Plea to new police commissioner to tackle problem cyclists
NEW Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens has been challenged by a Bristol City councillor to crack down on dangerous cycling.
Liberal Democrat David Willingham, a keen cyclist himself, says residents in his ward regularly raise concerns at the Bishopston Neighbourhood Forum, which he chairs.
Common complaints include bikes being ridden on pavements and not stopping at pedestrian crossings or red lights, which they legally must do. He has written to Ms Mountstevens urging her to make anti-social cycling a top priority for local police.
Mr Willingham said: "Bristol enjoys the accolade of being a Cycling City and much has been done by the city council to encourage and promote cycling.
10% off of any full price ticket
Must not be used in conjunction with other offers
To redeem either print and use at the venue on purchase or use code MAY7974 on our website.
Contact: 0117 2443656
Valid until: Tuesday, December 31 2013
"The vast majority of cyclists are sensible and law-abiding, but there is a small minority of cyclists whose behaviour is dangerous and illegal. Many of my constituents find it intimidating.
"The complaints I receive about people cycling on the pavement are often from vulnerable sections of the community."
Ms Mountstevens recently launched a consultation on what the residents of Avon and Somerset would like to see in the Police & Crime Plan, which will be implemented from April 1 and be tailored for each of the force's six districts.
Meanwhile, the constabulary has already been cracking down on anti-social cycling in Bristol.
Ms Mountstevens said: "The local beat team have been working with partners on the concerns raised by Cllr Willingham and there will be multi-agency meeting in January to look at the solutions for safe cycling in this part of Bristol.
"The beat team held a successful enforcement day two weeks ago and as part of that are running cycle safety awareness courses for anyone caught cycling on the pavement or cycling without lights, for example.
"Local level priorities should be raised via local beat teams and through mechanisms such as Neighbourhood Forums, however we have begun consultation on Bristol's first ever Police and Crime Plan. If people raise wide-spread concerns about dangerous cycling it may well feature in the next plan."
As previously reported, Bristol Older People's Forum have also complained about people riding their bikes on pavements in areas such as the Haymarket.
Police, Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and council wardens have the power to issue on-the-spot fines of £30 for people breaching laws when they cycle, but more often than not they will be issued with a warning on the first occasion.
Replacing the former police authority, Ms Mountstevens is responsible for holding the force to account and setting its budget and priorities.
She has pledged to spend one day every week meeting people and groups in the community.
Mr Willingham has invited her to visit Bishopston to speak to Gloucester Road traders about their priorities before coming to a future Neighbourhood Forum to hear from local residents.
People can respond to the Police & Crime Plan consultation on-line at aspola/plan-consultation-13-14/consult_view">www.consultation.avonandsomerset.police.uk/aspola/plan-consultation-13-14/consult_view or call 01275 816377 to be sent a hard copy. Printed surveys will also be available in libraries.