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Two cyclists ordered to pay £500 for riding bike through town centre, as councillor says local authority “will not simply look the other way” and that cyclists “have been rightly punished”

The hefty fines came after the cyclists either refused to pay or appealed the penalties, in the town where one cyclist was previously fined £1,150 for breaching the PSPO and the council was accused of targeting the “old and slow”

Cyclists in Grimsby have once again fallen foul of the town’s controversial Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) – which has previously seen the council accused of targeting the “old and slow” – after two were fined over £500 for riding their bikes through the town centre, prompting a councillor to claim that the cyclists were “rightly punished” and that the local authority “will not simply look the other way” when it comes to people breaching the PSPO.

This latest episode in Grimsby’s ongoing “zero-tolerance” approach to people riding bikes in pedestrian areas in the town saw two cyclists, 31-year-old Joshua Purton and 46-year-old Lee Tear, handed Fixed Penalty Notices of £100 for breaching the PSPO by cycling on Victoria Street on 4 July 2023 and 1 August 2023 respectively, Grimsby Live reports.

Purton, however, failed to pay the FPN, leading to his prosecution, while Tear appealed the decision. The 46-year-old’s appeal was not upheld and he was reminded to pay the fine, which remained unpaid. Neither man attended court, with both ordered to pay £534.04 in total, consisting of a £220 fine, £88 victim services surcharge, and £226.04 in costs.

Responding to the recent rulings and hefty fines, Conservative councillor Ron Shepherd, North East Lincolnshire Council’s portfolio holder for ‘safer and stronger communities’ said: “These PSPOs are there for a reason. Not because we want to put them in place or to cause a nuisance, but to ensure the safety of the borough.

“These people have not followed the rules and for that they have been rightly punished. Others need to be made aware that we will not simply look the other way, those breaking these PSPOs will face repercussions.”

Grimsby town centre fine (North East Lincolnshire Council)

> Cyclist ordered to pay over £1,000 for riding bike in town centre – after council accused of targeting “old and slow”

Those repercussions have certainly been felt over the past few years, with 85 people fined in 2023 alone for cycling in “prohibited areas”, in what Shepherd described as a “great result for our enforcement teams”.

Last summer, the council made headlines after a female cyclist was ordered to pay £1,150 in fines and costs after being caught breaching the PSPO, which was introduced in 2019 and has seen more than 1,000 fixed-penalty notices, the majority of which have been for cycling on Victoria Street South and walking dogs along the main beach.

In December, the council said 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, with these latest hefty penalties following another £500 fine for cyclist Andrew Billingham earlier this year, who appealed his FPN after claiming he had dismounted before entering Victoria Street.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the council and its enforcement officers have come in for criticism during the five years the PSPO has been in place, locals accusing council officers of targeting “old and slow” cyclists after a pensioner was fined for riding through the town in 2022, while ignoring youths “racing up and down”.

Barrie Enderby, who was 82 at the time, told the council to “stick it up your arse” after being fined £100 for breaching the order.

“I’ve been riding my bike around here for 40 years and have never once been fined,” he said at the time. “I’m more annoyed about it because my biking is what keeps me going. 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. 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.”

> 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

July 2023 also saw the aforementioned incident resulting in 31-year-old Lauren Cullum being ordered to pay more than £1,100 in fines.

Some questioned the fairness of the punishment especially as, in contrast, in the same week at Grimsby Magistrates’ Court Paul Berry pleaded guilty to driving at 50mph on a 40mph road. He was disqualified from driving for seven days, fined £60, and ordered to pay a victim services surcharge of £16.

North East Lincolnshire Council introduced the PSPO in 2019 and last year announced it had been extended until 2025. Local authorities are able to introduce such measures under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime, and Policing Act of 2014 in order to tackle issues of a particular nuisance or problem in an area that is detrimental to the local community’s quality of life.

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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46 comments

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Steve Garratt | 1 month ago
3 likes

This is totalitarian madness! Luckily Croydon town centre is still cycle friendly. At this moment, struck down with sciatica, extreme lower back pain in spasms extending down mainly the right leg to the foot and more mildly in my left as well. Despite this infliction, I can still cycle unimpeded! The only discomfort is actually putting your leg over the saddle and when you stop suddenly and put your left leg down. My walking is very limited, every 25 yards and you have to stop and bend forward slightly to take the pressure off that nerve. So going shopping as I mainly do by bike and pannier bags would be impossible for me in this town of traffic control freak zealots.

 

 

 

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Muddy Ford | 2 months ago
2 likes

Could Road.cc highlight the percentage of close passes reported in Grimsby and what action was taken. I suspect the zero tolerance only applies if the perpetrator is cycling.

