Anti-social cyclists who ride their bikes through some of the UK’s biggest shopping centres could face a fine or even imprisonment after the company that owns the sites obtained a High Court injunction.
The charity Cycling UK has called the move “excessive,” and has highlighted that the injunction could also apply to people arriving at a shopping centre by bike who ride up to the designated cycle parking area.
Intu Properties, which owns or part-owns 18 shopping centres throughout the UK, obtained the injunction in response to antisocial riding at its Intu Broadmarsh and Intu Victoria Centre sites in the East Midlands city, reports the Nottingham Post.
The injunction, which has been in force since 16 April, reportedly applies to all of Intu’s locations, which include the Arndale Centre and Trafford Centre in Greater Manchester and Gateshead’s Metrocentre.
It prevents people from riding bikes, go-karts or any other vehicle through any Intu shopping centre or car park.
According to a company spokesman, the injunction was obtained due to people riding antisocially through the centres in Nottingham, performing stunts and posting videos of them to social media.
The spokesman added that staff at the shopping centres had attempted to speak to the individuals concerned but the problem has persisted.
Intu Broadmarsh’s general manager Nigel Wheatley, quoted in the Nottingham Post, said: “Intu Broadmarsh is a family friendly environment and we want everyone to feel safe and enjoy themselves when they visit us.
“That’s why we’ve taken out an injunction to stop people from riding bikes, go-karts or any other vehicle through our centres.
“We’re not happy that we’ve had to take this action, but we’re just not prepared to take risks when it comes to safety.”
Sam Jones, senior campaign officer at Cycling UK, told road.cc that the injunction seemed “excessive.”
He said: “Cycling UK does not condone illegal cycling and, as shopping centres are not usually part of the public highway, people should not be riding through them at speed or at all, unless suitable provision is made.
“Nevertheless, the actions taken by the Intu Broadmarsh and Victoria Centres do seem excessive.”
He also questioned why it was being applied not just to the centres themselves, but also the car parks, where cyclists shopping at the centres would find bike parking.
“It is concerning to read media reports that cycling is banned in the carpark along with other vehicles,” he said.
“People should have every right to cycle up to their cycle parking spots – as presumably this ban on all vehicles won’t mean drivers will have to push their cars into their parking places!”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.