There has been a backlash from locals after a Grimsby pensioner was fined £100 for cycling through the town centre, with some accusing the council officers of targeting "old and slow" riders while ignoring youths "racing up and down".
Barrie Enderby, 82, told North East Lincolnshire Council he would "rather go to prison than give them £100" and they can "stick it up your a*se" after he was fined for breaching a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO).
Now, GrimsbyLive reports numerous complaints from unhappy locals who say the council officers are not imposing the cycling ban in pedestrianised zones fairly and rather than cracking down on anti-social behaviour they are seemingly "targeting" people "they can get away with doing so".
In 2019, Grimsby became one of a number of towns to impose a cycling ban in pedestrianised zones, using a PSPO which the council claims was introduced to deal with nuisance, anti-social and dangerous behaviour in the town centre and along Cleethorpes seafront.
It was extended in July and will now last until 2025, with over 1,000 fixed penalty notices issued since 2019, the bulk of which have been for cycling on Victoria Street South and walking dogs along the main beach.
In social media posts shared by the local news outlet one person says they witnessed the incident which saw Mr Enderby fined and said there had been "other young lads riding past" who officers "didn't bother to stop".
Another claimed she had been "targeted", while someone else reported seeing "three youths doing wheelies and racing up and down" while a council officer "just stood [by]".
In one reply a local woman said: "Catching all the wrong ones... I sat and watched them all last week, only targeting the old and slow cyclists that aren't in anyone's way."
Perhaps unfortunately there did not seem to be any question of whether the PSPO was an appropriate policy in the first place.
Active travel charity Cycling UK has long been a prominent critic of PSPOs, which it says have the effect of criminalising cycling, head of campaigns Duncan Dollimore saying the orders only discourage people from riding bikes into town.
North East Lincolnshire Council stressed they want Grimsby town centre to be a "safe environment people can enjoy" and warned they will "take action against those who seem intent on causing a nuisance".
A spokesperson said: "We want the town centre to be a clean and safe environment that people can enjoy. Environmental enforcement officers provide a reassuring presence when on patrol in the town centre.
"They can warn under 18s about cycling and the risks it poses to pedestrians, but they can’t issue fines to minors, only to adults. We work closely with colleagues from other agencies to crackdown on anti-social behaviour in the town centre. By working together, we can coordinate resources and take action against those who seem intent on causing a nuisance."
"Stick it up your a*se"
Pensioner Mr Enderby went famous on this website and others over the weekend after his interview telling the council to stick their fine where the sun don't shine was widely shared online.
He recalled "biking through town last Thursday, October 6, locked my bike up and went into a bank on Victoria Street. As I came out, one of the council officers stopped me and said I'd be fined £100 for riding it in the street.
"I've been riding my bike around here for 40 years and have never once been fined. When he gave it to me I told him, 'stick it up your arse'. I'm more annoyed about it because my biking is what keeps me going.
"When he told me it would be £100 I was quite frustrated, I've never had a problem when out on my bike before. I've seen all sorts going on around town in the past and they chose to give me a ticket.
"I asked where the sign was to say you couldn't bike here and he pointed at the concrete. I couldn't believe it, you wouldn't be looking there for the rules would you? That annoyed me even more.
“If he had just asked me not to ride my bike I would have understood and stopped out of respect, but I never got the chance. I won't be paying it, I'd rather go to prison than give them £100. I've not got £100 spare to give them, that's for sure."
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.