Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Peterborough cycling crackdown is not anti-cyclist, says council leader

But 40 people a week are still getting fined for cycling where they shouldn't...

The leader of Peterborough Council has defended a decision to fine unauthorised cyclists in the city centre, saying the number of fines handed out has halved.

John Holdich said “you often need to give things time before calling it a success or failure”.

Writing in Peterborough Today, he went on: “In May we began fining people for unauthorised cycling as part of a new city centre Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) which aims to tackle a range of anti-social behaviour. At the time there were some who doubted whether our approach would lead to a reduction in cycling along the busy shopping street.

“But, less than three months on, feelings have changed and people are noticing an increase in the number of people dismounting and walking the short distance with their bike - including the Peterborough Telegraph.

“The figures back it up too - in the first two weeks we fined 195 people, but in the past two weeks it’s less than half, 84.

“It’s been a difficult issue for us, as we know that although many people support our view that allowing cyclists to use Bridge Street during the day can pose a danger to pedestrians, there are those that think this targeted measure means we don’t support cycling in the city.

“This couldn’t be further from the truth. In the past four years we have spent over £1.5million on improvements to the city’s primary cycle networks.”

Last year we reported how council officers at Peterborough City Council were forced to back down on threats to hand out fixed penalty notices to cyclists in Bridge Street, after discovering only police officers can enforce the law.

Council leader Councillor John Holdich had said that all council staff would have the power to give out the fines to cyclists in the pedestrian area, but as it is in fact a road traffic offence, they did not have the power to do so.

The council was delayed while it arranged to have the rules changed.

Duncan Dollimore of Cycling UK equated the PSPOs to geographically definied ASBOs and expressed his incredulity that these orders were being used to "restrict the use of public space and criminalise behaviour not normally regarded as illegal... [like] the pernicious pastime which undermines the very fabric of our society: cycling."

Add new comment

14 comments

Avatar
brooksby | 6 years ago
0 likes

According to the BBC -  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-40851035 - the PSPO also covers urination and defecation in public, littering, and public drunken-ness.  Rather shows where Peterborough City Council feels cycling should be filed...

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds | 6 years ago
0 likes

this is clearly unlawful by the council and all those fined should receive a refund and apology

Section 59 is not satified with respect to the granting of a TRO/PSPO.

they haven't detailed how many people are being injured/what the negative effects are of people cycling down this stretch of road. That the (negative) impact of doing so I would think is minimal/non existant would be grounds to negate implementing the order in the first instance. I can't see any obvious reasoning to allow it with respect to other alternates, thus failing to adhere to section 59 again. Did they follow protocol to come to approve the order, if so request the documents to prove this and the reasoning vis-a vis Section 59 and section 64 (paragraph 4/5/6) which states they cannot restrict the access of a public highway to businesses/premises/dwellings, businesses during normal opening hours.

A Legal Background Section 59 (1) of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (“the Act”) empowers local authorities to make a public spaces protection order if they are satisfied on reasonable grounds that the following two conditions are met: a. The first condition is that: a. The activities carried on in a public place within the authority’s area have had a detrimental effect on the quality of life those in the locality , or b. It is likely that activities will be carried on in a public place within that area and that they will have such an effect. b. The second condition is that the effect, or likely effect, of the activities: a. Is, or is likely to be, of a persistent or continuing nature, b. Is, or is likely to be, such as to make the activities unreasonable, and c. Justifies the restrictions imposed by the notice of proposals. Section 59 (5) of the Act provides that a PSPO can only impose reasonable prohibitions or requirements in order to prevent the detrimental effect caused by the anti-social activities from continuing, occurring or recurring.Those businesses can only be acced during normal hours that street is the only access to a business during normal hours then the council cannot enforce a TRO.

Public Spaces Protection Orders, Section 64, “Restrictions on public rights of
way” and states that orders:
(1)
A local authority may not make a public spaces protection order
that restricts the public right of way over a highway without
considering

(a)
the likely effect of making the order on the occupiers of
premises adjoining or adjacent to the highway;
(b)
the likely effect of making the order on the other persons in the
locality;
(c)
in a case where the highway constitutes a through route, the
availability
of a reasonably convenient alternative route.
(2)
Before making such an order a local authority must
(a)notify potentially affected persons of the proposed order,
(b)inform those persons how they can see a copy of the proposed order,
(c) notify those persons of the period within which they may make representations about the proposed order, and

(d) consider any representations made. In this subsection “potentially affected persons” means occupiers adjacent to or adjourning the highway, and any other persons in
the locality who are likely to be affected by the proposed order.

