The cyclist who was issued a fixed penalty notice for straying off the cycling section of a shared-use pavement wil have his day in court on February 5, 2015 after pleading not guilty to the offence at Bromley Crown Court yesterday, December 17.
In July Kristian Gregory was riding along the New Kent Road when he was stopped by a PCSO who asked him why he was not riding on the cycle path.
Responding that the path was shared use, Gregory was told that he was on the footpath, and despite pointing out that he had to move onto the pedestrian area to avoid a phone box, he was issued with a fixed penalty notice.
The whole incident was recorded on Gregory's helmet camera.
Gregory's protest against the absurdity of the charge was backed by Cllr Mark Williams, transport portfolio-holder for Southwark Council (the London borough where the incident took place), who persuaded the Met to ease off 'over-zealous' enforcement at this spot.
The Cyclists' Defence Fund (CDF) is supporting Gregory after a crowd-funding appeal raised over £2,600 to help fight his case and others like it.
Cycling charity CTC, Sustrans, the London Cycling Campaign and RoadPeace have joined CDF in writing to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), urging them to drop this case as not being in the public interest.
The campaign groups says the alleged offence is trivial and there is a lack of legal clarity about where cycling is permitted at this location, due to poor signing.
Gregory contrasts the enthusiasm for prosecuting him with The Met's failure refer to the CPS the driver who admitted hitting 70-year old cyclist Michael Mason in February. Mr Mason subsequently died of his injuries.
He said: “The CPS has decided to proceed to prosecute me for cycling on the footway despite the obvious lack of any public interest in doing so.
"I have been reading about the case of cyclist Michael Mason, killed by a car whose driver admitted she had no reason not to see him, yet this has been judged not worthy of prosecution.
"This makes the CPS decision to push ahead with my prosecution that much harder to understand.”
To support Kristian Gregory's case and others like it you can make a donation at the CDF's crowdfunding page.
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.