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Council “escalates war on cycling menaces” with new town centre ban, saying: “We will not stop until we eradicate this behaviour”

The local authority says residents are “overwhelmingly in support of tougher action” against people riding bikes in pedestrianised zones

A local council says it has “escalated” and “intensified” its “war on cycling menaces” by implementing a complete ban on riding a bike in pedestrianised zones, as part of a wider crackdown on anti-social behaviour.

North Lincolnshire Council announced this week that a new Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) is now in place in Scunthorpe and Brigg, following a public consultation earlier this year, introducing stronger powers and increasing fines for what the local authority describes as the “scourge” of “irresponsible behaviour”.

In Scunthorpe and Brigg town centres, cycling is now completely banned, with anyone caught riding a bike in pedestrianised areas set to be immediately handed a fixed penalty notice of £100. According to the previous PSPO, cyclists could only be fined if they refused to dismount when approached by an officer.

The total cycling ban comes as part of a suite of toughened anti-social measures, which also include the outright ban of drinking in the street and greatly increased fines for littering, fly-tipping, neglecting waste duty of care, and graffiti.

Scunthrope town centre cycling ban (North Lincolnshire Council)

> “They will just not listen nor learn”: Council proposes all-out cycling ban in town centres to tackle “nuisance within communities”

“We will not stop until we eradicate this behaviour,” Rob Waltham, the leader of the Conservative-controlled North Lincolnshire Council said in a statement, issued under the headline “Council triples fines as war on fly-tippers, litter louts, and cycling menaces intensifies”.

“People need to use one of the thousands of bins provided, get off their bikes and push, or dispose of their household waste responsibly – it really is not that difficult.

“We have repeatedly asked people to stop doing these things, we have repeatedly told them how their behaviour impacts on others and, while we are starting to see some changes, it is clearly not enough. Local taxpayers will not pick up the bill for irresponsible behaviour.”

John Davidson, the local authority’s cabinet member for communities and urban added: “We consulted earlier in the year on stronger measures to tackle the scourge of anti-social behaviour and the response from the public was overwhelmingly in support of tougher action.

“The vast majority of people don’t make the area a mess for others or cause problems – but for the few that do we are going to hit them even harder in the pocket, clearly they have not listened to our requests, pleas, and demands.

“The Government provided the opportunity for us to increase the fines for these offences, residents have supported us, and we have done.”

> Campaigners call for clearer signage to reduce “risk of confrontation” with pedestrians, after council insists disabled cyclists won’t be fined under controversial town centre cycling ban

However, when the public consultation was launched earlier this year, the proposed ban was heavily criticised by disabled cycling charity Wheels for Wellbeing, who argued that they had the potential to “deepen discrimination against cycling as a mobility aid”.

Nevertheless, Waltham maintained that the PSPO “has enabled us to protect vulnerable communities by targeting anyone creating a nuisance or putting themselves and others in danger”.

“The new measures will enhance those protections and I make absolutely no apologies for doing so,” he said.

> Cyclists warned city's new e-bike ban will be "clamping down on any cases of reckless behaviour"

The newly implemented cycling ban in Scunthorpe and Brigg is one of many that have come into force in town centres and pedestrianised zones across the UK in recent years.

Earlier this month, a controversial ban on e-bikes in certain pedestrianised parts of Coventry city centre was introduced, with the deputy leader of the council warning that riders can expect strict enforcement.

The new ruling, which prohibits e-bikes and e-scooters being ridden through sections of the city centre, was approved last month, as Coventry City Council passed a PSPO despite protestations from the West Midlands’ walking and cycling commissioner Adam Tranter, who argued such a ban would “discourage cycling and penalise responsible cyclists”.

Last February cyclists in Bedford staged a ride protesting a “discriminatory” town centre bike ban, while this summer Hammersmith and Fulham Council introduced an e-bike and e-scooter ban along part of the Thames Path.

> More cyclists fined for riding bikes through town centre – months on from rider ordered to pay £1,100

A pensioner in Grimsby also made headlines when he told the council to stick its £100 fine for cycling in the town centre “up your a***”, saying he would “rather go to prison than give them £100”.

That particular town centre ban in Grimsby has attracted quite a bit of attention in recent times, with some locals accusing the council of targeting the “old and slow” and cyclists “they can get away with” for fines.

