Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Cyclist ordered to pay £500 for riding bicycle through town centre as councillor claims hefty fine is "great result for our enforcement teams"

The fine comes from the same council that was accused of targeting "old and slow" cyclists after another person was ordered to pay £1,150...

A North East Lincolnshire councillor has hailed a "great result for our enforcement teams" after a 60-year-old cyclist in Grimsby was fined and ordered to pay £500 after breaching a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) by cycling through the town centre.

It is the latest episode in the ongoing "zero-tolerance policy" for cyclists riding bicycles in pedestrian areas in Grimsby, last summer the council making 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.

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

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.

This latest incident, happened on Victoria Street, one of the main shopping streets in the town, North East Lincolnshire Council stating that a cyclist, Andrew Billingham, was found guilty of breaching the PSPO by cycling in a pedestrian area on 24 March 2023.

The local authority said its enforcement officers had spotted the 60-year-old man cycling in the street, when he was stopped and issued with a fixed-penalty notice. Mr Billingham refused to pay the fine and appealed the decision, claiming he had dismounted before entering Victoria Street.

However, a district judge at Grimsby Magistrates' Court found him guilty on 6 February 2024 and ordered him to pay £530, in the form of a £200 fine, costs of £250, and an £80 victim surcharge.

The council said it had fined 85 people last year for cycling in "prohibited areas", councillor Ron Shepherd calling the latest fine a "great result for our enforcement teams".

Grimsby town centre fine (North East Lincolnshire Council)

"The PSPOs are invaluable for helping to reduce anti-social behaviour across North East Lincolnshire and those that breach them need to know that it's not acceptable," he said.

"It's important that people understand the rules across North East Lincolnshire and adhere to them. Our council plan advocates a zero-tolerance policy and we constantly review how we deliver our enforcement to make sure we can effectively tackle any issues."

> 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

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.

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. "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."

Grimsby town centre fine (North East Lincolnshire Council)

That case provoked a backlash from residents, some accusing the council officers of targeting "old and slow" riders while ignoring youths "racing up and down".

July 2023 saw the aforementioned incident resulting in 31-year-old Lauren Cullum ordered to pay more than £1,100. Some questioned the fairness of the punishment, 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 measure 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.

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

Add new comment

60 comments

Avatar
Codfather123 | 1 month ago
2 likes

Why the fuss he was breaking the law. Cyclist like him give the rest of us cyclist a bad name.

Avatar
brooksby replied to Codfather123 | 1 month ago
3 likes

Codfather123 wrote:

Why the fuss he was breaking the law. Cyclist like him give the rest of us cyclist a bad name.

Why? I didn't vote for him.

Avatar
Fursty Ferret | 1 month ago
1 like

Out of curiosity, are you under any legal obligation to provde your details to one of these council officers? Or even stop for them? Can they use force to detain you?

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to Fursty Ferret | 1 month ago
1 like

Fursty Ferret wrote:

Out of curiosity, are you under any legal obligation to provde your details to one of these council officers? Or even stop for them? Can they use force to detain you?

Yes, it is an offence to refuse to give them your details when asked if they have reasonable grounds for suspecting you have committed something that would incur an FPN (it's worth noting that you have no obligation to provide your details simply on demand without reason, either to them or a police officer). They certainly don't have the authority to use force to detain you and they would themselves be committing an offence if they did so. However they can take photographs of you and record any pertinent details such as bike make etc and share these with the police and/or publish them on the council website in order to track you down. 

Avatar
IanMSpencer | 1 month ago
3 likes

I suspect the way to challenge these fines is to show the council is being unreasonable.

Unlike private companies, there is an underlying requirement for a council to prove it is acting reasonably and with comparisons with parking fines and so on, I would have thought the unreasonable charge could be made to stick.

People who have dealt with TfL will know about the loopholes like de minimis infractions.

So, I suspect the problem here is not the complaint but knowing how to challenge a council.

Avatar
Benthic | 1 month ago
2 likes

PSPOs are undemocratic.

Avatar
Hg2023 | 1 month ago
1 like

Knobheads these "officers". They often wait at the bus stops to catch people then walk out into the road between busses causing you to nearly run them over, gonna have to go do a wheelie through town at mach 10 in memory of this poor bloke!

