The Newport cycling ban row rumbles on…as police and the city council both say the other one is responsible for it.
Last month it was announced police would be enforcing a traffic order, brought into force in 1997, banning people from riding bikes on 11 roads in Newport, following local complaints about anti-social behaviour.
After it emerged someone had read the traffic order wrong and the 11am-midnight ban only applied to cars, while prohibiting bicycles 11-5pm, Newport City Council now claims the order is not a ban, but a restriction. Cycling UK says regardless of what the Council calls it, the result is people aren’t allowed to cycle at those times.
A Council statement, sent to road.cc, reads: “Newport City Council would like to clarify that it has not introduced a cycling ‘ban’ in the city centre.”
Citing “safety reasons”, the Council says the traffic order, which was brought into force in 1997, regulates motor vehicles and bicycles during certain times of the day in “pedestrianised areas”. The ban applies to 11 roads in Newport, including Stow Hill, on which road.cc was unable to find a pedestrianised area via Google Maps.
In clarifying the situation road.cc was first referred to the police by the council and then to the council by the police.
The Council statement said: “It is up to the police to enforce the orders and they can use their discretion whether to issue a warning or more stringent measures. However, we recognise that they decided to take action following complaints from businesses and residents.”
A police spokesperson then referred road.cc to the Council, saying “the orders are created and issued by Newport Council, police only enforce orders”.
The Council statement said: “As a council, we are certainly not anti-cycling and the traffic restrictions are in place only on certain streets to ensure the safety of pedestrians and cyclists using the city centre. We are looking at the signage to ensure it is clear for all users.”