Greater Manchester Police have revealed that hundreds of cyclists in Manchester have been issued £80 fines for “dangerous and irresponsible” cycling on the city’s Oxford Road and Wilmslow Road in recent months.
Since February, officers have issued 415 fixed penalty notices for a range of offences including riding through red traffic lights or on the pavement, using a mobile phone while riding, and riding without lights.
The fines have been issued on ten separate “days of action” between February and June as part of Operation Grimaldi, which police say focuses on “on ‘hot spot’ areas where pedal cyclists have been seen using the roads dangerously or irresponsibly.”
Cyclists issued with the fixed penalty notices were given the opportunity to avoid paying fines by attending cycling awareness courses.
Traffic PCSO Gareth Walker commented: “The aim of the operation was not to fine all offenders but to educate them, offer training and promote road safety.
“Many of the cyclists we spoke to were not aware of the danger they put themselves and others in by the actions they were taking while failing to stop or being distracted on their phones.
“The number of killed or seriously injured on the roads has fallen over the last two years but we need to continue to educate road users of how to share the roads safely in order to ensure these numbers continue to fall.”
One local cycle campaigner told the Manchester Evening News that while it was right to take action against cyclists flouting the rules, police should also target motorists who break the law.
Pete Abel of the Love Your Bike campaign told the newspaper: “We are in favour of taking action against people who cycle poorly and anti-socially, but we don’t see an equivalent crackdown on drivers.
“When cyclists runs a red light it is usually inconvenient, when a driver does it is downright dangerous.”
Transport for Greater Manchester plans to install segregated cycle lanes along parts of Oxford Road as part of its Bus Priority scheme. The proposals are open to public consultation until 5 July.
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.