Council considering controversial Public Space Protection Order to further restrict cycling in city centre

Canterbury City Council says it will clamp down on “reckless” food delivery cyclists because of the risk they are perceived to pose to pedestrians in parts of the city – and may introduce a Public Space Protection Order to further restrict cycling in the centre of the cathedral city.

Cycling is banned between 10.30am and 4.30pm on Canterbury’s High Street, but Kent Online reports that the council will write to companies including Uber Eats and Deliveroo after members debated the issue last week.

As well as the High Street, there are also concerns about pedestrian safety being put at risk on St George’s Street and St Peter’s Street.

Kent Police are reported to have warned food delivery firms operating in the city about issues including workers riding too fast through the city centre, in particular during the evenings.

One pensioner, Terry Burke, told the council meeting that he had to visit a minor injuries unit for treatment after he was struck on the hand by a cyclist delivering food.

He said: “I speak from real experience and was lucky not to fall. It could have been a child.

“I wrote to the council to complain but never heard back, but the police were very good and spoke to Deliveroo.”

Lib Dem Councillor Nick Eden said that the rise of food delivery companies had  “bred the escalation of the whole problem” of anti-social cycling in the city centre, while Tory Councillor Louise Jones said delivery riders were “reckless.”

Doug Rattray, the council’s safer neighbourhoods chief Doug Rattray, suggested that further restrictions on cycling could be made through a PSPO– which are opposed by the charity Cycling UK, which has in the past described them as “an ASBO to restrict the use of public space.”

> Cycling UK looks to fight town centre "ASBOs" for riding a bike

A spokesman for Uber Eats told Kent Online: “We’re currently investigating these reports. Safety is a top priority and any courier breaching road laws can be removed from the Uber Eats app.”

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.