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“Rogue” wardens accused of “lying in wait” for cyclists riding on pavement beside busy roundabout, as two cyclists fined £100 for breaching anti-social cycling order at same spot

The wardens belong to the same agency that mistakenly fined a female cyclist for riding on a shared-use path in the city earlier this year

“Rogue” wardens working for a local council have been accused of “lying in wait” to catch cyclists riding on the pavement, after two riders were recently fined £100 for briefly mounting a footpath to avoid navigating a notoriously busy roundabout and its “thick and fast motor traffic”, a penalty described by one of the cyclists involved as “unjustified” and “a bit farcical”.

The latest controversy surrounding Colchester’s Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), ostensibly to prevent anti-social, nuisance, and dangerous behaviour, comes just two months after female cyclist Helge Gillmeister was also slapped with the £100 fine for, according to the warden who stopped her, “riding on the footpath” – when, in fact, the path in question has been a shared-use cycle route since 2011.

Colchester Cycling Campaign – which has recently adopted a policy of non-cooperation with the council over the PSPO – says the recent surge in cycling-related Fixed Penalty Notices in the city (Dr Gillmeister’s fine was ultimately quashed) indicates that wardens contracted by the council “have found a rich seam for fines” by targeting “law-abiding” people on bikes.

The campaigners also questioned how “careful cycling on the footway” to avoid heavy traffic in a “car-oriented” city can be judged anti-social or dangerous.

“Are you being serious?”

One of the two cyclists who found themselves on the wrong end of an overzealous warden’s ticket machine last month, Stuart Braybrooke was cycling on Colchester’s Magdalen Street, on his way back to his office on Wednesday 24 April, when he was stopped by a warden, an employee of the Waste Investigations Support and Enforcement (WISE) agency, subcontracted by Colchester City Council.

Much to the surprise of Braybrooke, who by this point had jumped off his bike, the WISE warden issued him with a £100 penalty for breaching the PSPO, an increasingly popular (and controversial) method used by local authorities to clamp down on what they deem to be dangerous cycling, and one active travel charity Cycling UK says has the effect of criminalising the act of riding a bike.

Another Colchester-based cyclist, Thomas Roper, was also handed the £100 fine at the exact same spot beside St Botolph’s roundabout days later, with Roper appealing the decision only to have heard “not one single thing” from the council or WISE.

Magdalen Street, Colchester (Google)

“I was riding down Magdalen Street, which is pretty hairy at the best of times as you approach St Botolph’s roundabout,” Braybrooke told road.cc about the bizarre incident that led to his fine.

“I crossed over at the lights by the bus stop, outside the courts, and rolled down the hill from there. I came up on the pavement by the bus stop, and there’s a dropped kerb outside the station and the court. I was riding on the pavement for about ten metres.

“And as I got to the other side of that, where the underpass for the roundabout is, the guys from WISE were stood there and put their hands out to make sure no one got past, and I jumped off my bike.”

> “Why pick on a lone female cyclist?” Cyclist slapped with £100 fine – for riding on a cycle path

He continued: “At the time, actually, they were dealing with somebody else, who was giving them what for, to be honest! I got off my bike and thought they’ll notice I’m not riding it, and they’ll say, ‘make sure you push it around the corner’, or whatever.

“But they didn’t! They, almost without warning, said, ‘put your bike to the side’, and took a picture of the ID around my neck and asked for my details. One of them was saying some stuff, but I wasn’t really paying all that much attention, because the other guy was ripping into them, shouting ‘I don’t care!’ All this sort of stuff.

“I told them I was on my way back to the office from the university. Then he asked me for my date of birth and address – and I was thinking why do you want that? – and then he printed out a ticket! He said it was an offence to ride your bike on the pavement anywhere and it comes with a fixed penalty notice.

“I had thought they were just going to tell me to be a bit careful – but then he said it was a £100 fine! And I said, are you being serious?

“[Like Dr Gillmeister], I got caught off-guard, I didn’t know what was happening. I was in disbelief, genuinely shocked. I’m a pretty law-abiding guy, and I just assumed they’d tell me to be careful and be on my way. But then they gave me a £100 fine. It was very weird, and a bit farcical.”

Causing a nuisance or just getting from A to B?

