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Cyclist fined for 'avoiding phone box' on shared use crowd funds his appeal

Kristian Gregory to get his day in court over £50 Fixed Penaly Notice for straying into pedestrian zone

A cyclist who was fined £50 for straying into the pedestrian side of a shared use path has launched an appeal against the fine and raised nearly £1,500 to fight it.

In July we reported how Kristian Gregory, of the Croydon Cycling Campaign, was riding along the New Kent Road when he was stopped by the officer who asked him why he was not riding on the cycle path. 

Responding that the path was shared use, Kristian is then told that he is in fact on the footpath.

As seen on helmet camera footage Kristian points out that the ‘cycle path’ is blocked at one point by a telephone box which he is forced to move into the footpath to avoid, but the officer is unswayed by his protests that he is making the best of a very bad situation and a Fixed Penalty Notice is issued. It would also seem to be impossible for cyclists to reach the crossing seen at the end of the footage without also crossing the footpath.


Kristian, who has now recieved a court summons for failing to pay the fine, is to be represented by the Cyclists Defence Fund (CDF), who are attempting to raise funding to help with the case via JustGiving.

The CDF said: “In the past few weeks, the Cyclists' Defence Fund has been approached by several cyclists fined by the Metropolitan Police for using the pavement even though they did so for safety reasons and in a considerate way without endangering other road users. 

“Among them is Kristian Gregory, who posted helmet-cam footage of himself, receiving a £50 fine after he strayed out of a poorly designed pavement cycle track just before turning to cross the adjoining New Kent Road at a signed cycle crossing point.

“Kristian believes prosecuting him and others at this location is not in the public interest.

“He feels it has nothing to do with the Met Police’s original aim of Operation Safeway, namely to improve cyclists’ safety in the aftermath of a spate of 6 cyclists’ deaths last November.

“It also contradicts the views of ministers that police and PCSOs should use their discretion when issuing fines to cyclists who are using pavements considerately and for their own safety.
“Following Kristian’s complaints (which were supported by the local Council), the police have agreed to scale back enforcement at this location.  Now though, Kristian wants not only to get his own fine rescinded, but also those handed to other cyclists in similar circumstances.
“CDF fully supports the proper administration of the law, however, issuing fixed penalty notices (FPNs) for such minor alleged offences seems disproportionate and discriminatory, while failing to deal with the root causes of the dangers cyclists face: dangerous drivers and dangerous vehicles.”
Kristian said: "When the FPN for cycling on the pavement was introduced, the minister responsible at the time, Paul Boateng stated:

 '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.

"I agree that the police should be using discretion in enforcing this law and would support Paul Boeteng's original guidance."

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Redvee | 9 years ago

A last minute and sensible decision not to prosecute Kristian has been made.

John Pitcock | 9 years ago

The cycle path is ridiculously narrow next to a brick wall.
There are no cycle path markings past the phone box, nor one to say end of cycle path.
There Is no sign anywhere denoting a shared path.
He went off the cycle path to overtake - not to avoid the phone box.
He should get his facts correct.
He was cycling responsibly so should not have been fined - as per ACPO guidelines “The introduction of the fixed penalty is not aimed at responsible cyclists ... who show consideration to other pavement users."
Other cyclists went straight past the no cycling sign, and also over the pedestrian crossing.
I can't see where cycles are supposed to go on reaching this sign.
The crossing appears to be a Pelican, not a Toucan crossing.
They weren't proper police officers (PCSOs?) - what would have happened if he had not given his details and just cycled away? (But see )

zagatosam | 9 years ago

So pedestrians have to cross the cycle lane to get to the 'phone box? Someone call the cops  102

andsaw | 9 years ago

So are the police going to fine pedestrians that stray into the cycling lane? don't you just love hobby coppers that arnt good enough to to be real plodders.

Dylanina | 9 years ago

I agree it is a badly placed phone box, and coming out to avoid that is inevitable. But it seems to me he was fined for overtaking another cyclist by using the pavement. I believe the police have been told to use discretion in this area - if you are on the pavement but going walking pace as i do when i go on the pavement then you are likely to be ok (I know he wouldnt then have been able to take over the other cyclist of course!).
I also think that he might have just got a warning if he had played it better. Ironically, whilst being booked, the official pulled him back into the bike lane, blocking it, and causing yet another cyclist to have to swerve around them and go onto the pavement...but nobody stopped him. Maybe it was his slow speed that allowed him the free pass, like I say.
A touģh one though. Crap lane and I do sympathise and hope he gets off. Just seems that as cyclists we are expected to be whiter than white when compared to motorists.

CygnusX1 replied to Dylanina | 9 years ago
Dylanina wrote:

I agree it is a badly placed phone box, and coming out to avoid that is inevitable.

