A man has been left with a £351 bill after flouting Bedford’s controversial town centre cycling ban. The Bedfordshire News reports that Dominic Smith was fined £145 and ordered to pay costs of £166 and a £40 victim surcharge after pleading guilty to cycling in the pedestrian area of Midland Road at Luton Magistrate's Court last week.
In April, Bedford introduced a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) that criminalised cycling in the town centre. Cycling is not permitted through the main pedestrian area between 9am and 6pm and anybody riding a bike between those times can be given a Fixed Penalty Notice of up to £75.
Cycling UK has referred to PSPOs as geographically defined ASBOs and doesn’t believe they should criminalise behaviour not normally regarded as illegal – like cycling. In September, it announced that it would be supporting six cyclists in a High Court challenge of Mansfield District Council’s imposition of a similar PSPO.
Smith was issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice in June and after failing to pay, the matter was referred to the court.
Councillor Colleen Atkins, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Regulatory Services, said: "The Public Space Protection Order was introduced in May this year for the safety of pedestrians in Bedford town centre and those in contravention of the PSPO will face a hefty fine for their anti-social behaviour."