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Council officers accused of targeting "old and slow" cyclists after pensioner fined for riding through town

82-year-old Barrie Enderby was quoted telling North East Lincolnshire Council to stick the £100 fine for ignoring a Grimsby town centre cycling ban "up your a*se"...

There has been a backlash from locals after a Grimsby pensioner was fined £100 for cycling through the town centre, with some accusing the council officers of targeting "old and slow" riders while ignoring youths "racing up and down".

Barrie Enderby, 82, told North East Lincolnshire Council he would "rather go to prison than give them £100" and they can "stick it up your a*se" after he was fined for breaching a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO).

> "Stick it up your a*se": 82-year-old tells council officer after being fined £100 for cycling in town centre

Now, GrimsbyLive reports numerous complaints from unhappy locals who say the council officers are not imposing the cycling ban in pedestrianised zones fairly and rather than cracking down on anti-social behaviour they are seemingly "targeting" people "they can get away with doing so".

In 2019, Grimsby became one of a number of towns to impose a cycling ban in pedestrianised zones, using a PSPO which the council claims was introduced to deal with nuisance, anti-social and dangerous behaviour in the town centre and along Cleethorpes seafront.

It was extended in July and will now last until 2025, with over 1,000 fixed penalty notices issued since 2019, the bulk of which have been for cycling on Victoria Street South and walking dogs along the main beach.

> Bedford cyclists protest "discriminatory" town centre bike ban

In social media posts shared by the local news outlet one person says they witnessed the incident which saw Mr Enderby fined and said there had been "other young lads riding past" who officers "didn't bother to stop".

Another claimed she had been "targeted", while someone else reported seeing "three youths doing wheelies and racing up and down" while a council officer "just stood [by]".

In one reply a local woman said: "Catching all the wrong ones... I sat and watched them all last week, only targeting the old and slow cyclists that aren't in anyone's way."

Perhaps unfortunately there did not seem to be any question of whether the PSPO was an appropriate policy in the first place.

Active travel charity Cycling UK has long been a prominent critic of PSPOs, which it says have the effect of criminalising cycling, head of campaigns Duncan Dollimore saying the orders only discourage people from riding bikes into town.

North East Lincolnshire Council stressed they want Grimsby town centre to be a "safe environment people can enjoy" and warned they will "take action against those who seem intent on causing a nuisance".

A spokesperson said: "We want the town centre to be a clean and safe environment that people can enjoy. Environmental enforcement officers provide a reassuring presence when on patrol in the town centre.

"They can warn under 18s about cycling and the risks it poses to pedestrians, but they can’t issue fines to minors, only to adults. We work closely with colleagues from other agencies to crackdown on anti-social behaviour in the town centre. By working together, we can coordinate resources and take action against those who seem intent on causing a nuisance."

"Stick it up your a*se"

Pensioner Mr Enderby went famous on this website and others over the weekend after his interview telling the council to stick their fine where the sun don't shine was widely shared online.

He recalled "biking through town last Thursday, October 6, locked my bike up and went into a bank on Victoria Street. As I came out, one of the council officers stopped me and said I'd be fined £100 for riding it in the street.

"I've been riding my bike around here for 40 years and have never once been fined. When he gave it to me I told him, 'stick it up your arse'. I'm more annoyed about it because my biking is what keeps me going.

> Bedford cycling ban to remain despite consultation showing most people want it scrapped

"When he told me it would be £100 I was quite frustrated, 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.

"I asked where the sign was to say you couldn't bike here and he pointed at the concrete. I couldn't believe it, you wouldn't be looking there for the rules would you? That annoyed me even more.

“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. I won't be paying it, I'd rather go to prison than give them £100. I've not got £100 spare to give them, that's for sure."

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.

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17 comments

Avatar
Fursty Ferret | 1 year ago
3 likes

Why would anyone give these council officials their personal details? They can't detain you so just ride off. 

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to Fursty Ferret | 1 year ago
3 likes
Fursty Ferret wrote:

Why would anyone give these council officials their personal details? They can't detain you so just ride off. 

