Labour councillors at Lincolnshire County Council are calling for increased enforcement of laws banning cyclists from riding on the pavement in Lincoln.
They say that cycling on city centre footpaths is dangerous and is becoming a more frequent issue in areas such as Yarborough Road, Steep Hill and the High Street.
Police Chief Inspector for Lincoln Stuart Brinn has argued however that enforcement isn’t always the answer, stating the onus must lie also with the cyclist to ride responsibly.
Carholme ward county councillor Rob Parker said he welcomed fine warnings issued by police recently in Skegness. He said in a statement: “In Lincoln, and other places where there is a problem, the same approach should be taken as in Skegness.
“For too long local community and business groups in Lincoln have been reporting that cycling on the pavements is not only dangerous but increasing.
“It’s particularly dangerous on hills like Yarborough Road, Steep Hill, The Strait and High Street where cyclists can be seen travelling on the footpaths at a pretty fair speed. It puts at risk people who are most vulnerable and who can’t easily get out of the way.”
He wrote to Chief Inspector Stuart Brinn asking him to chance the approach to cyclists by actively ticketing those who ride on the pavement.
The chief inspector said in his reply that officers were aware of issue and their powers to issue tickets. He invited local panel members to raise the issue as a local priority.
He told The Lincolnite: “As in all things, there has to be an element of common sense applied to enforcement activities by police and Neighbourhood Policing Teams.
“When the fixed penalty notice for cycling on a footpath was introduced, the Home Office specifically stated that this should not be used to penalise cyclists where they feel threatened by busy traffic in an area.
“I am sure that we would all be appalled at the thought of a child or elderly person being prosecuted for riding in a safe manner on the footpath along a busy main road at peak rush hour.
“I do not believe that enforcement per se is the answer, responsible cycling is. There is no need to cycle in the pedestrian precinct for example.
“There is no excuse for someone pedalling hell for leather along a busy pavement.
“While we will enforce where there is a risk to public safety, I believe that advice is often just as effective.
“In the same way as cyclists should be aware of the dangers they pose to pedestrians, motorists should also be aware of the risk that their driving poses to cyclists and take care.
“Lincoln as a city encourages cyclists with an abundance of designated cycle lanes but they do not cover the entire city and I believe officers must use discretion to balance the safety of all users of our roads.”
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