A cyclist caught riding through a pedestrian zone in Gravesend, Kent, has been fined £440 for breaching a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO).
A safer place officer from Gravesham Council saw Adam Kitek riding his bike along a section of News Street subject to a PSPO at 11.10am on 11 August last year.
The PSPO forbids riding bicycles within the designated area from 10am-6pm every day, according to the Gravesend Reporter.
The council officer explained about the PSPO and took down Kitek’s details. A fixed penalty notice (FPN) was sent to him, however he did not pay it and ignored a reminder.
He was summonsed to appear at Medway Magistrates’ Court but did not attend and he was found guilty in his absence.
Besides the £440 fine, he was also told to pay a victim surcharge of £44 and costs of £250.
Speaking after the hearing, Gravesham Council’s assistant director for communities, Simon Hookway, said: “The Public Space Protection Order was put in place in 2016 to ensure shoppers can walk and shop safely along New Road.
“It is just a short distance that cyclists need to dismount for to ensure the safety of shoppers in this pedestrianised shopping street.
“We will issue fines to those who do not follow this and if fixed penalty notices are ignored, we will prosecute.
“As can be seen from this case, ignoring a fixed penalty notice can soon become an expensive matter,” he added. “But the safety of shoppers takes priority.”
PSPOs are used by local authorities to enable council officials to issue FPNs for behaviour banned by the order, which may include littering, drinking alcohol or cycling.
However, Duncan Dollimore of the charity Cycling UK, which opposes PSPOs, has described them as geographically defined ASBOs, saying that they are employed to "restrict the use of public space and criminalise behaviour not normally regarded as illegal ... [like] the pernicious pastime which undermines the very fabric of our society: cycling."
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.