RTW cyclist fined £75 for cycling through Bedford town centre during prohibited hours

thirdcrank
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Re: RTW cyclist fined £75 for cycling through Bedford town centre during prohibited hours

Postby thirdcrank » 17 Feb 2019, 7:18pm

My interpretation of the first sign in the OP is that motor vehicles are banned (flying motorbike) with exceptions for loading 3.30pm to 10-30am and for blue badge holders at any time. This means they are allowing as many disabled drivers into the "pedestrianised" zone as can find space to park lawfully. Unless there are special restrictions, blue badge holders can park anywhere where loading is not prohibited (yellow ticks up the kerb.) In those circumstances, a ban on cycling as a type of traffic is patently absurd, so they have to resort to chicanery like this. There are - as we know - laws already in place dealing with dangerous, careless, inconsiderate and indeed furious cycling but a blanket cycling ban is more expedient.

Having taken this line a couple of decades ago in Leeds and having been accused by a council officer of being prejudiced against disabled people I'll say that I'm only saying that if the area is suitable for a quite large class of car driver, then it's suitable for cycling. Wanlock Dod's info about pollution reinforces this point.

There's also a difference between democracy and populism.

ian s
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Re: RTW cyclist fined £75 for cycling through Bedford town centre during prohibited hours

Postby ian s » 17 Feb 2019, 9:10pm

Living very near Bedford I really don't see why he would try to cycle through the pedestrian area. Fortunately it is small, ( a length of Midland Road and a few adjacent streets) and the traffic in the adjacent streets is seldom all that bad.I really don't see what grounds he would have for not paying the fine. Sadly there is a proposal to pedestrianise the High Street also, which would make cycling around the town difficult.

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Re: RTW cyclist fined £75 for cycling through Bedford town centre during prohibited hours

Postby thelawnet » 17 Feb 2019, 9:20pm

ian s wrote:Living very near Bedford I really don't see why he would try to cycle through the pedestrian area.


His Strava is in my OP. It looks like he spent about half an hour in the town so I guess he was shopping/buying food.

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Re: RTW cyclist fined £75 for cycling through Bedford town centre during prohibited hours

Postby mjr » 17 Feb 2019, 9:38pm

PH wrote: :roll: right back at you. Since when did the definition on pedestrian include cyclists? You may be right about the sign’s legality, but most people will accept that cycling in a pedestrian zone isn’t permitted.

Pretty much every pedestrian zone I've seen outside the UK permits it, but of course you have to give way to walkers (so no frantic bells and often during the day you'll be at walking pace!). Since 1987, it's been UK policy it should usually be here too, but we're mostly such a backwards bike-hating nation, it's only a few great cities like Norwich, Cambridge and Bristol that have implemented that.
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Re: RTW cyclist fined £75 for cycling through Bedford town centre during prohibited hours

Postby kwackers » 17 Feb 2019, 9:49pm

mjr wrote:Pretty much every pedestrian zone I've seen outside the UK permits it, but of course you have to give way to walkers (so no frantic bells and often during the day you'll be at walking pace!). Since 1987, it's been UK policy it should usually be here too, but we're mostly such a backwards bike-hating nation, it's only a few great cities like Norwich, Cambridge and Bristol that have implemented that.

I do find it odd that some town centres won't allow cycling in the wide open, pedestrianised town centres - preferring instead to either force cyclists to walk all the way through or mix it with heavy traffic on the usually fairly nasty circular around the town centre.
But then the same people will condone painting a line down the middle of a narrow pavement to encourage peds and cyclists to mix...

As an aside looking at the two signs shown earlier the first tells me I can cycle, the second tells me I can't.
If I was after the first but before the second I wouldn't pay the fine, after the second I would (I don't believe in loopholes, the sign is clear enough).

thelawnet
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Re: RTW cyclist fined £75 for cycling through Bedford town centre during prohibited hours

Postby thelawnet » 17 Feb 2019, 10:44pm

kwackers wrote:
mjr wrote:Pretty much every pedestrian zone I've seen outside the UK permits it, but of course you have to give way to walkers (so no frantic bells and often during the day you'll be at walking pace!). Since 1987, it's been UK policy it should usually be here too, but we're mostly such a backwards bike-hating nation, it's only a few great cities like Norwich, Cambridge and Bristol that have implemented that.

I do find it odd that some town centres won't allow cycling in the wide open, pedestrianised town centres - preferring instead to either force cyclists to walk all the way through or mix it with heavy traffic on the usually fairly nasty circular around the town centre.


There is similar in Woking.

There is a long distance cycle path (Basingstoke Canal, leading to Wey Navigation & River Thames), about 20 metres from this junction.

threelane.jpg


Crossing town means using the Toucan crossing or heading onto the three lane dual carriageway filled with traffic lights, road works, and potholes they don't intend to fix because of long-term building works.

So you cross the toucan crossing.