Last autumn, Colchester City Council consulted on renewing its current PSPO, which covers the centre of the city and states that “using a skateboard, bicycle, scooter, skates, or any other self-propelled wheeled vehicle, including electric scooters, in such a manner as to cause or is likely to cause intimidation, harassment, alarm, distress, nuisance, or annoyance to any person”.

At the time of the consultation, activists within the Colchester Cycling Campaign raised concerns that that the term ‘annoyance’ could be used against ‘wrong-way’ cyclists who “merely want to go about their business as quickly and smoothly as possible”, something Stuart believes he was doing safely when he was stopped.

Head Street cycle lane, Colchester (Essex Highways)

> New protected cycle lane – in city where cyclist was fined for riding on bike path – slammed as “accident waiting to happen for pedestrians” that will “cause carnage on the roads”

“I was riding pretty slowly and I would have jumped off my bike anyway, as it’s a bit of a blind bend around there,” he tells road.cc. “And the bottom of Queen Street is a one-way street, so you can’t ride your bike up it anyway.

“If the police issued you with a fine, and they’re allowed to use their discretion, for riding on the pavement, it would be a £30 fine. So where does this £100 come from? And the guy at WISE who I rang told me the council set the price, not the police.

“I also said, first thing, you need to tell me what you’re charging me with. And they told me the PSPO relates to people causing a nuisance or a disturbance – but no one cared that I was cruising along on my bike.

“No one actually cared at that point. Had someone gone ‘Oh shock, there’s someone on a bike and this is dangerous,’ then I’d have gone, fair enough, I’ve caused a shock and a nuisance. But I only caused a nuisance in the warden’s opinion, and they could have polled everyone on the street and no one would have thought that.”

In an email to WISE following the incident, Stuart said: “I used the pavement for safety because there were no safe cycle lanes and I had been knocked off my bike earlier this year. No damage or disturbance occurred, and the officer did not use discretion.”

Stuart also asked WISE for footage of the incident captured on a warden’s bodycam, but this request was declined, with the agency insisting that the camera is solely used to protect the safety of their officers.

WISE also told Stuart that they had reviewed the footage and deemed that the fine still stands. Braybrooke now plans to submit a data request to retrieve the footage and the officer’s witness statement, which he dismissed as “hearsay”.

“It is a criminal offence and a safety risk to pedestrians to ride a bicycle on the pavement,” a WISE staff member said in correspondence with Braybrooke, while also noting that there “are no formal grounds of appeal” against a Fixed Penalty Notice.

“Where’s innocent until proven guilty?” Stuart asks road.cc. “If we review the video, I can prove that clearly I wasn’t riding reckless or dangerously, or even really on the pavement at that point, because I was on the dropped kerb.”

“I wasn’t riding a bike recklessly or dangerously, or being anti-social. It appears I was charged with an anti-social order, it wasn’t anti-social! I don’t feel like this is a justified penalty notice.”

The dead-end nature of the appeals process for Braybrooke was also reflected in his fellow cyclist Roper’s experience.

“I have emailed multiple times and have heard not one single thing,” Roper says about his experience dealing with WISE following his fine. “Nothing regarding my appeal, and nothing regarding my fine either. I’m not really sure what I am supposed to do!”

“A rich seam of fines”

The discrepancy between the wording of Colchester’s PSPO and its implementation by WISE has also been highlighted by the Colchester Cycling Campaign, who criticised the fines dished out to Braybrooke and Roper, while pointing out that such targeted campaigns by wardens will do little to help engender a cycling culture in the city.

The campaign group also noted that the recent spate of cycling-related fines appears solely to be the work of WISE, with a recent Freedom of Information request revealing that wardens directly employed by Colchester City Council are yet to issue any FPNs related to the new PSPO. The same FOI request also found that wardens cannot issue penalties for “riding the wrong way up a footpath”.

Colchester.jpg

“We commented on the consultation for the second PSPO (we don’t believe there were any problems with PSPO1) and we raised a concern with the wording,” a Colchester Cycling Campaign spokesperson told road.cc.

“We were assured at the time that it would be used only for ‘anti-social cyclists who ride their bikes at people’ and those who ‘cycle over flowerbeds’.

“Instead, cyclists who ride on the footway to avoid thick and fast motor traffic on St Botolph’s roundabout are being penalised for using the path. Have these wardens not heard about the Boateng defence? Can't they tell the difference between nuisance and anti-social behaviour?