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Wheelywheelygood | 2 months ago
1 like

At last a councip with sense 

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brooksby replied to Wheelywheelygood | 2 months ago
7 likes

The councip may have sense, but the council definitely doesn't.

 

(Mobility scooters are far more dangerous to pedestrians than are bicycles, by the way)

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Chrissk | 2 months ago
7 likes

I'm from Grimsby and the Councillor mentioned is a pointless waste of space. In fact the majority of them are as they've had opportunities to address this when repaving the area of the years. They could have made it a dual purpose area when they pedestrianised it with a paved bike lane but they decided to ban cyclists and get in a private company to administer the fines. Whilst this goes on drunkards, druggies, homeless and social retards cause havoc on a regular basis but nobody dare tackle them. Cyclists are an easy target that's all. I wouldn't stop for them if they tried to stop me.

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eburtthebike | 2 months ago
7 likes

I wonder if that nice Mr Mark Harper, secretary of state for transport, would like to have a discussion/poll about whether cyclists think these fines are fair?  Like he's done with drivers.

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Secret_squirrel | 2 months ago
6 likes

Alternative Headline:   

Cyclists ordered to pay £500 each after ignoring FPN's totalling £100 each and not turning up to court.   

It makes them numpty's nothing more.

(There might be a injustice going on around contact addresses here but without more info we'll have to assume that there wasnt.)

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alchemilla | 2 months ago
4 likes

£88 victim surcharge?
Who's the victim here?

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hawkinspeter replied to alchemilla | 2 months ago
8 likes

alchemilla wrote:

£88 victim surcharge? Who's the victim here?

It's for a general victim fund, not to necessarily pay for victims of this case (won't someone think of the poor pedestrians?)

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grOg replied to alchemilla | 2 months ago
2 likes

The victim surcharge was introduced in 2007 as a flat rate for any person sentenced with a fine. It has since been expanded to apply to all sentences. The surcharge is mandatory and applies to adults and children. It is used to fund services that support victims and does not go directly to the victims of a crime.

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David J lantern... | 2 months ago
2 likes

These fines are vastly excessive,but we are own worst enemies. I cycle several thousand miles a year,and also drive.
In the last 40 years cyclists have learned to ignore red lights and other rules as though they do not apply to us.
It is not political.
Apparently Mark Cavendish uses red lights to practise starts. Let's be more like that and Respect the Red.

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hawkinspeter replied to David J lanterne rouge | 2 months ago
9 likes

David J lanterne rouge wrote:

These fines are vastly excessive,but we are own worst enemies. I cycle several thousand miles a year,and also drive. In the last 40 years cyclists have learned to ignore red lights and other rules as though they do not apply to us. It is not political. Apparently Mark Cavendish uses red lights to practise starts. Let's be more like that and Respect the Red.

Let's be more like Paris and legalise cyclists treating traffic lights as give way signs. Or Oregon which allows cyclists to treat them as Stop signs. Also, it'd be worth allowing "turn left on red" for cyclists too.

Honestly, traffic lights in the UK are very much designed for motor traffic and some don't even recognise cyclists and will miss out a sequence if theirs just a cyclist there (known as a "dead red"). There's a lot of junctions that are safe for a cyclist to got through on red if there's sufficient room (similar to how cyclists can safely filter on the inside of a queue of traffic), so it would make a lot of sense to amend our laws as some cyclists see the rampant law-breaking by motorists and decide to use their own judgement for which traffic lights to obey or not.

Also, if we want to encourage cycling as transport (we do), then it makes sense to allow cyclists to maintain momentum where possible and not needlessly stopping at every junction just simply because of roads and junctions designed purely for motorists. It's also often safer to go through a junction than wait at the red and then have to tangle with other traffic when the lights go green and possibly be left-hooked etc.

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ChasP replied to hawkinspeter | 2 months ago
2 likes

"Also, if we want to encourage cycling as transport (we do), "
Looking at the articles in road cc over the last few days sadly there's not much evidence of that.

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hawkinspeter replied to ChasP | 2 months ago
7 likes

ChasP wrote:

"Also, if we want to encourage cycling as transport (we do), " Looking at the articles in road cc over the last few days sadly there's not much evidence of that.

It seems that we're witnessing the dying throes of a death cult that's desperately trying to cling to power using any divisive tool in their arsenal. If we get adults back in charge, then hopefully we can start to make some intelligent progress rather than slipping back into non-thinking tribalism.

