A number of police officers have been deployed in Leicester to catch cyclists using a pedestrian route. A by-law means that cycling on New Walk is punishable by a fine, but the Leicester Mercury reports that fast food delivery cyclists have been spotted riding along it at speed.
One officer involved in the operation said of his presence: “It’s part of an operation to do with the number of cyclists and anti-social behaviour. There’s going to be a few days of it.”
A Leicestershire Police spokeswoman later confirmed: “Officers from the city centre are carrying out an operation in New Walk following ongoing concerns about cyclists using the path and crimes in the area.
“The operation will run for most of this week and anyone caught cycling along this route will be stopped and advised of their actions.
“As well as cycling offences officers are tackling an increase in low level crime in the area such as damage, thefts and anti-social behaviour.”
In August, a New Walk resident was hit by a fast food cyclist and spent a night in hospital with concussion.
Speaking at the time, city centre police commander Inspector Manjit Atwal said: “I’m aware of the concerns around the way the delivery riders cycle round.
“It’s a new phase. Suddenly you’ve got people who are delivering items that shockingly are working on commission.
“If you try to get in touch with the companies – and I’ve tried plenty of times over the last few weeks – they will say they are working for themselves. You can deal with the individuals but the companies have a lot to answer to themselves.”
A similar police operation in August saw 11 cyclists stopped in the first 45 minutes. Several said they used New Walk as a safe alternative to riding along London Road.
There are plans to put cycle lanes along London Road, but work on the £2.75m plan is not set to start until next spring or summer.