Wheels for Wellbeing, while criticising a councillor’s “get off and walk” advice to town centre cyclists, also called for clearer signage which specifically states that people who use standard cycles as mobility aids are permitted to ride in pedestrianised zones, which they say will both reassure disabled cyclists and help reduce the risk of confrontation between pedestrians and people on bikes.

And last month, police in Nuneaton said they had asked the council to introduce a no cycle zone to cut out “really dangerous” cycling and “anti-social behaviour” in the shopping area, saying that “we get a lot of kids wheelie-ing through and it sets the wrong tone”.

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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77 comments

Avatar
Muddy Ford | 7 months ago
6 likes

The blatent bigotry of putting 'cyclists' into the 'public nuisance' category tells me everything I need to know about this pillock and the town. Even though I'd probably never visit the town anyway, this reaffirms I wouldn't be missing anything worthy of a visit. They can choke on their exhaust gasses.

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eburtthebike | 7 months ago
6 likes

“We will not stop until we eradicate this behaviour,” Rob Waltham, the leader of the Conservative-controlled North Lincolnshire Council said in a statement, issued under the headline “Council triples fines as war on fly-tippers, litter louts, and cycling menaces intensifies”.

Must be an election coming.

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qwerty360 | 7 months ago
9 likes

My issue with bans is when motor vehicles are permitted (with restrictions, e.g. time limits or permit holders) yet bicycles are banned with PSPO's that don't require police involvement...

 

If it is quiet enough to allow motor vehicles for any reason then it is quiet enough to allow bikes; if you went to been bikes then you should usually have to been cars as well...

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Accessibility f... replied to qwerty360 | 7 months ago
3 likes

Quite.  Brigg town centre.  Signage says cyclists must dismount.

https://maps.app.goo.gl/5LfNyNiSoHt5A35G6

Huge heavy vans = ok.  Lightweight bicycle = DEATH

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Adam Sutton | 7 months ago
2 likes

Never had a problem walking my bike through the pedestrianised high streets in my two local towns. I guess some think the heirachy of road users has cyclists at the top.

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chrisonabike replied to Adam Sutton | 7 months ago
4 likes

You're reading it upside-down.  It has motor vehicles on top.

Spending is often a better proxy for what people consider important rather than what they say.

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Adam Sutton replied to chrisonabike | 7 months ago
3 likes

Not really, I just don't believe if I am on my bike I have the right to ride it through a pedestrianised area where cycling is prohibited. It isn't difficult.

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Stephankernow replied to Adam Sutton | 7 months ago
1 like
Adam Sutton wrote:

Not really, I just don't believe if I am on my bike I have the right to ride it through a pedestrianised area where cycling is prohibited. It isn't difficult.

I agree with you , If its pedestrianised we walk our bikes i cannot see the problem. Pedestrianised means pedestrianised!

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Rendel Harris replied to Stephankernow | 7 months ago
4 likes

Stephankernow wrote:

Pedestrianised means pedestrianised!

Except it doesn't only mean that of course, in many pedestrianised areas cycling is permitted. As I pointed out above, nobody is suggesting that cyclists should ignore prohibitions against cycling (I certainly don't), they are simply saying that in numerous cases cycling is banned when there is no need for it to be so. The picture above is a prime illustration of this, a 12 m+ wide thoroughfare that could easily accommodate a cycle lane without inconveniencing anybody and provide a safe, car free route instead of a needless total prohibition.

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hawkinspeter replied to Adam Sutton | 7 months ago
7 likes

Adam Sutton wrote:

Never had a problem walking my bike through the pedestrianised high streets in my two local towns. I guess some think the heirachy of road users has cyclists at the top.

My issue is more with councils criminalising the careful, considerate cyclists. There's already laws to deal with reckless cycling and also general assault laws can be used to deal with dangerous cyclists, so the introduction of this law is only to criminalise ordinary people. I dislike poorly thought out laws that target out-groups as a knee-jerk response to something that isn't a significant issue (except in their minds that have been warped by right-wing culture wars).

It's a slippery slope, and the next thing you know, they'll be throwing you in prison for daring to walk rather than using a car: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/dec/15/just-stop-oil-activist-is-first-to-be-jailed-under-new-uk-protest-law

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Adam Sutton replied to hawkinspeter | 7 months ago
1 like

LOL!