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brooksby replied to hawkinspeter | 2 months ago
7 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

It seems that we're witnessing the dying throes of a death cult that's desperately trying to cling to power using any divisive tool in their arsenal. If we get adults back in charge, then hopefully we can start to make some intelligent progress rather than slipping back into non-thinking tribalism.

Except that Labour have just welcomed Natalie "makes Jacob Rees-Mogg seem like a Lib Dem" Elphicke into the fold, saying that "she's a good fit".

It's not looking good… 

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hawkinspeter replied to brooksby | 2 months ago
3 likes

brooksby wrote:

Except that Labour have just welcomed Natalie "makes Jacob Rees-Mogg seem like a Lib Dem" Elphicke into the fold, saying that "she's a good fit".

It's not looking good… 

Yeah, I don't agree with quite a few of Keith's statements/policies and whilst I can appreciate the pragmatism of welcoming in defecting politicians, I don't think she's going to be a good fit with the rest of the party and will certainly alienate those on the left or those with principles.

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chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 2 months ago
0 likes

"Somewhere to the right of Tony Blair"...

Keir's putting on so many of Maggie's (or even Suella's) clothes now perhaps it's a sign he's "an ally" on trans issues?

Perhaps he's aiming to further irk those on the left?  Maybe he thinks he's got enough momentum (ha) now that he can flush out those on the edges at the election and still win the seats even with some random (and more malleable) newcomers?

FWIW Natalie does say she's standing down at the next election.

Those on "the left" are likely to remain disappointed* going forward (also in Scotland it seems).  Perhaps not surprising given economics (time to check on the sales of classic rock maybe)?

* I'm not sure how to classify Gorgeous George's new group - except perhaps "George wing"?

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ROOTminus1 replied to chrisonabike | 2 months ago
3 likes
chrisonabike wrote:

* I'm not sure how to classify Gorgeous George's new group - except perhaps "George wing"?

Personality cult about covers it

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chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 2 months ago
1 like

hawkinspeter wrote:

Let's be more like Paris and legalise cyclists treating traffic lights as give way signs. Or Oregon which allows cyclists to treat them as Stop signs. Also, it'd be worth allowing "turn left on red" for cyclists too.

Don't want to bore but ... let's not!  I think this would be going in the wrong direction.

I appreciate that this seems to offer a "solution".  And the gold standard fixes for junctions are unlikely to happen in the UK for most for at least a generation (separate cycle paths and better light phasing that allow you often to bypass lights on a bike, or all-ways-green etc.)

Not that I think the world would end - I just don't think this really is a "solution".  My main objection is that the new arrangement is another variation where cyclists still have to depend on drivers and their alertness for safety.  Which is always in question at junctions in particular...

Pro: slight increase in convenience for cyclists.  Sometimes this might be safer, sometimes less safe.  Con: confusion for others, especially nervous pedestrians.

What I don't think it would do is stop (some) drivers raging that cyclists aren't "playing by the rules".  "Filtering" is legal but that hasn't stopped lots decrying cyclists "undertaking"!  Even if drivers (and pedestrians...) find out about a rule change and remember it how many of those dishing out abuse now would change their tune.

Where we are isn't good.  But cyclists can currently deploy a range of work-arounds, from "get in front of drivers to make yourself visible"* to "hop off and push / run through with the bike" (legal - you're a pedestrian) to "take a (small) chance and ignore them as you see fit".

* See ASLs - also a questionable "solution".

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hawkinspeter replied to chrisonabike | 2 months ago
1 like

chrisonabike wrote:

hawkinspeter wrote:

Let's be more like Paris and legalise cyclists treating traffic lights as give way signs. Or Oregon which allows cyclists to treat them as Stop signs. Also, it'd be worth allowing "turn left on red" for cyclists too.

Don't want to bore but ... let's not!  I think this would be going in the wrong direction.

I appreciate that this seems to offer a "solution".  And the gold standard fixes for junctions are unlikely to happen in the UK for most for at least a generation (separate cycle paths and better light phasing that allow you often to bypass lights on a bike, or all-ways-green etc.)

Not that I think the world would end - I just don't think this really is a "solution".  My main objection is that the new arrangement is another variation where cyclists still have to depend on drivers and their alertness for safety.  Which is always in question at junctions in particular...

Pro: slight increase in convenience for cyclists.  Sometimes this might be safer, sometimes less safe.  Con: confusion for others, especially nervous pedestrians.

What I don't think it would do is stop (some) drivers raging that cyclists aren't "playing by the rules".  "Filtering" is legal but that hasn't stopped lots decrying cyclists "undertaking"!  Even if drivers (and pedestrians...) find out about a rule change and remember it how many of those dishing out abuse now would change their tune.

