Meeting to thrash out worries over police cycling crackdown
Cyclists’ representatives have met police to discuss fears over a crackdown on pavement riding.
The issue has mushroomed into a major talking point in Bath, generating scores of comments on the Chronicle’s website whenever it is raised.
Last month, police handed out three £30 fines and 14 verbal warnings to people found cycling on pavements and in pedestrian areas in the city.
There has been national publicity over the tough line which appeared to be being taken by police, who said the issue had been identified as a priority at the partners and community together meetings which aim to air community worries in the city.
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Now Malcolm Dodds from the Bath Cycling Campaign and B&NES Council cycling champion Councillor Roger Symonds have met Inspector Steve Mildren, who heads neighbourhood policing in Bath.
Mr Symonds said they had had serious concerns that publicity over the matter would be damaging to the city’s efforts to become a cycle-friendly place.
But he said: “We have been reassured by Insp Mildren’s positive attitude towards sensible cycling.”
The campaigners agreed that cyclists who rode recklessly or dangerously on pavements should be caught by police but were assured by Insp Mildren that those not causing a hazard would simply be engaged in conversation by his officers.
Insp Mildren told the campaigners - who were accompanied by B&NES councillor Nigel Roberts - that there was no zero tolerance approach on the issue and that no action would be taken over children riding responsibly on pavements.
He also said that unlawful cycling would not be given a higher priority than other issues of anti-social behaviour in the city, such as cars ignoring advance stop lines for cyclists and cars parking in cycle lanes.
Mr Symonds, who had previously suggested that police actions were “demonising” cyclists, has promised to keep Insp Mildren updated about council plans to develop more cycling routes in the city.
Insp Mildren said: “We will continue to take appropriate action against anyone who puts other highway users in danger. I would encourage all cyclists to take care, be aware of others in their vicinity, and ride in a manner that they are in complete control of their cycle at all times.”