“The fact that the latest two offences that we’ve heard about have occurred at the same spot suggests that these wardens have found a rich seam for fines and are lying in wait.

“As Stuart Braybrooke says, even if he encounters a pedestrian it is at most a nuisance for them. We don’t understand how careful cycling on the footway to avoid motor traffic in a car-orientated city — and giving way to pedestrians — can be judged anti-social.”

The spokesperson continued: “It would seem these wardens, who work for a company called WISE, are contracted by the city council but are separate to the city’s own wardens who have not issued any fixed penalty tickets against cyclists.

“Colchester council is very supportive of cycling in many areas – backing our cycle centre that includes a bike kitchen and cargo bike hire, for instance – but this PSPO is doing harm.

“By all means stop dangerous and aggressive cycling but don’t penalise ordinary people trying to go about their everyday business in a city whose cycling network is many years from being complete, where using a short section of usually empty footway rather than a dangerous, fast road is a reasonable option.

“Trying to engender a cycling culture is like raising delicate flowers yet we have these overzealous wardens trampling through our garden in their size 11s.”

> “Obstacle course” cycle junction a “ruse to drive motorists out of the town”, claim drivers – but cyclists praise long-awaited layout change

Colchester’s car-oriented approach highlighted by the campaign group is also underlined by Stuart’s chequered past with the city’s questionable cycling infrastructure, which saw him struck by a motorist while riding in a cycle lane, breaking his bike, before very narrowly missing another collision with a right-turning driver on the same road just a week later (and in-between those two incidents his just-repaired bike was stolen, to rub salt in the wound).

“After that, I was like, I’m not loving riding down these roads anymore,” he says. “Having had that experience, there doesn’t appear to be anywhere cyclists are safe on Magdalen Road and St Botolph’s roundabout. So, it doesn’t sit with me very nicely cycling in that part of town.”

“A kick in the knackers”

The Colchester cyclist also agrees with the campaigners who argue that the city’s apparent anti-cycling culture – embodied in not just the trigger-happy actions of its contracted wardens but also its outdated lack of bike-friendly infrastructure and plethora of one-way streets – is only serving to discourage, not encourage, people from riding their bikes in the city.

“I’m a middle-aged guy, I’m not streetwise but I’m not an idiot. I cycle for health and environmental benefits, and my kids ride every day, rain or shine. We love riding bikes. So this feels a bit like a kick in the knackers,” he says.

“They can say, oh you’re doing right by your health and the environment, cycling is the best form of travel, but we’re going to be really unaccommodating to you.

“And funnily enough, I was doing the same route the following week. And I pushed the bike – because St Botolph’s roundabout is not one you want to do on a bike, because it’s so imposing – exactly where they were stood the previous week.

“And believe it or not, I pushed it around the corner and fell over my own bike! And I nearly knocked into this woman – so I was much more of a danger pushing it than riding it.”

Head Street, Colchester (Colchester Cycling Campaign)

Reflecting on the recent plethora of cycling PSPO breaches in Colchester, Stuart added: “I felt at the time like I’d been a one-off and that I was really unlucky. But it kind of feels like they’re placed on the narrowest part of the footpath, they let the guy who was swearing because he refused to give them any details. He was actually being incredibly anti-social, whereas I was being completely compliant. So that felt unjustified.

“Then you hear it’s been happening to other people, and you think they’re targeting those who look like they’re quite law-abiding. They’re issuing them with fines and using the scarcity principle to say ‘pay it quickly or you’ll go to court’ – that threat targets people who are risk-averse and law-abiding, and catches them confused about the whole situation, like I was.

“It’s like a scam almost, like you’ve been caught out on a scam on holiday. I didn’t know anything about these people, I didn’t know about the PSPO, I ride my bike every single day and have done for years. And all of a sudden, these guys pop up to put a sticker on me as I’m riding past. So I felt a little bit targeted.

“I’ve got a bike bell, I’ve goy my helmet, lights, mudguards. It’s not like I’m raring around, being anti-social, I’m Captain Sensible! I’m well aware I’m sharing an area with people.

“These are basically rogue officers targeting law-abiding cyclists, and once your wheel hits the pavement that’s you done for, unless you’re pushing it.”

> 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”

When approached for comment by road.cc, Liberal Democrat councillor Martin Goss, who is raising the issue in the local authority on behalf of the Colchester Cycling Campaign, said: “At this stage the matter is under investigation and as with all fixed penalty notices these are part of a legal process, so it is not appropriate to comment until the investigation is fully concluded.”

