While seaside promenades seem to divide opinion among cyclists and councillors in the UK, it would appear that in Australia the argument on where you can and can’t cycle centres on city parks. Cyclists in Melbourne have been angered by a new crackdown introduced by Melbourne City Council and the local police.
More than 100 have been fined $250 each for riding through city parks. The council said the fines were in response to cyclists ignoring earlier warnings about riding through parks for too long, and they have started to get tough. Councillors said cyclists often responded by being rude to pedestrians when challenged.
It was reported in The Age that council park rangers combined with the police bicycle patrol to nab cyclists riding through gardens last week. And by teaming with the police, council rangers - who do not have the power to detain cyclists - were able to hand out fines totalling more than $25,000 to 110 cyclists.
Cyclists say that one minute the council is trying to encourage cycling and the next they are handing out hefty fines. And cyclists who regularly flout laws banning them from the parks said they do so because the roads are dangerous.
The council was unable to provide evidence that pedestrians in the city's parks were being endangered by cyclists, but the hefty fines have been backed by pedestrian groups, who said that cyclists had to realise there were serious consequences if they hit someone.