If they have a warrant card (some do, some don't) it is illegal to refuse to give them your details if they are issuing you with a ticket and they can call in the police if you ride away without doing so; I guess it would depend on how far are you are prepared to push your luck and how close the nearest police unit was.

Avatar
Carior | 1 year ago
6 likes

The quote from the Counciller is revealing, because it conveys the inherent bias that this policy is based on - that cyclists are causing a nuisance.  He is entirely silent as to the idea that cycling responsibly could easily be tolerated and would be a far more proportionate response - in his mind cycling = nuisance.

Avatar
Boopop | 1 year ago
8 likes

Grimsby is within the fourth most obese area in England. I guess they're more concerned about near misses with bike riders than they are heart disease and diabetes.

https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/news/grimsby-news/shock-figures-revea...

Avatar
eburtthebike | 1 year ago
14 likes

If a law does not affect the anti-social behaviour it is intended to prevent, only catching people who pose little to no threat to the public, then it clearly has nothing to do with being anti-social and everything to do with raising money.

If CUK would like to crowdfund a challenge, they can count on me for a few quid.

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hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
9 likes

Sounds like they're putting the 'grim' into Grimsby.

Maybe they'll move onto Scunthorpe next.

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NOtotheEU replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
2 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

Sounds like they're putting the 'grim' into Grimsby.

Maybe they'll move onto Scunthorpe next.

I don't understand . . . . . 🤔. . . . . 🤣

Avatar
RoubaixCube replied to NOtotheEU | 1 year ago
0 likes

Scumthorpe

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Carior replied to RoubaixCube | 1 year ago
0 likes

.... serious ... or sarcastic ignorance?

If the former, one might start a letter later!

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David9694 replied to Carior | 1 year ago
1 like

I hear the 82 yo cyclists in Penistone ride pretty furiously 

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brooksby | 1 year ago
4 likes

Maybe the council enforcers can't catch the young and fast cyclists, the ones being actually antisocial...? Low hanging fruit and all that.

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IanMSpencer replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
14 likes

It is an amazing admission - that the system they have introduced cannot be used against the main offenders. That sort of admission is cannon fodder for a legal action against the council for acting unreasonably.

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wtjs replied to IanMSpencer | 1 year ago
2 likes

That sort of admission is cannon fodder for a legal action against the council for acting unreasonably

I doubt that would work, otherwise you'd be able to nail police forces like Lancashire day in, day out. I have seen this one about before. It would take a lot to convince me that no police have seen it

Avatar
Awavey replied to IanMSpencer | 1 year ago
1 like

Theyd probably argue the publicity alone on this one acts as the deterrent to others so they dont need to be catching everyone, simply show action is taken.

Youd think after 3 years local people would be clued into it by now.

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chrisonabike replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
5 likes

I think it's a general rule that most authorities (Police, councils, teachers, parents...) prefer to do their enforcing with those who mostly follow the rules or are usually compliant.  The few who don't care about anything and/or feel they've nothing to lose are often a bit more of a handful.

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Tom_77 replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
2 likes
brooksby wrote:

Maybe the council enforcers can't catch the young and fast cyclists, the ones being actually antisocial...? Low hanging fruit and all that.

The council has responsibilities under the Children Act 2004, which makes issuing FPNs to under-18s less straightforward. So possibly there's an incentive to turn a blind eye to the youngsters.
 

Avatar
qwerty360 replied to Tom_77 | 1 year ago
3 likes

My understanding is the usual issue with these is:

1. PSPO's fines can be issued by people who are not police

2. Only police can require and enforce a vehicle (including bicycles) stops.

3. The police lack manpower to use against something with minimal negative outcomes

4. Therefore PSPO's against cycling are usually 'enforced' by council staff/contractors who cannot require or force you to stop, only ask

5. Hence only mostly law abiding, safe riders (who stop when asked) can be issued tickets.

 

The correct solution is probably remove part 1. Require PSPO's be enforced by police constables (thereby requiring they agree to the order as being an actual issue worth effort, rather than letting the council set a load and contract out enforcement to a company who gets all ticket revenue.)

 

Unlike speeding fines from cameras the people setting the rules, advertising the rules and collecting the money are directly the same, so unlike for speed cameras they can actually be for revenue generation rather than safety

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