Councillors in Stirling have responded to Police Scotland’s close pass operation by calling for more enforcement on ‘inconsiderate’ cyclists.
The Daily Record reports that a close pass operation conducted in Fallin on June 15 saw five warnings and two fixed penalty notices issued for bad driving behaviour in relation to cyclists.
Labour councillor for Stirling East, Chris Kane, questioned why there weren’t any statistics provided on how many cyclists police stopped.
“To my mind there is a small proportion of both drivers and cyclists who cause the bulk of the problems but we hear about enforcement on inconsiderate drivers much more than enforcement on inconsiderate cyclists,” he said.
“My challenge to Police Scotland is that, given our roads are used by multiple users, we should ensure safety campaigns reflect this.”
While Stirling area commander Chief Inspector Gill Marshall said the force issued as many warnings to cyclists as drivers, Green councillor for Dunblane and Bridge of Allan, Alasdair Tollemache, suggested that officers should also speak to local cycling groups to underline the road safety message.
SNP councillor for Trossachs and Teith, Evelyn Tweed, meanwhile, bemoaned cyclists riding two abreast – even though this is perfectly legal and indeed encouraged in certain circumstances.
She recounted a “horrible drive” in heavy rain, during which she had encountered a group of cyclists riding two or three abreast.
“As the road was busy with traffic, this made it extremely difficult to pass cyclists and led to some unsafe driving as drivers tried to pass and get on with their journey,” she said.
“Drivers undoubtedly have to consider cyclists and their safety but cyclists also have to consider how they are using the roads. In these circumstances, I think they should go single file.”
Tweed said that “cyclists need to use the road responsibly and be aware of their own safety”.
McLoughlin said: “Police aim to give advice to cyclists where possible and our key priority is always the safety of road users. We will, where circumstances dictate, opt for the most appropriate method to get that message across.”