(3)Before a local authority makes a public spaces protection order restricting the public right of way over a highway that is also within the area of another local authority, it must consult that
other authority if it thinks it appropriate to do so.
(4) A public spaces protection order may not restrict the public right of way over a highway for the occupiers of premises adjoining or adjacent to the highway.
(5) A public spaces protection order may not restrict the public right of way over a highway that is the only or principal means of access to a dwelling.
(6)
In relation to a highway that is the only or principal means of access to premises used for business or recreational purposes, a public spaces protection order may not restrict the public right of way over the highway during periods when the premises arenormally used for those purposes.
(7) A public spaces protection order that restricts the public right of way over a highway may authorise the installation, operation and maintenance of a barrier or barriers for enforcing the restriction. (8)
A local authority may install, operate and maintain barriers authorised under subsection (7).
(9)
A highway over which the public right of way is restricted by apublic spaces protection order does not cease to be regarded as a highway by reason of the restriction (or by reason of any barrier authorised under subsection (7)

 

Avatar
WillRod | 6 years ago
1 like

Peterborough is bad enough to drive through, so I can't imagine what it is like for cyclists.

The idea of banning cyclists in towns is hilarious when you compare it to European countries. I don't recall ever seeing any altercation between cyclists and pedestrians when abroad, but it's suddenly a massive problem in the UK?

For a town so close to Cambridge, it's amazing how different the two can be!

Avatar
BDP | 6 years ago
1 like

Wonder when we will see a more sensible and joined-up approach - just need to look over the Channel to the Netherlands and copy their example.

In the meantime it would be useful to see as rigorous an approach to fining pedestrians walking in cycle lanes ......

Avatar
alansmurphy replied to BDP | 6 years ago
1 like
BDP wrote:

Wonder when we will see a more sensible and joined-up approach - just need to look over the Channel to the Netherlands and copy their example.

In the meantime it would be useful to see as rigorous an approach to fining pedestrians walking in cycle lanes ......

Genius, would love to see this happen, and cats in cycle lanes and on footpaths... Then they are not 'anti-cyclist'...

Avatar
ConcordeCX replied to BDP | 6 years ago
1 like
BDP wrote:

Wonder when we will see a more sensible and joined-up approach - just need to look over the Channel to the Netherlands and copy their example.

In the meantime it would be useful to see as rigorous an approach to fining pedestrians walking in cycle lanes ......

that would be an extremely bad idea, restricting rights of way. Apart from generally being very bad indeed, one thing that would immediately follow would be calls to fine cyclists for riding on roads. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Shared paths are like training wheels for people who aren't confident on their own. If you don't like using them, use the road.

Avatar
handlebarcam | 6 years ago
2 likes

Taxing petrol at a rate that reflects some of the true cost of motoring = "War on the motorist"

Fining cyclists for using the only route into the town centre from the south that has a safe crossing of a dangerous urban dual carriageway = "Not anti-cyclist"

Avatar
mike1949 | 6 years ago
2 likes

Would the Council tell us how many tickets and fines they have issued to motorists and drivers parking/blocking on footpaths and dual paths in the Council area ?  What would the reaction be to an elderly lady ambling along on her bicycle as she had done for many years to do her shopping ?  Would she too be fined ?

Avatar
BlodadTand | 6 years ago
0 likes

Not sure where that supposed £1.5 million has gone. The city centre is awful for cycling and they took out most of the bike racks.

When they take down Rhubarb bridge  it'll be a loss of an easy and safe route under the A47 and the most direct way to get north to south in the city on bike

Avatar
Jitensha Oni | 6 years ago
3 likes

According to Openstreetmap's cycle layer, Bridge Street is part of NCN route 12. no

Anyway If they want to show they are fair, the council needs to ban cars from the streets that carry the most cycle traffic. For their part, Peterborough riders need to demand public space protection orders to that end.

Avatar
Scrapples | 6 years ago
7 likes

There were a fair few of us cycling that bit of pedestrianised area the morning of the TOC, bearing in mind it was pre 10 on a Sunday they still had 2 enforcement officers out. Luckily let us off with nothing more than a quick word. Made sure I walked it on the way back!
On the Saturday (I pushed my bike) they had the local car dealership with a static display, 3 or 4 cars, smack in the middle. Makes you wonder what their priorities are.
There's plenty of room for a segregated section

Avatar
don simon fbpe | 6 years ago
3 likes

Nearly 100 per week using a route with peds all over the place. How many more would use the route if there was a proper cycle segregated cycle path.

It might not be deemed successful immediately, but someone once said that "you often need to give things time before calling it a success or failure" and I'm sure that people's feeling will change over time.

Now that'd be a pro cycling council Mr Holdich.

We get cyclist in what is essentially a pedestrianised area, occasionally someone will be in a rush to deliver someone else's lunch, I would have thought an instruction of slow down from plod rather than fining would be much more productive, especially as the vast majority mix well with pedestrians and are zero danger.

Avatar
burtthebike | 6 years ago
6 likes

So 198 cyclists in two weeks use that road, apparently without injury to anyone, but it's worth spending thousands of pounds to stop them?  I haven't seen Peterboro's transport policies, but I bet it's like all the other LA ones I've seen, with the emphasis on improving things for pedestrians and cyclists.  Seems such a shame that all those LAs go to the trouble and expense of publishing them when no-one on their own staff or the councillors bother to actually read them.

Avatar
brooksby | 6 years ago
2 likes

How long is Bridge Street? How long or how safe are any alternative routes? I would have thought that if people were cycling along a route where they shouldn't then there's a reason for that...

Latest Comments