Get off your bikes, cyclists are warned
5:30am Saturday 1st March 2014 in By Scott D'Arcy
A BID to stop nuisance cyclists pedalling on the pavement in the town centre was among the focuses of a police community day of action yesterday.
Officers from the town centre neighbourhood policing team were out on patrol with members of Swindon Council’s anti-social behaviour team in an attempt to stop the offending cyclists.
And they put up some new signs throughout the area to remind them of the law.
It is not the first time police have tried to crack down on the practice, which breaches the Highway Code as they did the same in 2010 but it is still a persistent issue, according to beat manager PC Paul Bezzant.
He said: “We’ve had a problem with this for some time and it is something we continuously get complaints about. Pretty much every day when we are on patrol someone will mention it.”
While no one was booked while the officers were out on foot PC Bezzant said the fine has now increased from £30 to £50 and that the grace period of educating offenders has come to and end.
He said: “We still get plenty of cyclists who say they are not aware of the law around cycling on the pavement and in other areas they claim they do not feel safe on the road. “But that is not the case in the town centre as it is pedestrianised and has been for many years.
“I understand people use it for a short cut but it can be dangerous and if someone was to crash into someone on a bicycle it could seriously harm a person, and could even be considered as an assault.
“Certainly parents with young children and elderly people find it very intimidating and I think that is why the council’s ASB team have had reports as well.
“We have the education side of things and it is now getting to the point that, with these signs that remind them of the rules, there will be enforcement.”
Richard Palusinski, of the Community Safety Partnership, said a recent patrol highlighted that there was a lack of signage around the town reminding cyclists of the regulations.
He said: “This is a long-standing concern for residents and people in the town centre and we have been working closely with the police to see how the message can be reinforced.”
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