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Met Cycle Task Force numbers boosted - UPDATED

Ten officers join police team to crack down on London’s road rule-breakers

The Met Police’s Cycle Task Force has been given a boost with the arrival of ten new members, to help improve the safety of cyclists and to crack down on rule-breaking road users.

As we reported at the time, the squad was launched three months ago with 30 officers focused on tackling bike theft and vandalism in London.

The ten new arrivals are all specialist traffic officers, whose brief is to build on a six-week operation this summer that targeted road users who break the rules of the road.

Intriguingly, one area of focus for the team was cracking down on road users who used their mobile phones on the pilot Barclay’s Cycle Superhighways. It’s not clear whether these road users were just motorists or cyclists too – and, if the latter, whether anyone has thought to warn Boris Johnson, who has famously defended the practice in print.

In his A-Z of Dos & Don’ts of cycling in London, the mayor wrote: “P is for Phone: I see no reason why you should not treat your bike as your office. Provided you hug the kerb, as St Paul’s ship hugged the coast of the Mediterranean, you should be entitled to make telephone calls. It is probably safer to use a hands-free gizmo, but to all those who want to ban the use of mobile phones on bikes, I say this: are we so cruel and discriminatory as to forbid them from using a bicycle? We are not. What is a mobile phone user but a cyclist who has, effectively, only one arm? I rest my case.”

When we called Transport for London they weren't able to tell us whether or not any cyclists had been stopped during the six-week trial for using a mobile while cycling. "We don't have that data," said a spokeswoman. Carefully treading the fine line between disagreeing with Boris and remaining loyal to him, she added, "It is not illegal to use a mobile while on your bike but if you cycle carelessly because it's distracting you then the police might very well stop you, so it's probably something to be avoided."

Since its launch in June, the Cycle Task Force have security marked nearly 5,000 bikes, made nearly 20 arrests for bike theft and reunited some Londoners with their stolen bikes.

Transport for London says this summer’s crack down on rule-breakers resulted in:

  • more than 900 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) of up to £60 issued to drivers and motorcyclists and more than 400 FPNs of up to £60 issued to cyclists
  • around 300 people attended an Exchanging Places safety education course to encourage considerate and safe behaviour from all road users and to promote sharing the road safely
  • 106 cyclists who were given FPNs for less serious offences were given the option to have their ticket cancelled if they attended an Exchanging Places safety education course – and half of those offered the opportunity attended and had their ticket revoked
  • more than 20 arrests made for a variety of offences, including for bike theft and driving while disqualified to do so

Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor of London’s Transport Advisor, said: “The Cycle Task Force is a fundamental part of the cycling revolution the Mayor has delivered in London and has proven to be hugely effective. This task force, through both education and enforcement, has already helped thousands of London’s cyclists, by catching bike thieves, security marking bicycles and reuniting people with their stolen bikes. The real success of this team is that it is helping both cyclists and those Londoners who do not cycle by ensuring that there is better behaviour on our streets by all road users.

“However there is always more that can be done to make London the best cycling city in the world and these additional officers should reassure everyone who cycles in the Capital that making London safe and secure remains our focus.”

Lifelong lover of most things cycling-related, from Moulton Mini adventures in the 70s to London bike messengering in the 80s, commuting in the 90s, mountain biking in the noughties and road cycling throughout. Editor of Simpson Magazine ( 

Latest Comments

  • thisismyusername 3 min 54 sec ago

    Cycling Mikey is not a vigilante were the comments here a while back. ...

  • hirsute 5 min 56 sec ago

    I was not suggesting that they should get radar merely pointing out how radar can be useful. There was a recent review of a radar unit on here...

  • BalladOfStruth 30 min 10 sec ago

    There's something I don't miss from the morning commute - an Audi A3 overtaking me within spitting distance of a junction, hard on the brakes as it...

  • BalladOfStruth 34 min 30 sec ago

    I think it might actually be the least popular behaviour in all of web design.

  • lesterama 36 min 28 sec ago

    Here's some hope for us chunky blokes, even if most of won't consider spending £3.5k on wheels.

  • Rezis 38 min 1 sec ago

    If running it poorly affected their salaries and bonuses (and other accountabilities) maybe they would run it properly......

  • simonmb 49 min 22 sec ago

    Passing a cyclist in the opposite direction warrants at least a nod or a gentle lift of the hand from the bars. But what about overtaking a fellow...

  • brooksby 1 hour 44 min ago

    If a bicycle is the only vehicle stopped at a zebra crossing, you should just go around them.

  • Secret_squirrel 2 hours 15 min ago

    Im considering something like this to replace my current storage bottle on my downtube.  It does the job of keeping the tools safe and dry but at...

  • brooksby 11 hours 57 min ago

    The wheelbenders were on the verge again, so since there were no other bikes in sight i locked mine along the back of them....