It looked like a very sensibly located phone box, tucked away against a wall out of the area where pedestrians are unlikely to walk. It's the narrow, poorly designed cycle path that came after that is badly placed.

urbane | 9 years ago

He was right to be upset, but sadly rather naive as to the lack of common sense or commercial greed of many people.

Fixed Penalty Notices maybe legal  31 , but are not common law, so are effectively null and void if you are careful not to accept a commercial contract which can be used against you... assuming the contract was valid...

If the land is public land and you do not accept contract, then where the lines are is mere guidance and not compulsory, provided you had not hurt a living human being or their property through negligence.

Sighting a cycle path with a existing phone box blocking most of it  35  29 is blatant negligence by the people who planned the cycle path, so sue them...

Sue the owner of the telephone box for leaving a hazardous obstruction on a cycle path.

Sue the Peace Officers for obstruction and harassment  29 for avoiding injury or property damage caused by the phone box obstruction. If you are ordered to do something, specify a very steep price for fulfilling the order; after-all nothing is free!


wycombewheeler | 9 years ago

some points

1) he goes round the phone box then re-enters the lane, then moves out to pass another cyclist. so it is not the phone box that pushed him out. Although it is appalling design, I particularly like the way the phone box is in a shady spot, so you don't see it until late.

2) he seems not to understand the signs, the cyclepath sign clearly shows bikes on the left and pedestrians on the right not shared use, also he points at a no cycling sign as evidence of shared use. Really? a bike in a red circle means shared use?

3) why not use the bus lane like the 3 other cyclists who pass him early on?

4) he talks himself into a ticket here. Once he has claimed it is shared path and the police tell him "no, cyclists only over there" he could apologise for his error, promise not to do it again and (most likely) get on with his day, but he decides he would rather argue with someone in a position of authority who is clearly in a mood to be petty. why?

Shouldbeinbed replied to wycombewheeler | 9 years ago

Not even sure the PCSO(?) was in the mood to be petty, he came across polite and civil all the way through. The almost immediate playing of 'well I'm going to complain to *my friend* the councillor' whilst on camera is never going to be a good tactic, its up there with some celebrity saying do you know who I am.
It is immediately going to put officialdom in a difficult position of no longer able being able to show discretion for fear of being seen to be bullied into submission by the threat. There was nothing in their demeanour or words before that comment that you could say was guaranteeing anything more than a word to the wise, afterwards it seemed a foregone conclusion. Maybe it was anyway, I don't know the area to know how they operate there for FPNs vs a word to the wise.

Yes it is a stupid cycle lane, yes it seems from what we can see in the clip to be a petty minded act by the authorities to put staff out to enforce there, but you have to wonder is there some conflict not disclosed in the video between bikes and peds to at least partly merit it, given it seems very hard to stick to the designated bit and the lady he passed overtaking the phone box was quite close to the ped/bike line - have there been near misses or worse or complaints to prompt the attention?

I'll mention the elephant in the room too: Was it a helmet cammer trying to score points & play to the cycle warrior crowd but it backfired on him?

Regardless of that though, I hope he wins his case purely on cycling grounds, because I dont think he could do much different nor did much wrong until he opened his mouth.

banzicyclist2 | 9 years ago

That's a cycle path......JESUS H CHRIST whuch fuck wit moron came up with that. 3 foot wide against a brick wall. Words fail to describe the utter contempt feel for the twats that thinks that path is in anyway reasonable.  14  14  14

FluffyKittenofT... | 9 years ago

That is a bad joke of a cycle path. Are there no legal rules for what constitutes a meaningful cycle path? Random bits of white lines that don't join up surely don't qualify?

Agree with LauraQ, if they aren't prepared to make any sort of effort to make a proper path, then they need to just make the whole stretch shared use.

mrmo replied to FluffyKittenofTindalos | 9 years ago
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

That is a bad joke of a cycle path. Are there no legal rules for what constitutes a meaningful cycle path? Random bits of white lines that don't join up surely don't qualify?

The dft do publish guidance, and i wonder if it could be used against councils who basically take the piss with there paths

Ric_Stern_RST | 9 years ago

Stupidity at it's best. It would be better if they spent their time fining idiotic drivers trying to kill us.

LauraQ | 9 years ago

I use that exact stretch almost daily - the cycle path is narrow, up against a brick wall, and usually covered in piles of leaves hiding puncture-causing surprises (as I discovered to my cost). The rest of the pavement is wide and open, and it is easy to cycle considerately without causing problems for pedestrians. This stretch should be a fully shared pavement if the powers that be don't understand the use of discretion.

sceats | 9 years ago

I got a FPN at exactly the same spot, took it to court, argued my case in front of the magistrates, got off and was told it should never have got this far. Police and CPS in utter misuse of public money shocker...

matheson | 9 years ago

F*ckwittery at it's finest.

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