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Cambridge lights crackdown making cyclists more switched on, say police

Oxford ahead of Cambridge when it comes to number of fines handed out as police note cultural shift away from riding without lights in the light blue city

Police in Cambridge say a campaign to ensure cyclists use lights in the hours of darkness is working despite more than 300 bike riders being handed fines for failing to do so.

Under Cambridgeshire Police’s Lights Instead of Tickets initiative, people were able to avoid paying a £30 fine if they were able to prove they had bought a set of lights within seven days of being issued a fixed penalty notice. The inititiative is similar to that run by police in Oxford where a total of 354 fixed penaly notices have been handed out so far this year in two police operations. 

According to Cambridge News, police targeted riders on Arbury Road, Milton Road and Mitcham’s Corner during the month-long operation with a total of 304 people given fines and 151 others spoken to by police.

Sergeant Jason Wragg told Cambridge City Council’s north area committee: “PCSOs from the north area team have been active with the LIT campaign, which targeted various anti-social cycling offences.

He said it was “difficult to qualify” the effect of the operation, “but colloquially local culture does seem to be changing, for example more cyclists seem to have lights.”

He admitted that bike theft remained an issue, adding that officers were closely monitoring a group of youths believed to be stealing bicycles.

“As with the drug dealing, cycle issues are city-wide problems and other area teams have also prioritised similar work,” he continued. “Together with the east area team, we have carried out two warrants in relation to the handling of stolen bikes and arrested five individuals.

“We have recovered three stolen bikes as a result of pro-active targeted stop-searches and have been able to return them to their owners.

“Cycle crime is still high, with a couple of groups of youths targeting cycles on pretty much a nightly basis,” he added.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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