Shared cycle path along Southway, Colchester (Colchester Cycling Campaign)

As noted at the start of this article, both Braybrooke and Roper can take some heart from the recent experience of Helge Gillmeister, who was cycling home from work in March, along a path located next to the city’s busy Southway, when she was also issued with a £100 fine by a WISE employee for breaching the PSPO.

Describing her punishment as “ridiculous”, especially due to the presence of signs indicating the path’s shared-use status 30 yards from where she was stopped, Gillmeister quickly and successfully appealed the FPN, with the council agreeing to waive her fine.

That particular debacle inspired the Colchester Cycling Campaign to adopt a policy of “non-cooperation” with the council, while urging cyclists to refuse to give their names or addresses if stopped by wardens for riding their bikes in what campaigners have described as a “city designed for cars”.

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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64 comments

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Hirsute | 5 days ago
1 like

And it gets worse according to the cycling group who report

//pbs.twimg.com/media/GQGd0kQWUAEUR0D?format=jpg&name=large)

There are bollards which effectively create an LTN with the junction of High St and West Stockwell st. The TRO allows cycling along the high st at all times and vehilces are restricted. Deliveroo routinely park at the side of the town hall either side of the bollards.
Anti social is pure bollocks.

//pbs.twimg.com/media/GQGd0kPWQAAenhM?format=jpg&name=large)

Culver St is no motor vehicles at only a few hours a day not no cycling.
"Road Tax" ...

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tootsie323 | 4 weeks ago
4 likes

I do hope that they are equally vigilant when it comes to cars parked (and, therefore, having driven onto) on the pavement. I'm sure that would generate a far higher income.

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Hirsute replied to tootsie323 | 4 weeks ago
2 likes

There's a claim in the local rag that one road is not enforced unless the police are there due to threats against the parking enforcement officers.

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Stevebiker | 4 weeks ago
0 likes

I don't see what the problem is. It is and always has been illegal to ride a bicycle on the pavement, this is nothing new and as a long time cyclist, I do not ride my bike on the pavement.

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hawkinspeter replied to Stevebiker | 4 weeks ago
6 likes

Stevebiker wrote:

I don't see what the problem is. It is and always has been illegal to ride a bicycle on the pavement, this is nothing new and as a long time cyclist, I do not ride my bike on the pavement.

The problem is with newer cyclists who might want to use the pavement rather than what they perceive as a dangerous stretch of road (or stretch of road with dangerous driving). We should be encouraging people to cycle, not trying to punish them for it.

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mark1a replied to Stevebiker | 4 weeks ago
9 likes

Stevebiker wrote:

I don't see what the problem is. It is and always has been illegal to ride a bicycle on the pavement, this is nothing new and as a long time cyclist, I do not ride my bike on the pavement.

Illegal technically, but effectively decriminalised in 1999 by Paul Boateng, and subsequently in 2014 by Robert Goodwill. Specifically if the rider is there because of a fear of other traffic.

https://www.cyclinguk.org/news/goodwill-reiterates-footway-cycling-guidance

https://road.cc/content/news/108119-transport-minister-responsible-cycli...

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Rendel Harris replied to mark1a | 4 weeks ago
0 likes

mark1a wrote:

Illegal technically, but effectively decriminalised in 1999 by Paul Boateng, and subsequently in 2014 by Robert Goodwill. Specifically if the rider is there because of a fear of other traffic.

I know what you mean but not sure about "effectively decriminalised"; is there any evidence that any police force or local council are allowing cycling on the pavement because of the guidance, or perhaps more importantly has anyone successfully challenged an FPN for cycling on the pavement by citing the guidance?

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mark1a replied to Rendel Harris | 4 weeks ago
3 likes

Rendel Harris wrote:

I know what you mean but not sure about "effectively decriminalised"; is there any evidence that any police force or local council are allowing cycling on the pavement because of the guidance, or perhaps more importantly has anyone successfully challenged an FPN for cycling on the pavement by citing the guidance?

No idea, I just remember it being a thing at the time, and when my children were young in the mid 2000s we would take our bikes on the pavement to the park, I had the Paul Boateng statement in the back of my mind should I ever be challenged by a civil enforcement droid in a uniform, but I never was.