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Rendel Harris replied to Adam Sutton | 7 months ago
3 likes

Adam Sutton wrote:

Never had a problem walking my bike through the pedestrianised high streets in my two local towns. I guess some think the heirachy of road users has cyclists at the top.

And I guess some don't understand that hierarchy of road users does not apply to a pedestrianised area. Once it's been pedestrianised, it's no longer a road, you see. That's why local bylaws apply. Allowing cyclists to ride through a pedestrianised area does not transgress or alter the hierarchy of road users, any more than having a shared pavement does.

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Adam Sutton replied to Rendel Harris | 7 months ago
2 likes

I guess some people don't understand this sign, example being my local town, but sure cycle through there like an entitled selfish prick.

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Rendel Harris replied to Adam Sutton | 7 months ago
10 likes

Nobody here is arguing that cyclists have a right to cycle through areas where cycling is banned. What they are saying is that cycling should not be banned in areas where it is perfectly feasible for cyclists and pedestrians to coexist. Can you not see the difference?

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Stephankernow replied to Rendel Harris | 7 months ago
1 like
Rendel Harris wrote:

Nobody here is arguing that cyclists have a right to cycle through areas where cycling is banned. What they are saying is that cycling should not be banned in areas where it is perfectly feasible for cyclists and pedestrians to coexist. Can you not see the difference?

Its about respect in my opinion, just because you might think its safe doesnt mean you can actvin a selfish manner im all right Jack!
We have to act responsibly and show respect.

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Rendel Harris replied to Stephankernow | 7 months ago
7 likes

Stephankernow wrote:

Its about respect in my opinion, just because you might think its safe doesnt mean you can actvin a selfish manner im all right Jack! We have to act responsibly and show respect.

Did you actually read what I said? I said nobody should cycle through areas where cycling is banned. I also said that there are areas where cycling is banned where it is unnecessary, I did not say that meant it was acceptable to ignore the ban. Got it now?

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chrisonabike replied to Adam Sutton | 7 months ago
2 likes

Looks self-enforcing at that time of day - best way.

With them invoking fly tipping and all the other nuisances doesn't sound like you'd be preaching to people who will listen though (nor who will stop for the "enforcement team" or whatever - unless they're committing genuine coppers?  In which case they *must* have a major issue - takes a lot to get the police out these days!).

I doubt the "cycling menaces" are riding Bromptons, Urban Arrows or even Colnagos.  Unless they've recently nicked them (I doubt there are many there to nick).

Again I'm not a local though so it's possible Chris Boardman, Cycling Mikey and Jeremy Vine are on tour...

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Accessibility f... replied to Adam Sutton | 7 months ago
3 likes

Judging by the presence of the massive obstructive gate, that makes life harder for legitimate users, it would seem that motorists also do not understand signs.

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chrisonabike replied to Accessibility for all | 7 months ago
2 likes

It's numbers, (perceived) threat and balancing the down sides isn't it?

Clearly motor traffic is most dangerous but mostly we don't see it. However if you've got yoof / druggies and thieves hanging about, maybe using bikes to get around, that's far more noticeably unpleasant and you'll likely have a lot more assault, thefts and possibly injuries than from just transport passing through. (Sounds like they have an anti- social people issue really and this is at the low/yoof end of the scale if they're on bikes...)

Block cars completely and you've "but ambulances / my shop can't get deliveries."

Don't *physically* block cars for some of the time and you'll have cars there because driving everywhere is normal and LOTS more people drive than cycle.

Seems that Scunthorpe at least is a generally unpleasant place to cycle in - so presumably numbers are low. So even if the local authority were sympathetic they're going to say "making getting through /past the centre even less convenient by bike? Only a few of the fit, the brave on bikes plus hooligans here anyway - so tough, ban them all."

I just don't think adding some by-laws are going to fix it if there is already a criminal menace / aggressive behaviour.

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Stephankernow replied to Adam Sutton | 7 months ago
0 likes
Adam Sutton wrote:

Never had a problem walking my bike through the pedestrianised high streets in my two local towns. I guess some think the heirachy of road users has cyclists at the top.

Im the same i simply dismount the Pashley and walk through the pedestrianised areas.

