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Southend cyclists offered Bikeability training

Lessons instead of fines to target anti-social cyclists

Like many of their colleagues across the country, police in Southend-on-Sea in Essex have launched a campaign targeting anti-social cyclists – but rather than issuing £30 fixed penalty notices to those falling foul of the law, they are instead offering training to help transgressors mend their ways.

Despite signs in the town centre warning that certain streets are pedestrian-only, Essex County Constabulary say that pavement cyclists are a regular topic of complaint from the public.

In the past, fixed penalty notices were issued to those ignoring the law, but now officers are adopting a softer approach in the hope of finding a permanent solution to the problem.

Dubbed Operation Revolution, a new campaign aims to get offenders to participate in free training sessions organised by Bikeability on the streets where they regularly ride.

Sergeant Bill Potter, who is running the policing side of the initiative, told the Essex Echo: “While many still consider cycling on the pavement a minor offence, it is one which is constantly being raised to us during public meetings as a matter of local priority. After all, it affects a great many of us and is a very dangerous practice.”

Acknowledging that some cyclists may be nervous about taking to the road in the first place, he added, “we also appreciate roads have become busier in general. Roads may be perceived as an unsafe place for cyclists, so we’ve also needed to look at the reasons why cyclists choose to use the pavement.”

Meanwhile, the Deputy Leader of Southend Council,Conservative Councillor John Lamb, told the paper: “As part of our agenda to promote sustainable development in Southend, the council has invested heavily in cycling initiatives since becoming a cycling demonstration town last year. Bikeability is just one of the schemes we are offering,” he continued. “I have completed it myself and am now much more confident about road cycling around the borough.”

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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OldRidgeback | 14 years ago

Good idea, carrot not stick

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