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brooksby replied to Rendel Harris | 4 weeks ago
5 likes

Exactly - it wasn't decriminalised, the police were just given a slightly looser leash, to enable them to use their so-called discretion.

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bensynnock replied to Rendel Harris | 4 weeks ago
3 likes

This is the guidance issued at the time. It still stands:

'The introduction of the fixed penalty is not aimed at responsible cyclists who sometimes feel obliged to use the pavement out of fear of traffic and who show consideration to other pavement users when doing so'

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Rendel Harris replied to bensynnock | 4 weeks ago
0 likes

bensynnock wrote:

This is the guidance issued at the time. It still stands: 'The introduction of the fixed penalty is not aimed at responsible cyclists who sometimes feel obliged to use the pavement out of fear of traffic and who show consideration to other pavement users when doing so'

I'm aware of the guidance, but guidance and law are two entirely different things and the latter has the paramount claim; if an officer decides to stop and sanction you for riding on the pavement they can - in any circumstances - and as far as I'm aware nobody has ever successfully appealed a sanction thus imposed on the basis of what the guidance says. The guidance has no standing in law, it's more of a "serving suggestion" for how law enforcement might behave.

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Born_peddling | 4 weeks ago
6 likes

Just a reminder while these "wardens" will abuse factors like this one way to get them to leave you alone is to point out you need to take a photo for your own records along with their name id number and/or the private entity hired by the council ...this usually unnerves them, annoys or makes them leave you alone. In rare cases said warden may try to take you device off you. Just keep your cool and if/when the police get involved you have the right to collect all relevant information to appeal

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Fursty Ferret replied to Born_peddling | 4 weeks ago
3 likes

Or just walk away - they're private contractors and any attempt to detain you would be illegal. Their camera footage can be used *against* them as well. 

I'm sure the police would love to be called out by a wannabe constable where someone has ridden a bike on the pavement for the grand total of 60ft. 

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OldRidgeback | 4 weeks ago
2 likes

This is untrue. I'm sure the Cycling Silk would have one or two things to say about this.

“It is a criminal offence and a safety risk to pedestrians to ride a bicycle on the pavement,” a WISE staff member said in correspondence with Braybrooke, while also noting that there “are no formal grounds of appeal” against a Fixed Penalty Notice.

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grOg | 4 weeks ago
2 likes

Hilarious; in Australia, only sworn police officers can enforce traffic laws; local government/councils can only enforce parking laws.

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eburtthebike replied to grOg | 4 weeks ago
10 likes

grOg wrote:

Hilarious; in Australia, only sworn police officers can enforce traffic laws; local government/councils can only enforce parking laws.

Yes, it started that way in the UK.  Now, no-one is sure what uniformed clown has the powers to do what.  Just privatisation by stealth, something the tories are extremely adept at.

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arowland | 1 month ago
4 likes

If Colchester Council is basically saying, use this dangerous roundabout (which they have not made safe for cyclists) or get fined, can't they be sued for deliberately endangering human life?

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hawkinspeter replied to arowland | 1 month ago
5 likes

arowland wrote:

If Colchester Council is basically saying, use this dangerous roundabout (which they have not made safe for cyclists) or get fined, can't they be sued for deliberately endangering human life?

It's not the roundabout that's dangerous though, but the careless or inattentive drivers.

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Hirsute replied to hawkinspeter | 1 month ago
3 likes

It's the ones going this way you have to watch for - even in a car. The first set is green, but the second set is independent and there are enough drivers who don't notice the red, that caution is advised when coming from where the bus is.

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wtjs | 1 month ago
4 likes

Where is the Anti-WISE Anti-Council insurgency? I would be down there at all hours filming these 'turn a blind eye' wardens just ignoring illegal electric bikes and scooters and bolshie looking tearaways charging through, and concentrating on easy targets like women and the elderly

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chrisonabike replied to wtjs | 1 month ago
4 likes

...or the "down with 15 minute cities" / antivax folks - I thought they were all "stop big brother spying on you"?

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anotherflat | 1 month ago
1 like

Colchester had a Lib Dem led minority council up until May 24, and presumably they'll be involved in the next coalition when the bartering is done, so why didn't the Lib Dem councillor do something about it before now given his party was in charge? 

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BobJackson | 1 month ago
7 likes

Since 1999, on a busy road, government guidelines are, its ok to cycle on the footway, as long as it's not anti social cycling. Paul Boatang, did this when he brought in the Fix Penalty Notice. It's on google.