Where we are isn't good.  But cyclists can currently deploy a range of work-arounds, from "get in front of drivers to make yourself visible"* to "hop off and push / run through with the bike" (legal - you're a pedestrian) to "take a (small) chance and ignore them as you see fit".

* See ASLs - also a questionable "solution".

It's not as ideal as providing proper infrastructure, but I can't see that the UK is going to implement that.

It seems to work well in the places mentioned, so I don't see why we can't copy it here.

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MattDinnery replied to hawkinspeter | 2 months ago
2 likes

Let's not.
Because the red traffic light might be protecting pedestrians (including young children, those with mobility issues, etc) who are crossing the highway at a controlled crossing, and who have every right to do so without fearing or risking being hit by any mechanically propelled vehicle!

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hawkinspeter replied to MattDinnery | 2 months ago
2 likes

MattDinnery wrote:

Let's not. Because the red traffic light might be protecting pedestrians (including young children, those with mobility issues, etc) who are crossing the highway at a controlled crossing, and who have every right to do so without fearing or risking being hit by any mechanically propelled vehicle!

I don't see what difference that will make as cyclists won't be wanting to collide with pedestrians and most will take care to not do so. The reckless ones are going to be reckless whether or not they're allowed in the law to go through a red, so there's no difference there. As there are different red light laws in e.g. Paris and Oregon, it's simple to see if those laws have led to more cyclist-pedestrian collisions and they haven't, so I think you're worried about a non-issue.

I think that ultimately, making the roads a more attractive place to cycle will lead to less cyclist-pedestrian collisions as cyclists are going to be less likely to use the pavement. There's also the instances where cyclists hop onto the pavement to skirt around a red light so that they're "obeying the law", but I see that as counter-productive as it'd be safer for the cyclist and any pedestrians if they just remain on the road and carefully go through a red.

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chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 2 months ago
0 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

As there are different red light laws in e.g. Paris and Oregon, it's simple to see if those laws have led to more cyclist-pedestrian collisions and they haven't, so I think you're worried about a non-issue.

Mostly - I recall having a quick look at some of the reports but can't remember what the quality of the data looked like.

However in the UK there is the "not expecting cyclists" factor and people just aren't used to cyclists passing by them.

Yes - we're pretty much habituated to the same from (more dangerous) motor vehicles.  But I've been surprised by the strength of visceral reaction from a few pedestrians when cycling (very carefully, really!) near them on shared use facilities.  (Not a scientific study - could just be those individuals though.  Or my choice in hats.)

It may be there's a "startle" factor cyclists trigger that's not so much the case for cars?  Perhaps some ancient brain circuits that get triggered, like with horses and recumbents?  I'd guess a) just not expecting cyclists (people can be trained / relearn this if cyclists and pedestrians mostly have their own space) and b) "they came out of nowhere" - cyclists move quietly and surprisingly quickly.

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john_smith replied to chrisonabike | 2 months ago
1 like

I don't find it surprising at all. There's a load of reasons why having a moving bicycle nearby and sharing a space with it would make people nervous. Bicycles have hard, sharp parts and are generally dirty. The are also generally less nimble than pedestrians--a quick side step or an abrupt stop to avoid bumping into someone is generally out of the question. They are often quieter than pedestrians moving at the same speed, so if one passes you from behind you often won't know it's there until it's beside you. Many cyclists seem to think that if they approach a pedestrian from behind and ring their bell the pedestrian should jump aside from them. As a pedestrian you might not be too thrilled by the idea that if a bell rings somewhere behind you you have to turn round to see if there is a cyclist beside you who wants to pass and then move to the left/right accordingly. There a lot of not very good cyclists with a bit of an attitude problem around.

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polainm replied to john_smith | 1 month ago
2 likes

john_smith wrote:

 ...As a pedestrian you might not be too thrilled by the idea that if a bell rings somewhere behind you you have to turn round to see if there is a cyclist beside you who wants to pass and then move to the left/right accordingly. There a lot of not very good cyclists with a bit of an attitude problem around.

As a cyclist you might not be too thrilled by the idea that if a horn sounds somewhere behind you you have to turn round to see if there is a driver in a two tonne machine beside you who wants to close pass and then you wobble to the left into the gutter accordingly. There are millions of not very good drivers with a bit of an attitude problem around.

But this is the acceptable face of UK driving culture. 

