Police blitz on pavement cycling

From the police…

The attachment is a leaflet regarding a Richmond Borough initiative entitled “Pavements for Pedestrians”.

The Borough has received a number of complaints from members of the public regarding the increasing number of cyclists who think that they are allowed by law to use the pavement.

On Tuesday the 23rd of August there will be an advisory day to inform cyclists of the law. Each Safer Neighbourhood ward will be patrolling their area and stopping cyclists and issuing the leaflet. They will also be giving advice on Bike marking and crime prevention.

If you wish to discuss specific concerns then please speak to your local Safer Neighbourhood Team.Please use this to inform members of your watches of the Borough initiative.

This will be followed by a day of action and the issuing of £30 tickets for the offence where necessary.

Richmond upon Thames is one of the safest boroughs in London.
It is hoped that with this additional information you can help us to keep it that way.

The attachment is here.

This website details cycling and the law.  Two quotes stand out…

“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. 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.”

And for CSOs…

“CSOs and accredited persons will be accountable in the same way as police officers. They will be under the direction and control of the chief officer, supervised on a daily basis by the local community beat officer and will be subject to the same police complaints system. The Government have included provision in the Anti Social Behaviour Bill to enable CSOs and accredited persons to stop those cycling irresponsibly on the pavement in order to issue a fixed penalty notice.  I should stress that the issue is about inconsiderate cycling on the pavements. The new provisions are 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 road users when doing so. Chief officers recognise that the fixed penalty needs to be used with a considerable degree of discretion and it cannot be issued to anyone under the age of 16. (Letter to Mr H. Peel from John Crozier of The Home Office, reference T5080/4, 23 February 2004)”

We hope that on the day of action, only irresponsible people cycling on the pavement will be fined.

It is difficult to understand this kind of action (particularly the mention of safety) when the local newspapers currently have weekly reports on collisions and fatalities on the roads in the borough, with one location reporting 4 collisions in the same number of weeks, including a hit and run on a cyclist.  The danger comes from people in cars on the roads, not people on bikes on the pavement.

When the council and TfL do not sign their shared pavement routes properly, the result is confusion for all users.  Examples are abundant throughout the borough but one of our favourites is the entrance to Richmond Park at Ham Gate, where the NCN 4 sign resides below a ‘No Cycling’ sign.  For more fun with signs, read this post about the current situation at Blackfriars bridge.

RCC always advises people on bikes to obey the highway code and the law.  Ride responsibly wherever you ride.