Greater Manchester Police have revealed that hundreds of cyclists in Manchester have been issued £80 fines for “dangerous and irresponsible” cycling on the city’s Oxford Road and Wilmslow Road in recent months.
Since February, officers have issued 415 fixed penalty notices for a range of offences including riding through red traffic lights or on the pavement, using a mobile phone while riding, and riding without lights.
The fines have been issued on ten separate “days of action” between February and June as part of Operation Grimaldi, which police say focuses on “on ‘hot spot’ areas where pedal cyclists have been seen using the roads dangerously or irresponsibly.”
Cyclists issued with the fixed penalty notices were given the opportunity to avoid paying fines by attending cycling awareness courses.
Traffic PCSO Gareth Walker commented: “The aim of the operation was not to fine all offenders but to educate them, offer training and promote road safety.
“Many of the cyclists we spoke to were not aware of the danger they put themselves and others in by the actions they were taking while failing to stop or being distracted on their phones.
“The number of killed or seriously injured on the roads has fallen over the last two years but we need to continue to educate road users of how to share the roads safely in order to ensure these numbers continue to fall.”
One local cycle campaigner told the Manchester Evening News that while it was right to take action against cyclists flouting the rules, police should also target motorists who break the law.
Pete Abel of the Love Your Bike campaign told the newspaper: “We are in favour of taking action against people who cycle poorly and anti-socially, but we don’t see an equivalent crackdown on drivers.
“When cyclists runs a red light it is usually inconvenient, when a driver does it is downright dangerous.”
Transport for Greater Manchester plans to install segregated cycle lanes along parts of Oxford Road as part of its Bus Priority scheme. The proposals are open to public consultation until 5 July.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.