Heading straight ahead, cycling is ok through here:

bike.jpg


(note the motorbike parked there also)

There is a one-way system, so there is only one road permitting passage to the south (noting the railway line as another barrier).

You then reach this 'no cycling 10am-4pm' sign (which unlike Bedford's one is legal, as it has permission and is accompanied with a TRRO

nocycling.jpg


Nearly everyone ignores it.

A bit further down, it makes sense to turn left down here,

nocycling.jpg


then turn right to get into the right part of the one-way system. However susbequent to this rather old photo hey have added automatic bollards and 'no cycling' (at all times) signs. The bollards are just there to allow permit holders to load their vans etc. so there is no reason at all restrict cycling, as it's neither a road popular with pedestrians, nor one with heavy traffic.

The restricted length of road is about 400 yards, which isn't that far to get off and walk, but walking isn't that practical for cyclists in all cases.

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gaz
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Re: RTW cyclist fined £75 for cycling through Bedford town centre during prohibited hours

Postby gaz » 17 Feb 2019, 11:18pm

thelawnet wrote:Heading straight ahead, cycling is ok through here:

If the Martian death ray doesn't get you :wink: .

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Re: RTW cyclist fined £75 for cycling through Bedford town centre during prohibited hours

Postby drossall » 17 Feb 2019, 11:40pm

I'm confused by this, and it's relevant because similar confusion exists down the road in Hitchin.

IANAL of course. However, the flying motorbike above does not exclude cyclists. A sign that says No Motor Vehicles and pedestrian area is a bit of a conflict, because No Motor Vehicles doesn't stop bikes. The sign just reflects a traffic/whatever order, but as far as I know a traffic order that's not signed properly is unenforceable?

We've had the same in Hitchin for a couple of decades. It's a perfectly good idea, excluding motor vehicles on Saturdays, except for disabled drivers. However, the police and local town wardens repeatedly get badly briefed. On the first day, a friend of mine was wrongly stopped for cycling through. More recently, the wardens told me the police were fining cyclists, so I pointed out that the order (of which I've obtained a copy) doesn't prevent cycling. I don't think there's any PSPO in Hitchin, and I'd never heard of this way of banning cycling before.

Now in Bedford it seems that there are No Cycling signs, but am I right in understanding that, whether or not they have legal supporting time signs, you don't see them until you've already cycled into the purported No Cycling area? I'd have thought you could have a fine summarily dismissed for lack of signage?

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Re: RTW cyclist fined £75 for cycling through Bedford town centre during prohibited hours

Postby thelawnet » 18 Feb 2019, 1:06am

drossall wrote:Now in Bedford it seems that there are No Cycling signs, but am I right in understanding that, whether or not they have legal supporting time signs, you don't see them until you've already cycled into the purported No Cycling area? I'd have thought you could have a fine summarily dismissed for lack of signage?


This seems to be the TRO

https://bbcdevwebfiles.blob.core.window ... 202015.pdf

It says - subject to a general exception (applicable to motor vehicles only, not cycles) that access is allowed for maintenance of premises fronting a street in the pedestrianised area, or bullion vehicles - that the restricted roads are:

Greenhill Street; Thurlow Street (both abutting bus station)
* no cycles
* no loading

Allhallows between St Loyes Street & Greenhill Street
* cycling allowed
* loading allowed except 10:30am to 3:30pm
* access allowed at any time to disabled bays

Allhallows south of Greenhill Street; Paradine Court; Hawes Court; Harpur Street north of Lime Street/Midland Road
* no cycling 9am - 6pm
* loading (using motor vehicles) allowed except 10:30am to 3:30pm

Midland Road; Silver street; Church Square; James Street; Harpur Street south of Lime Street/Midland Road
* no cycling 9am - 6pm
* no loading

Lime Street
* motor vehicles allowed access to properties on it at any time
* loading allowed at any time
* cycling allowed at any time

Hence there are sections of road where you can load 9am - 10:30am and 3:30pm - 6pm using motor vehicles, but you can't cycle there at those times. There are also roads restricted to motor vehicles that you can cycle on, but only outside 9am-6pm.

So there is a TRO, but the signage is not compliant with the Traffic Signs Manual as Bedford have not obtained an exception.

An exception could easily be obtained, and an offence would then be committed under the RTA 1988, s36, failure to comply with road traffic signs. This would be a FPN offence.

It is not clear why they do not use RTA FPNs, except presumably they can use some sort of private police force to issue the PSPO penalties.

It does seem in general that the use of PSPOs for what should be road traffic offences is inappropriate. Otherwise why not make PSPOs for motorists speeding, jumping red lights, etc, as well?

In terms of the cyclist here the signage, though illegal is clear enough, albeit that it's not terribly helpful - you cycle down the road which is partly open, for the convenience of motorists, and then it says 'no cycling' half way down, so you can either turn round (the right turn onto Greenhill Street is also 'no cycling'), or walk.