As usual, the focus is not on the problem, but on imaginary scenarios where people riding bicycles are brushed as dangerous. The reality is a car-biased culture that is predominantly anti-cycling from highway planner to judge to IDS MP. 

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chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 2 months ago
0 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

I think that ultimately, making the roads a more attractive place to cycle will lead to less cyclist-pedestrian collisions as cyclists are going to be less likely to use the pavement.

Apologies if this seems to be semantics/nit-picking but ... where traffic volume is sufficient / speeds fast enough to need signalised junctions and pedestrian crossings I can't see how many people (never mind most) would be persuaded to cycle *.

On "allowing cyclists to skip red lights" I'm really not sure that's a cure for "conflict with pedestrians".  Pedestrians won't be happy they have to treat a green light for them as "but crossing doesn't apply to cyclists".  I could be wrong but would imagine cyclists who don't want to wait / don't feel it's safe are going to ignore the red lights anyway, cycle on pavements in a less social manner OR will use the pavements more socially (e.g. get off and push, in which case everyone is a pedestrian and complaints can probably be ignored).

* At least - it would be very difficult to persuade them in the UK.  I know there are some unpleasant places to cycle even in NL but they exist as exceptions within the context of generally excellent cycling conditions and indeed mass cycling.

In "streets" that are quiet enough not to need lights, certainly.  And next to busier roads, yes - but in that case we wouldn't need formal pedestrian crossings (over the cycle path) anyway and cyclists turning left wouldn't need to stop at all. (With the caveat that this would be "change!" for UK pedestrians, concerns by those with sight impairments and disabilities etc.)

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hawkinspeter replied to chrisonabike | 2 months ago
0 likes

chrisonabike wrote:

Apologies if this seems to be semantics/nit-picking but ... where traffic volume is sufficient / speeds fast enough to need signalised junctions and pedestrian crossings I can't see how many people (never mind most) would be persuaded to cycle *.

On "allowing cyclists to skip red lights" I'm really not sure that's a cure for "conflict with pedestrians".  Pedestrians won't be happy they have to treat a green light for them as "but crossing doesn't apply to cyclists".  I could be wrong but would imagine cyclists who don't want to wait / don't feel it's safe are going to ignore the red lights anyway, cycle on pavements in a less social manner OR will use the pavements more socially (e.g. get off and push, in which case everyone is a pedestrian and complaints can probably be ignored).

* At least - it would be very difficult to persuade them in the UK.  I know there are some unpleasant places to cycle even in NL but they exist as exceptions within the context of generally excellent cycling conditions and indeed mass cycling.

In "streets" that are quiet enough not to need lights, certainly.  And next to busier roads, yes - but in that case we wouldn't need formal pedestrian crossings (over the cycle path) anyway and cyclists turning left wouldn't need to stop at all. (With the caveat that this would be "change!" for UK pedestrians, concerns by those with sight impairments and disabilities etc.)

I'd anticipate that the busier junctions aren't that appropriate for cycling through red lights, but I do encounter plenty of less busy junctions where I should be able to travel straight on without encountering pedestrians and with enough space to avoid being hit by cars.

It just seems obvious to me that allowing cyclists to exercise their own judgement with light controlled junctions will lead to a better cycling environment. I haven't heard of any safety issues where the laws are different and personally I'd rather get through a junction without having drivers setting off at the same time as me, especially if they've just been using their phone as they were stopped.

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grOg replied to hawkinspeter | 2 months ago
2 likes

Good points; I've learnt to anticipate the light going green and get a jump on motor vehicles behind me, because if I wait until the light goes green, the drivers behind me inevitably drive past me in a train of vehicles as I get up to speed and crowd me into the door zone of parked vehicles.

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polainm replied to MattDinnery | 1 month ago
0 likes

MattDinnery wrote:

Let's not. Because the red traffic light might be protecting pedestrians (including young children, those with mobility issues, etc) who are crossing the highway at a controlled crossing, and who have every right to do so without fearing or risking being hit by any mechanically propelled vehicle!

Those with mobility issues may also be riding on the road. Only, they don't in the UK because the infra is so biased to drivers. 

The tenet of 'fearing crossing because of cyclists' is virtually non-existent. Amsterdam shows this. Unless you're a driver from the UK that thinks they can also walk anywhere without looking, then Amsterdam is 'full of dangerous cyclists'.

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Geordiepeddeler replied to David J lanterne rouge | 2 months ago
6 likes

Errrrr you forgot to mention how many cyclists have been killed, mamed or injured.Totally agree with prosecuting anyone who breaks the law. So are the councils going to prosecute cars and taxis who park in cycle lanes forcing riders out into busy traffic?

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