POLICE have launched a clampdown on cycling on pavements.
Cyclists who break the law by riding along pavements and footpaths that are not designated cycleways are being targeted.
Officers on the beat covering Leigh Park and Bedhampton have made it a priority in response to demands by residents at the local Police And Communities Together (PACT) meeting.
Yesterday 11 officers were out on patrols on footpaths around Bedhampton and the junction of Hulbert Road and Bedhampton Road.
Fourteen people who were riding on the pavements were stopped and given advice.
Police say they may issue on-the-spot £50 fines, particularly to repeat offenders, but the focus at the moment is on educating cyclists to get back on the road.
Officers are also targeting cyclists who ride without lights at night or early in the morning – an offence that can also result in a fine.
PCSO Chris Dove, based at Havant police station, said: ‘It comes up time and time again that people are cycling on the footpath.
‘It upsets pedestrians and it’s unsafe.
‘It’s also illegal, so that’s why we are doing the operation. We have had 11 officers and so far we have made 14 people get off their bikes and go out on to the road where they should be.’
He said operations will take place in other parts of the borough.
He added: ‘We have a school at the end of the footpath and there are really small children.
‘We find that people are coming down on racing bikes, doing quite some speed, and parents are asking them to get off the bikes because it’s dangerous. Sometimes the cyclists are giving abuse to the parents who are asking them to get off the bikes.’
PCSO Dove said officers had to use their discretion.
He added: ‘Tickets are the next step up. If we feel someone is not going to take notice of the advice, we can issue a ticket.’
John Prime, chairman of Bedhampton PACT, whose other priorities for the police are anti-social behaviour and increased police presence, said: ‘It’s what the residents asked for and hopefully the process is to educate.
‘It’s certainly not for hounding young children.
‘It’s people who should know better and be more considerate to their fellow users on the pavement.’