Avatar
RoubaixCube | 1 month ago
0 likes

If this guy is guilty of anything. It would be guilty of getting caught. Should have popped a wheelie and flipped them the bird. They wouldnt have touched him otherwise. Should he have fallen while popping said wheelies and birds he could have sued them for distracting him, taking his concentration off what he was doing  and probably won. It sounds rediculous but common sense isnt always present in court judging by some of the past results from unduely lenient sentences.

Avatar
Longfellow | 1 month ago
5 likes

I love the idea (reinforced by some of the commentators) that a 60 year old man is a doddery old fool incapable of going at speed on a bicycle. As a 61 year old man who got stopped recently by a copper for going "unnecessarily quickly" through some road works, I don't think that is always the case.

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to Longfellow | 1 month ago
0 likes

Agree - at 55 I can still touch 50kph (briefly!) on the (flat) Chelsea Embankment on a still Sunday morning when there's no traffic about. Doesn't have to be all pipe and slippers just because you're past the half century!

Avatar
OldRidgeback replied to Longfellow | 1 month ago
2 likes

As a 62 yeard old male still racing at National level I don't think I'm that doddery yet.

Avatar
eburtthebike replied to Longfellow | 1 month ago
9 likes

At 72, it's still my ambition to be prosecuted for Furious Riding.

Avatar
M4rt1n74 | 1 month ago
6 likes

I've no problem with a zero tolerance approach to fines for cyclists riding on pedestrian areas but I feel the level of fine is very high. You can drive a car at excess speeds and receive a lower fine, you can park a car on pavements with no issues. The fine is even higher than going through a red light! Maybe a bit of common sense should be used in both sides.

Avatar
Chrissk | 1 month ago
15 likes

I'm from Grimsby and the councillor that initiated all this is a complete tool. There is a lack of suitable bike paths around the area and instead of addressing that they get some dodgy private company in to issue fines. Over the last few years they have put in a bus station, took out a bus station, turning it into a 'reflection' area, spent £5m (so far) on repairing an old bridge that really needed condemning. They've wasted millions of tax payers money when the town centre could've been turned into a cycling & pedestrian area with segregated lanes like the Dutch do it. The guy should lose his job...there's a circus short of a clown somewhere.

Avatar
ROOTminus1 replied to Chrissk | 1 month ago
10 likes

This is pure speculation on my part, but would that be the smug side of gammon wearing the van Gogh tie? Posing along side the thug of a Civil Enforcement officer who was probably the most hated in his unit in his army days (and won't shut up about it), the lad who still regrets his GCSE results, and the shopping centre H&S manager?

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to ROOTminus1 | 1 month ago
7 likes

The young lad with the "hands inside the stab vest like I've seen real coppers do" pose reminds me irresistibly of Gareth Keenan in The Office and his role in the TA.

Avatar
mark1a replied to Rendel Harris | 1 month ago
2 likes

Rendel Harris wrote:

The young lad with the "hands inside the stab vest like I've seen real coppers do" pose reminds me irresistibly of Gareth Keenan in The Office and his role in the TA.

I wonder if there's an "Invetigation in process"

Avatar
BigDoodyBoy | 1 month ago
2 likes

Guys, it's the law. Like it or lump it, you've got to obey it. Whingeing is not becoming. It makes you look like car drivers who are always going on about the "war on drivers."

In the same way as someone sat in a car park with their engine running but otherwise parked up is breaking the law by touching their phone, these people are breaking the law. The risks are similarly low and we can argue the merits til the cows come home but in both cases the driver and cyclist deserve their punishment for breaking the law.

Avatar
hairyairey replied to BigDoodyBoy | 1 month ago
12 likes

What if he's telling the truth and he did dismount? Not unheard of for people with a vested interest to lie, especially if there's no video evidence to back it up.

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to hairyairey | 1 month ago
14 likes

hairyairey wrote:

What if he's telling the truth and he did dismount? Not unheard of for people with a vested interest to lie, especially if there's no video evidence to back it up.

Indeed, that was my first thought, the law's default position that officials must be telling the truth is weighted against those who have been wrongly accused. More than once in the last couple of years I have been accused by a police officer of doing something I hadn't (running a red light, riding through pedestrians on a zebra crossing and swearing at a pedestrian (I said "that's ridiculous" to someone allowing their dog to run on the roadway, the policeman heard it as "you dickhead") and they have then backed down when I have said I had the alleged incident on video. I have no doubt that in each case if I didn't have a video and ended up in court with my word against an officer's their word would be believed over mine. A very good reason for always having a camera!