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brooksby replied to BobJackson | 1 month ago
5 likes

Covered on https://road.cc/content/news/108119-transport-minister-responsible-cycli...

or

Paul Boateng wrote:

The introduction of the fixed penalty is not aimed at responsible cyclists who sometimes feel obliged to use the pavement out of fear of the traffic, and who show consideration to other pavement users.

Chief police officers, who are responsible for enforcement, acknowledge that many cyclists, particularly children and young people, are afraid to cycle on the road. Sensitivity and careful use of police discretion is required.

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eburtthebike | 1 month ago
19 likes

Just found this on fb.  Nicely sums things up I think.

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qwerty360 | 1 month ago
7 likes

I wonder how quickly it would be fixed by a ride to rule protest -

1. Ride towards roundabout

2. Stop in the road in centre of lane.

3. Spend 30+s carefully dismounting.

4. Walk to next arm of roundabout.

5. Re enter road (when safe).

6. spend 30+s remounting in centre of lane before proceeding.

7. Turn around half a mile away and do it again.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to qwerty360 | 1 month ago
10 likes

qwerty360 wrote:

I wonder how quickly it would be fixed by a ride to rule protest -

1. Ride towards roundabout

2. Stop in the road in centre of lane.

3. Spend 30+s carefully dismounting.

4. Walk to next arm of roundabout.

5. Re enter road (when safe).

6. spend 30+s remounting in centre of lane before proceeding.

7. Turn around half a mile away and do it again.

The regular police would immediately swoop in and arrest you for protesting and blocking a road. If there's one thing that the police are guaranteed to respond quickly to, it's people who think that the authorities are acting against the people's interests and are willing to say it.

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chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 1 month ago
3 likes

Yup.  While it's true the situation here is absolutely nothing like China, Russia, some countries in the Middle East etc. the "right to protest" (public assembly etc.) has taken a significant knock under this government.

And AFAIKS the red-coloured alternative isn't too fussed about that either.  They're calculating that "most people" are going to be more concerned about others noisily (but politely) protesting, or disruption e.g. in their journeys.  Or having the police spend time dealing with protests.

I'd imagine that's true.  Most people aren't going to protest about most things.  Online petitions and reposting stuff is about it.  Further, I'd imagine most people who currently more actively protest things in the UK would back down if there was a serious chance of arrest.  Even if (as is thankfully mostly still the case) they didn't face significant fines, prison, or indeed beatings.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to chrisonabike | 1 month ago
8 likes

chrisonabike wrote:

Yup.  While it's true the situation here is absolutely nothing like China, Russia, some countries in the Middle East etc. the "right to protest" (public assembly etc.) has taken a significant knock under this government.

And AFAIKS the red-coloured alternative isn't too fussed about that either.  They're calculating that "most people" are going to be more concerned about others noisily (but politely) protesting, or disruption e.g. in their journeys.  Or having the police spend time dealing with protests.

I'd imagine that's true.  Most people aren't going to protest about most things.  Online petitions and reposting stuff is about it.  Further, I'd imagine most people who currently more actively protest things in the UK would back down if there was a serious chance of arrest.  Even if (as is thankfully mostly still the case) they didn't face significant fines, prison, or indeed beatings.

Looks like Liberty have won their court case that Cruella's extended police powers are in fact unlawful: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-69043611

Quote:

The regulations, passed by MPs in June last year, lowered the threshold for what protest activity counts as "serious disruption" in England and Wales.

It said any disruption that was "more than minor" should count - but campaigners argued this would give too much power to police.

An official assessment of the law estimated the new definition could increase police intervention at protests by up to 50%.

The move, announced amid the backdrop of disruptive protests by groups such as Just Stop Oil and Insulate Britain, was controversial at the time.

This was in part because the changes had already been rejected in the House of Lords six months before that.

In a 56-page ruling, external, Lord Justice Green and Mr Justice Kerr said the legal basis underpinning the new powers was insufficient.

It also said the Home Office had acted unlawfully by only asking police forces what they thought of the powers, rather than consulting more widely with the public and groups that might be affected.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 1 month ago
4 likes

Thanks, hadn't seen that!  Good stuff.

I'm a believer in the idea of rights needing to be exercised, if not continually fought for.

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