Peterborough City Council staff will begin fining cyclists who flout the city centre bike ban, after special training was given to enforcement officers allowing them to issue the £30 fines. Those cycling on Bridge Street will be asked by officers why they are disregarding the ban or, if pushing their bikes, why they are obeying it.
Police officers were out on Bridge Street yesterday, talking to passing cyclists ahead of the introduction of fines. The ban, which prohibits cycling on Bridge Street, has been in place for two decades Monday to Saturday 0900-1800 but was, controversially, extended in October to include Sundays, despite only one in ten consultation respondents being in favour of it.
However, sustainable transport charity, Sustrans, has said there is no alternative route through the city centre North-South which could replace the 220m stretch between Bourges Boulevard and Cathedral Square.
According to Peterborough Today the action was initiated by Peterborough City Council leader, John Holdich who was, apparently "inundated" with emails from residents, notably older people, after an interview with a local paper about the desire to clamp down on cycling on Bridge Street.
Despite the consultation responses suggesting residents were against strengthening the ban, Cllr Holdich insisted that instead enforcement would be more rigorous. He said in May he was nearly knocked over by a cyclist, and that people, especially the old and infirm, don't want cycling on Bridge Street.
He said: “It’s the speed and disrespect they show.
“We need to get more enforcement. People are very rude when I ask them to get off their bike.”
Map showing the extent of Peterborough's cycling ban
Future days of action will not be announced, but will see council officers out on Bridge Street once again targeting cyclists, as well as people spitting, littering and begging.
Sustrans Eastern Regional Director, Nigel Brigham, told Peterborough Today: “The problem with Peterborough is there are no alternative routes through the city north to south.”
“There are irresponsible cyclists, but they are in the minority.
“We want to see a positive campaign that welcomes cyclists and pedestrians who behave responsibly in the city centre.”