should not be allowed on pavements.

Meanwhile, we reported a few days ago how Cambridgeshire’s new police commissioner said that one of his priorities is to rid Cambridge of what he terms “dangerous cyclists” ahead of what he believes will be a boom in tourism following a royal visit.

In a pre-Christmas campaign conducted against anti-social cycling which included plain clothes officers being deployed on the streets, former Conservative MP Sir Graham Bright saw his plan come into action.

"It was one of the first things I did,” said Sir Graham of the operation, which Cambridge News says resulted in 54 cyclists being ‘caught’ in one night alone.

"I think we’ve got to a stage in Cambridge where people have forgotten that cyclists aren’t supposed to cycle on pavements, through red lights and the wrong way up a one-way street which are terribly dangerous – not as dangerous as a car – but if a cyclist hits a child or an elderly person it can be fatal."

13 user comments

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Cambridge, Bristol, we must take back our cities from the cyclists! Next - Oxford and London.

posted by a.jumper [694 posts]
6th January 2013 - 22:46

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If only the government had sold the police commissionaires as official anti-cycling posts, they probably would have got much higher turnouts on election night, from all the Clarkson wannabes. Pavement cycling is wrong, but ranks somewhere between inconsiderate parking and not scooping your dog's poop, in terms of what should the police should be prioritising.

posted by ubercurmudgeon [168 posts]
6th January 2013 - 23:45

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ubercurmudgeon wrote:
.... Pavement cycling is wrong, but ranks somewhere between inconsiderate parking and not scooping your dog's poop, in terms of what should the police should be prioritising.

That's about it.

posted by Ting [51 posts]
7th January 2013 - 6:35

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Perhaps if these people were more forthcoming in providing segregated paths for the pavement cyclists to use, they wouldn't feel the need too, or is that too easy?

posted by northstar [1099 posts]
7th January 2013 - 8:09

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why not pick on a "target" they can get results for
instead or lunatic drivers, rapists, muggers, thieves,
scooters, skateboards ..... gggrrrrrrrrrrrr Angry

still on the 3rd switch-back of Bwlch !

posted by therevokid [697 posts]
7th January 2013 - 9:30

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northstar wrote:
Perhaps if these people were more forthcoming in providing segregated paths for the pavement cyclists to use, they wouldn't feel the need too, or is that too easy?

The main effect of that would be increased abuse of cyclists who choose the road instead of the rubbish that often passes as segregated paths - like this one from Bristol http://bristolcars.blogspot.com/2010/08/coronation-road-cycle-path.html

posted by a.jumper [694 posts]
7th January 2013 - 9:44

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ubercurmudgeon wrote:
If only the government had sold the police commissionaires as official anti-cycling posts, they probably would have got much higher turnouts on election night, from all the Clarkson wannabes. Pavement cycling is wrong, but ranks somewhere between inconsiderate parking and not scooping your dog's poop, in terms of what should the police should be prioritising.

Exactly - and dangerous driving is far more of a risk to life and limb, as the DfT's accident statistics show. Dangerous cycling does exist for sure, but the numbers of victims are significantly lower as the data reveals. The police really need to get a reality check in this instance. Since resources are short, there are far more important priorities.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2165 posts]
7th January 2013 - 10:05

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therevokid wrote:
why not pick on a "target" they can get results for
instead or lunatic drivers, rapists, muggers, thieves,
scooters, skateboards ..... gggrrrrrrrrrrrr Angry

Could not have said it better.

FATBEGGARONABIKE's picture

posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [580 posts]
7th January 2013 - 10:32

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It's the councillor and the police commissioner who is stiring this thing up, not the Police.

Unfortunately we all get tarred with the s****y end of the stick though.

I work in what is quite a quiet area compared to some and still would not have time to sit and target cyclists on pavements even if i wanted to.

To be honest its a 2 bit councillor who is trying to get his name in lights so he can get re-elected by showing he is "listening" to his constituents and trying to do something about it.

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2696 posts]
7th January 2013 - 11:10

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I venture into Bristol on my bike occasionally but find it difficult to know which are cycle paths and which are not. Sometimes you have signs indicating a cycle path which then just don't have any more signs so how are you to know which is legit and which isn't?

In the new part of Broadmead are a number of bike stands but this part is apparently a non-cycling area according to the cycle map. Now as far as I can remember there are no signs telling you it is a non-cycling area, and the bike stands lead you to believe it is a cycling area so what is the truth?

Mixte Rider

posted by adriank999 [64 posts]
7th January 2013 - 12:32

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stumps wrote:
It's the councillor and the police commissioner who is stiring this thing up, not the Police.

Unfortunately we all get tarred with the s****y end of the stick though.

I work in what is quite a quiet area compared to some and still would not have time to sit and target cyclists on pavements even if i wanted to.

To be honest its a 2 bit councillor who is trying to get his name in lights so he can get re-elected by showing he is "listening" to his constituents and trying to do something about it.

This is pretty much it - the need to 'be seen to be doing something'. This and the Cambridge thing really only serves to highlight the impotence and pointlessness of the police commissioners. Hopefully the electorate will pick up on the fact that we're paying these political plants £75k p.a. and they can do little more than tell cyclists off for riding on the pavement.

The irritating thing is, there are commonly-broken laws that really could do with a bit of a crackdown, most of all drivers using their phone. Even picking up cyclists who aren't using lights at night would be more useful from a public-good point of view (I mean, if you really have to be doing *something* against the hated two-wheeled hooligans arrogantly travelling in an economical, efficient, healthy and socially responsibly fashion).

Ghedebrav's picture

posted by Ghedebrav [1073 posts]
7th January 2013 - 12:43

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stumps wrote:
To be honest its a 2 bit councillor who is trying to get his name in lights so he can get re-elected by showing he is "listening" to his constituents and trying to do something about it.

Same goes for the "crackdowns" on pavement cycling in Shrewsbury over the last few years. Councillor gets ear bent by a pensioner at LJC meeting. Gets the police to issue a press release. Box ticked. Yet I see relatively few cyclists riding on the pavement but plenty of illegally parked/waiting cars, taxis and vans.

Some of the shared paths are poorly signed/marked, like the pavement along Smithfield Road that is now a shared facility. You can cycle on these pavements and a select few others, but not all.

Of course, if the roads were nicer places to ride we wouldn't need these crappy 'facilities'. But while Shropshire Council is enslaved to the I-want-to-drive-and-park-my-car-everywhere-for-free-Now! lobby nothing will change.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1940 posts]
7th January 2013 - 15:17

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Oh well, Bristol's commissioner will probably be too busy for now while the chief constable sues her: http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-20939483

posted by a.jumper [694 posts]
8th January 2013 - 0:46

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