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E6toSE3 | 7 months ago
2 likes

While I suspect there are gammon tendencies involved, I'm now sympathetic to anti-cycling attitudes. My father-in-law was from up there. I'm in London. The last ten years I've had to walk with vulnerable people like heavily pregnant daughter-in-law and wife whose been permanently injured by runaway motorbike. Cyclists, ebikers, scooters are, I'm afraid to say, predominantly deliberately reckless. It's been my main form of transport for journeys up to 100 miles for 50 years but, for the past 15 years, I've been almost embarrassed to be called a cyclist. The brutal recklessness is shown by all demographics with the diligent exceptions also from all demographics. Shame. Back in the day, were were a rarity. Now it's rabid mobs on two wheels

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marmotte27 replied to E6toSE3 | 7 months ago
11 likes

I'm a cyclist, but...

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chrisonabike replied to E6toSE3 | 7 months ago
6 likes

The carnage wreaked by a year of brutal recklessness by rabid mobs on wheels...

I actually think if we achieved mass cycling we would of course see a commensurate increase in problems - because people can be just as selfish on a bike as they can be driving their car or walking their dog.

On the other hand, overall problems on our roads and public spaces would still steeply decrease.  Because motor vehicles get everywhere and cycling is less problematic than driving in many ways - by an order of magnitude or more. (Deaths and injuries, damage to infrastructure, noise, pollution, use of space ...)

Also won't be a problem since without cyclists having their own space (separate from motor traffic and pedestrians) I see no chance that numbers will greatly increase.  With the possible - and unlikely - exception of the food delivery companies taking over all deliveries / floodgates being opened on kids and e-microvehicles.

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HoldingOn replied to chrisonabike | 7 months ago
8 likes

chrisonabike wrote:

With the possible - and unlikely - exception of the food delivery companies taking over all deliveries / floodgates being opened on kids and e-microvehicles.

The photo in the article shows a van inside (what I assume is) the pedestrianised area. Again, making an assumption, but it is likely making a delivery.
Will this "total cycling" ban apply to loading/unloading cargo bikes or will they have the same exemption as the "total driving" ban?

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chrisonabike replied to HoldingOn | 7 months ago
3 likes

HoldingOn wrote:

The photo in the article shows a van inside (what I assume is) the pedestrianised area. Again, making an assumption, but it is likely making a delivery.
Will this "total cycling" ban apply to loading/unloading cargo bikes or will they have the same exemption as the "total driving" ban?

In Scunthorpe I think I can guess...

Overall - the place most likely to have problems with cycling has had some "problems of success" (see this interesting take on "too much convenience for the consumer?") but seems to be thriving on it.  Of course it's possible that the UK's ... particular approach to regulation* would mean we have problems after genies are out of bottles.  But ... that wouldn't be different from anything else we've done.

* Ignore the heck out of everything on a "don't meddle" principle (good).  Continue to "let matters take their course" as taking the mick gets industrial (either a little by everyone - like speeding - or companies/organised crime seeing a loophole e.g. overseas oligarchs, food delivery companies).  Finally when the shires / chattering classes are sending in too many strongly worded letters / having a word in the club, bring in some rules that most inconvenience those who weren't the main cause of the issue.

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HoldingOn replied to chrisonabike | 7 months ago
3 likes

35,000 cyclists a day and that was back in 2016!

Interesting video. When someone says "delivery cyclist" I always assume hot food delivery (those folks on e[motor]bikes)

I am seeing more and more stories about people in the UK (the plumber sticks in my mind) using eCargo bikes for their businesses. I was wondering what Scunthorpe council would do if one of those businesses set up inside their pedestrianised area.

As with all change (albeit with increased cycling we are changing back) there will be people fighting against it.

By the way - how on earth do you keep track of all these informative links?! You always seem to have several links to offer counterpoints (and often counterpoints to your own counterpoints!)

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chrisonabike replied to HoldingOn | 7 months ago
1 like
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Andrewbanshee replied to chrisonabike | 7 months ago
1 like

In the UK, yes. Having lived abroad it was a very different reality.

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Rendel Harris replied to E6toSE3 | 7 months ago
7 likes

E6toSE3 wrote:

While I suspect there are gammon tendencies involved

Do you mean in your post? In which case, agreed.

Why is the only injury you mention in your post one caused by a motorbike? Are cyclists responsible for motorcyclists now?

If "cyclists, ebikers, scooters are... predominantly deliberately reckless" then why don't the injury figures reflect that, when all these cyclists are riding around with "brutal recklessness"?

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mrb replied to Rendel Harris | 7 months ago
1 like

Because that wouldn't suit his bias?

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