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Re: RTW cyclist fined £75 for cycling through Bedford town centre during prohibited hours

Postby mjr » 18 Feb 2019, 9:05am

thelawnet wrote:It does seem in general that the use of PSPOs for what should be road traffic offences is inappropriate. Otherwise why not make PSPOs for motorists speeding, jumping red lights, etc, as well?

As I commented in a past discussion, using PSPOs to do the job of TROs is not only inappropriate but specifically excluded from PSPO powers in law.

I note that West Norfolk is currently consulting on a PSPO against antisocial vehicle use which I think is already illegal under other laws. https://www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/news/ar ... ehicle_use

Anyway, the main point from this story is clear IMO: Bedford Hates Bikes. It joins Mansfield as a place on my list not to visit.
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Re: RTW cyclist fined £75 for cycling through Bedford town centre during prohibited hours

Postby PH » 18 Feb 2019, 10:35am

thelawnet wrote:You then reach this 'no cycling 10am-4pm' sign (which unlike Bedford's one is legal, as it has permission and is accompanied with a TRRO

Nearly everyone ignores it.



It is not clear why they do not use RTA FPNs, except presumably they can use some sort of private police force to issue the PSPO penalties.

I thought you'd made that clear, nearly everyone ignores them and there's no resource to police it.

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Re: RTW cyclist fined £75 for cycling through Bedford town centre during prohibited hours

Postby thelawnet » 18 Feb 2019, 10:48am

PH wrote:I thought you'd made that clear, nearly everyone ignores them and there's no resource to police it.


Who said there is a lack of resources? If it was to be policed even occasionally, that would clearly affect the number of cyclists.

The fact that certain laws are not enforced at all, ever, does not mean there are no resources.

At least in Woking, cycling was previously permitted 24/7, and it was only the efforts of the Guide Dogs for the Blind that persuaded some of the councillors that this was a good idea.

AIR the police get together with local busy-bodies etc. and discuss priorities, which could include people cycling at the wrong time of day. I am sure enforcement could be arranged, if it were a priority. A preference for enforcing other laws instead does not mean we need a private police force to do ad hoc law enforcement against certain soft targets.

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Re: RTW cyclist fined £75 for cycling through Bedford town centre during prohibited hours

Postby PH » 18 Feb 2019, 10:53am

mjr wrote:
PH wrote: :roll: right back at you. Since when did the definition on pedestrian include cyclists? You may be right about the sign’s legality, but most people will accept that cycling in a pedestrian zone isn’t permitted.

Pretty much every pedestrian zone I've seen outside the UK permits it, but of course you have to give way to walkers (so no frantic bells and often during the day you'll be at walking pace!). Since 1987, it's been UK policy it should usually be here too, but we're mostly such a backwards bike-hating nation, it's only a few great cities like Norwich, Cambridge and Bristol that have implemented that.

I can't figure out what point you're making. He wasn't riding outside the UK and as you say it's pretty much the norm for pedestrian zones in the UK to exclude cyclists. It therefore wouldn't normally come as a surprise to anyone cycling through an unfamiliar UK town to find that the case.
This bike-hating backwards country attitude is far to simplistic, we need to work towards normalising cycling in a way that pedestrians don't feel threatened by the idea of mixing with them. That isn't the case, certainly not my experience, I've had more close passes by bikes while a pedestrian than by motor vehicles while a cyclist - of course I know the risks are of a different magnitude, but the experience is no less unpleasant. Even then there's an acceptance that they don't always mix, I don't think I've been in any city where there are no areas cycling isn't permitted, there's a few in Amsterdam though they're often ignored. It needs an attitude change and ignoring the signs then whinging about the fine isn't helpful. These are no more bike-hating places than cyclists are pedestrian-hating.

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Re: RTW cyclist fined £75 for cycling through Bedford town centre during prohibited hours

Postby pete75 » 18 Feb 2019, 11:20am

mjr wrote:
thelawnet wrote:It does seem in general that the use of PSPOs for what should be road traffic offences is inappropriate. Otherwise why not make PSPOs for motorists speeding, jumping red lights, etc, as well?

As I commented in a past discussion, using PSPOs to do the job of TROs is not only inappropriate but specifically excluded from PSPO powers in law.

I note that West Norfolk is currently consulting on a PSPO against antisocial vehicle use which I think is already illegal under other laws. https://www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/news/ar ... ehicle_use

Anyway, the main point from this story is clear IMO: Bedford Hates Bikes. It joins Mansfield as a place on my list not to visit.


Oh it's worth a visit. I was there a couple of weeks ago and saw a greater concentration of charity shops than I've ever seen anywhere else. A good number of beggars too. With such attractions how can you not go?

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Re: RTW cyclist fined £75 for cycling through Bedford town centre during prohibited hours

Postby thelawnet » 18 Feb 2019, 11:58am

PH wrote:
This bike-hating backwards country attitude is far to simplistic, we need to work towards normalising cycling in a way that pedestrians don't feel threatened by the idea of mixing with them. .


Yeah good luck with that.

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