Canterbury bike police fine cyclists £30 for pavement riding
THE BIKE police have put a spoke in the wheels of cyclists who pedal on the paths.
Cops are cracking down on persistent offenders caught riding their bikes on the pavement in Barton Ward, Canterbury, and slapping them with £30 fines.
The operation follows complaints from residents at the last Partnership and Community Together (Pact) meeting.
On Thursday six people were given £30 fines but none of the residents we spoke to thought it was a real problem where they lived.
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Many said the few who were caught on the pavements were too scared to use the road and the hotspots for the real trouble are in the town centre.
Barton Ward Residents' Association member Philip Robinson, 69, of Barton Road, said: "There is a feeling something ought to be done about cyclists on pavements but my own belief is cyclists use pavements because the roads are so dangerous and there are so many potholes.
"Some elderly people get scared when they see a cyclist hurtling towards them on the pavement but the instances are very few."
Keen cyclist Eileen Churchward, 60, of Barton Road, heads out with her hubby and 19-year-old grandchild for a ride quite often.
She said: "It's not so much a problem where we live, more Spring Lane and St Martin's hill.
"I can understand cyclists are wary of using the road. It's more dangerous when people ride in pairs but I find most car drivers are careful.
"There aren't signs telling people not to use the pavements but pedestrians should take priority.
"We usually take the cycle route through the farm which is a beautiful journey."
Edward Daniels, 64, of Pilgrims Way said: "There is definitely an issue with it here. It seems to be kids mainly and it could be dangerous if there was an elderly person walking on the pavement. Fining people seems a bit on the heavy-handed side though, you could just have a word with them first."
Residents' Association member Colin Graham of Barton Road, said: "The problem was brought up at an association meeting by our chairman John Walker.
"The general feeling is that it is not a huge problem round here. Residents are more concerned with the problem in the town centre. Cyclists whiz down the pedestrianised high street dodging in and out between people. It's a real concern for the elderly.
"One day someone will be knocked down and seriously injured."
Jessica Varley, 45, of Spring Lane, said: "If the roads weren't so dangerous I don't think people would ride on the pavements as much. If I had young kids I wouldn't want them riding in the road - they might be a hit by a bus."
PC Angela Burgess, who has been issuing tickets to those who do not heed the warnings, said: "To some it may seem like a trivial matter, but it does pose a danger to pedestrians and we have a commitment to tackle the issues that the local community raise as being important to them.
"I would like to urge cyclists to ride within the law, using only the road or a cycle path and show consideration for pedestrians in the area.
"This action will be repeated and I am confident we can curb this anti-social act in the Barton ward."
The next PACT meeting takes place at Pilgrims Way School at 7pm on Thursday, May 14. For more details call 01622 690690.
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