Police urge cyclists to ‘be more polite’ as crackdown starts

Cycling is banned on Southsea's promenade
Cycling is banned on Southsea's promenade
Vicky Beckett back in her car after it had been professionally cleaned     

Picture: Habibur Rahman

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CYCLISTS could be fined in a summer crackdown – if they fail to be polite.

Police and Portsmouth City Council are joining forces to conduct unannounced zero tolerance operations in problem areas for cycling on pavements.

The council says the clampdown is part of a campaign to highlight the rules of ‘polite cycling’ and ensure people ride their bikes safely.

Already, 66 cyclists have been stopped for cycling on the pavement.

Twenty-five were given £30 fixed penalties and 41 were given a reprimand.

A letter was sent to the parents of those offenders who were under 16.

Councillor Jason Fazackarley, the council’s cabinet member for traffic and transport, said: ‘It’s great that people are being green and healthy and cycling.

‘But we need to make sure they’re riding safely, in the interests of other people and themselves.

‘Cycling on the pavement or in pedestrian areas is one of the most common concerns residents report to us.

‘The council and the police are committed to tackling this problem.

‘Many cyclists say they ride on the pavement because they feel unsafe on the road.

‘Our advice is to get off your bike and walk on the pavement until you feel it is safe to get on the road.

‘But please also tell us why you felt unsafe, and we will look at improving that area for cyclists.’

‘We have plans to improve some important cycling links in the city, using new government money for sustainable travel.’

The council has put up two more ‘no cycling’ signs at Palmerston Road precinct, adding to two already there.

The campaign also includes postcards and leaflets for cyclists, designed to get simple safety messages across.

They tell cyclists to stay off pavements, give pedestrians priority on shared paths, use a bell, stop at crossings and red lights and to use lights at night to be seen.

Cyclists are reminded to claim their proper space on the road, never ride against the traffic flow and keep clear of parked cars.

As well as handing out the material, council officers are going into schools to teach children how to be polite and safe cyclists.

For leaflets and to report a cycle safety problem or an area where pavement cycling is a problem call 023 9283 4092 or email roadsafety@portsmouthcc.gov.uk