Avatar
john_smith replied to BigDoodyBoy | 1 month ago
9 likes

Be that as it may, £500 seems pretty steep, all things considered.

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to john_smith | 1 month ago
7 likes

john_smith wrote:

Be that as it may, £500 seems pretty steep, all things considered.

My instinctive sympathy is with the cyclist but it has to be said he wasn't fined £500 for cycling where he shouldn't, he was fined £200 for that and the rest was court charges. The general principle that someone should pay court charges if they challenge a sanction and are found to be guilty of the offence is not a bad one, if one could challenge speeding tickets etc and face no greater cost for doing so than the original fine then I'd guess most people would have a punt and think "nothing to lose", and the cost of all the appeals would have to be picked up by the taxpayer.

Avatar
Capt Sisko replied to Rendel Harris | 1 month ago
1 like

"The general principle that someone should pay court charges if they challenge a sanction and are found to be guilty of the offence is not a bad one,"

Except thatgive one law for the rich who can afford laywers to try and get you off and one for the rest of us who can't. If the offence is the same then the fine should be the same.

Avatar
brooksby replied to Capt Sisko | 1 month ago
4 likes

Capt Sisko wrote:

"The general principle that someone should pay court charges if they challenge a sanction and are found to be guilty of the offence is not a bad one,"

Except thatgive one law for the rich who can afford laywers to try and get you off and one for the rest of us who can't. If the offence is the same then the fine should be the same.

Young millionaire in £130k Mercedes slammed for using bus lanes as ‘VIP road’ claiming he ‘doesn’t care about fines’

https://www.thesun.co.uk/motors/26387871/young-millionaire-slammed-bus-l...

The Sun wrote:

In a video uploaded to his social media profiles, Luke was filmed veering into a bus lane in his £130,000 Mercedes G Wagon.

As he did so, he said: "To poor people, this is a bus lane.

"To rich people, it’s a VIP lane to avoid traffic.

"We don’t care about the fines.

Avatar
cyclisto replied to brooksby | 1 month ago
3 likes
Avatar
B_Sauce replied to brooksby | 1 month ago
2 likes
brooksby wrote:

Young millionaire in £130k Mercedes slammed for using bus lanes as ‘VIP road’ claiming he ‘doesn’t care about fines’

https://www.thesun.co.uk/motors/26387871/young-millionaire-slammed-bus-l...

The Sun wrote:

In a video uploaded to his social media profiles, Luke was filmed veering into a bus lane in his £130,000 Mercedes G Wagon.

As he did so, he said: "To poor people, this is a bus lane.

"To rich people, it’s a VIP lane to avoid traffic.

"We don’t care about the fines.

I know, in theory, it's not good for one's own wellbeing to hope for other people's downfalls, but I really hope this guy makes some terrible investments and loses all his money

Avatar
hutchdaddy replied to BigDoodyBoy | 1 month ago
1 like

Only though someone sat in their car in a car park using their phone isn't breaking the law.
The fine is out of all proportion to the supposed crime

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to hutchdaddy | 1 month ago
5 likes

hutchdaddy wrote:

Only though someone sat in their car in a car park using their phone isn't breaking the law.

Actually they are, the RTA applies to any private space (e.g. supermarket car park) that has public access for motor vehicles.

Avatar
Sriracha replied to Rendel Harris | 1 month ago
0 likes

Don't think I've ever come across that being enforced. Can you imagine - it'd be all over the local news, jobsworthy petty officials taxing motorists for non-offences.

That said - if you cycle through a clearly marked no-cycling pedestrianised space, no sympathy.

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to Sriracha | 1 month ago
3 likes

Sriracha wrote:

Don't think I've ever come across that being enforced. Can you imagine - it'd be all over the local news, jobsworthy petty officials taxing motorists for non-offences. That said - if you cycle through a clearly marked no-cycling pedestrianised space, no sympathy.

Me neither. Should be maybe, not the use while parked so much but my local Sainsbury's carpark is a place one has to ride very carefully as loads of people using their phones while driving, presumably making calls of the "I'm here, what do you want/on my way home now" variety, I think most people believe the law stops at the entrance to the carpark and they're OK as long as they put the phone down before rejoining the highway.

Pages

Latest Comments