Twickenham motorists fined for illegally using cycle lane as police launch crackdown

Police had received complaints from cyclists and take action after borough commander knocked off bike

by Simon_MacMichael   April 10, 2013  

Twickenham Railway Bridge (Source Google Street View)

Police in south west London have been issuing fines to drivers using a cycle lane across a railway bridge to beat traffic queues, with seven fixed penalty fines issued in the space of an hour last Friday, and plans to resume the operation once the school holidays are over, reports the Richmond & Twickenham Times.

The bridge, which takes London Road across the railway line by Twickenham Station, has a mandatory cycle lane delineated by a solid white line, and Rule 140 of the Highway Code tells drivers: “You MUST NOT drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a solid white line during its times of operation.”

Police had previously been told by cyclists about motorists illegally using the cycle lane, although it appears that action was only taken after Clive Chalk, Borough Commander for Richmond Upon Thames, was nearly knocked off his bike there.

PC Nick Blyth of Richmond Safer Transport Team told the newspaper: “Cyclists have complained previously that cars come right up behind them in their cycle lane and intimidate them when they should not be in the cycle lane in the first place.

“Cars that use the cycle lane tend to be travelling at an unsafe speed and should they come over the brow of the hill and encounter a cyclist they would have trouble stopping in time.”

Additional warning signs have been erected warning drivers of the cycle lane, and those caught using it were handed £30 fixed penalty notices.

“Most of the motorists tend to comment when stopped that everyone else does it and they were just following them,” added PC Blyth.

Alastair Barr of Richmond Cycling Campaign told the newspaper: “The London Road cycle lane is a vital link, including many mums and dads who cycle to school with their kids or to and from Twickenham riverside.

“Being intimidated off the road is a concern many of them share with us, and often leads many to resort to cycling on the pavement,” he added.

“Improving the understanding of and the enforcement of the rules of the road, whether on two wheels or four is beneficial for everyone.

“Ultimately, it is about making our streets safer for everyone and we’re really encouraged to see the police take these concerns seriously."

Coincidentally, the location where the police have been enforcing the mandatory cycle lane is the subject of controversy at the moment, with Richmond Cycling Campaign having criticised council proposals for a new road layount including cycle lanes on and around the railway bridge.

14 user comments

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I can understand why motorists would be aggrieved by this.

They can probably turn the corner and quite legally drive and park in another stretch of cycle lane.

posted by farrell [1401 posts]
10th April 2013 - 11:26

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The sub headline says it all.

posted by northstar [1100 posts]
10th April 2013 - 11:40

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£30 - wow that is going to make people think twice.

How about points on the licence?

JaseCD

posted by jasecd [144 posts]
10th April 2013 - 11:46

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northstar wrote:
The sub headline says it all.

Yeah - this bit ...

"...take action after borough commander knocked off..."

posted by mad_scot_rider [546 posts]
10th April 2013 - 11:54

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Cycle lanes like these always need barriers to stop cars just ignoring the marking and driving in the lane.
Would be good if more Police took this more seriously.

posted by thereverent [298 posts]
10th April 2013 - 13:13

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farrell wrote:
I can understand why motorists would be aggrieved by this.

They can probably turn the corner and quite legally drive and park in another stretch of cycle lane.

Except that a lot of the traffic volume approaches the bridge straight on; the road immediately adjacent has very low traffic volumes; it's motorists' responsibility to take notice of all on-road markings; and if you look at the second photo in the link above, ie
http://www.richmondandtwickenhamtimes.co.uk/news/10341932.Motorists_fine...

in those particular examples it's quite blatent use of the lane, not an 'ooh sorry officer it was an accident'...

posted by JonD [180 posts]
10th April 2013 - 14:32

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I wonder what the offence actually is? Drivibg over a solid white is geerally failing to comply, but deliberately giong down a lane is surely driving without due consideration, or whatever the latest equivalent is, and should be worth 3 points and £60 a go.
Perhaps locals will take photos (which show number plates) of this happening and send them in to police, just to see if they take action

Doc

posted by doc [167 posts]
10th April 2013 - 16:02

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It's almost as good as Chris Bainbridge of Hammersmith and Fulham Council saying that they are considering a redesign of the New Kings Road/Bagleys Lane because of complaints from Motorists gettgin fined for encroaching the hatched box, not from it being highlighted by cyclists as a dangerous junction.

posted by georgee [137 posts]
10th April 2013 - 18:59

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A few good bollards will sort this sort of thing out. A bit of blue paint too, looks like there is plenty of room for a superhighway and a CCTV camera, then they might get the idea.


Leviathan of Riderstate

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1251 posts]
10th April 2013 - 20:24

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Drivers will continue to use cycle lanes for parking or driving on until they are banned completely from being on them in the first place.

What is the point of having a cycle lane if it's legal at times to park or drive on it?

On the South side of Glasgow, we have a cycle lane on both sides of the A77 for miles and miles, however, cannot effectively use it most of the time due to parked cars.

It's time cycle lanes were designated for bikes only.

posted by Roscoemck [9 posts]
11th April 2013 - 8:36

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bikeboy76 wrote:
A few good bollards will sort this sort of thing out.

Well, you might think so.

http://aseasyasridingabike.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/the-revenge-of-the-i...

Bez's picture

posted by Bez [371 posts]
11th April 2013 - 8:43

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So one wonders how many more complaints about dangerous drivers would have been ignored had the borough commander not have experienced it for himself?

It would appear that the only way cyclists can get the authorities to see our point of view is to force them to undergo what we have to put up with on a daily basis.

FATBEGGARONABIKE's picture

posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [584 posts]
11th April 2013 - 9:19

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There are cheap and easily implemented solutions to this. A line of those plastic posts, like the ones recently featured in a blog about guerilla cycle lane makers in Seattle, or "armadillos" as proposed for Royal College St in Camden and as used in Barcelona - they look like large rugby balls, but in half lengthways, and glued to the road at an angle so that vehicles can't drive between them.

Fines and points are all very well, but solid physical separation will always beat any form of appeal to human nature.

posted by Paul M [308 posts]
11th April 2013 - 12:48

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The first Gatso camera in the UK was installed on the A316 at Twickenham Bridge where the speed limit was 40 mph but it was set to operate for vehicles travelling at 60 mph and above (they only intended to catch the worst offenders. In the following 22 days 22,939 drivers were caught travelling at 65 mph or above.
Daily Telegraph 22 May 2012

posted by cbrndc [11 posts]
12th April 2013 - 8:13

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