Offensive Cycling

I have been asked to blog about the anti-social use of bicycles and what you and the Police can do about the problem.

Cycling has taken off in Surrey following the success of the 2012 Olympics and the RideBike London events. In Runnymede the Tour of Britain and the Woking Bikeathon have also ‘arrived’ this year!

Whilst not minimising the concerns of folks over in East Surrey it is not really the committed club cyclist local people complain about. No, it is the commuter be they child, paper-boy, student or adult – and not avoiding the pensioner on a motorised vehicle.

Most complaints are made against folk cycling on the pavements in town. It’s an offence. Moreover these riders are often travelling fast and tend frighten pedestrians. It does not make it easier that in some areas there are cycle lanes on the footpaths.

So what can you do if you see an offence?

You should report it.

Even if you are the only witness you can:

  • Seek to have the offence prosecuted.
  • Request that the police give the offender a warning.
  • Or having reported the offence to police you may be comfortable with them being aware that the matter and your report will be used to inform officers patrol plans.

How to report anti-social cycling:

You can report all anti-social behaviour online to Safer Runnymede at:

http://bit.ly/19xzNy8

You can also report on line to Surrey Police at https://my.surrey.police.uk/report/

Or ring  us 101 

However you can also tweet us or use Facebook to inform us.

Bikes in LondonOf course if you want to a prosecution you will need to provide the location, time and date and provide some method of identifying the suspect IF you don’t already know who they are.

Clearly this is much  easier if it’s a car or a motorcycle you are complaining about. Because when you provide the registration number we can quickly check a number of  facts. With cycling this is far more difficult but police will support you.

What are the Police doing about Anti-Social Cyling?

Well your local officers do investigate complaints about all aniti-social behaviour. They do patrol and support the PCC’s ‘Zero Tolerance’ apporach. By the way this approach also challenges all

 of us to make it clear that anti-social behaviours will not be tolerated. So Council staff are invited to speak up when inconsiderate activity is seen – but so are you. With the obvious caveat of – if it is safe to do so! However it is only when we all stand shoulder to shoulder against anti-social behaviour that we will change peoples behaviours. Your local police are working to address this and have been doing so since the first Road Traffic Act.

How Seriously should we be taking this?

Given below is a table borrowed with pride from Runnymede Borough Councils independantly produced 2013 Community Safety Survey. It provides a comparison with the two previous surveys and is what I use to help prioritise local activity. You will note Cycling concerns a e not as high as in 2007 but are returning after a dip in 2010. The areas where concern is most felt are Chertsey South and Rowtown, Englefield Green East, Addlestone Bournside and Addlestone North. (The concern in Chertsey is almost twice as much as in Addlestone).

 

2013

2010

2007

Speeding vehicles

31.1

28.7

34.2

Parking on pavements/verges

26.6

25.6

23.6

Litter

25.0

22.6

23.5

Dog fouling

24.2

20.6

20.3

Burglary

18.4

11.1

10.8

Cycling on pavements

17.0

14.0

18.3

Young people hanging around

13.6

16.2

20.2

Other vehicle nuisance

12.8

12.6

14.7

Damage and vandalism

12.2

11.9

16.9

Drug misuse (dealers and users)

10.9

7.1

6.0

Alcohol abuse

10.6

7.9

8.3

Disorder in public places

10.1

7.5

9.9

Underage drinking

9.8

8.3

12.8

Loud music/parties

6.9

4.1

5.3

Vehicles broken into

6.4

7.4

13.4

Neighbours

4.8

3.3

4.0

Empty, derelict buildings

2.9

3.9

2.9

Minor assault

2.7

2.7

3.5

Vehicles being stolen

2.1

3.6

5.9

Abandoned vehicles

2.1

2.9

4.1

Street robbery

2.1

1.6

3.2

Ive left the whole table in as I think it is a useful guide but the whole report is available from the RBC website.

Can cyclists help?

Of course they can – just follow the highway code and like everyone else remind ‘offenders’ they bring themselves and others into disrepute! Follow http://bit.ly/15WGJWj for further tips.

Cycling is ‘green’ and generally good for you. As our roads become more congested more people will take to two wheels. We should all encourage that – but lets do it safely and respect other people out on our streets.

When I was thinking of coming to Surrey my neighbour, a keen amature cyclist and cycle sales and repair man asked me, “Do you know what they call cyclists in Surrey?” I replied “No?” and he said ….

 

 

“Organ donors!”

A joke in poor taste perhaps but one which evidences why people feel safer cycling on the pavements. So my final request to is – respect those cyclists on the carriageway. Drivers please give them space and time. It could be a relative of yours or mine and being safe as pedestrians, cyclists and drivers is where we all want to be.

I hope this has been helpful, will welcome your questions and comments and look forward to recieveing more information in numbers of reports so we can help solve the issues.

Advertisements

About Roger Nield MBE

Safety Director for the SMPL Organisation and supporting our Vulnerable Veterans Programme.
This entry was posted in Campaigns, Drive SMART, Runnymede Police, Safer Runnymede and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Offensive Cycling

  1. I’ve reported over a dozen cyclists riding on the pavement within the last week, things don’t seem to be getting any better. I always see cyclists on my way to/from the station, I very rarely see officers.

    Clearly a big clamp down is required, I feel it is only a matter of time until there is a potentially fatal accident with a child or elderly person. It wouldn’t look good at such a time if no action had been taken regarding previous reports.

    Other potential thoughts include putting up signage. Notices could be posted to lampposts in affected areas that explain that “cycling on this pavement is an offence”. Perhaps “no cycling” or a picture of a bike with a line through it. Looking at highway code options, I think a blue sign with a white cycle and a red line across would get the message across clearest. The red circle with a bike in it can easily be misinterpreted in my opinion.

    It doesn’t help at all that, in other nearby areas, cyclists are encouraged to share the pavement with pedestrians. It sets a bad precedent.

    • Roger Nield says:

      Ben, Thank you for your response. Certainly signage would help. On highways this is a Surrey County Council matter and we will pass this along. Meanwhile you might address it to them directly. Two heads being better than one? A local Councillor John Fury is, I beleive, the SCC guru.

      In terms of stats we have had 100+ cyclists hurt in collisions (mostly with cars/lorries) and only 3 pedestrians hurt by cyclists in thee same period.

      Chertsey has twice the level of concern over cycling on the pavements but both Englefield Green and Addlestone tie for second place. Local police have to cover all of Runnymede and for example with a maximum effort on Rememberance Sunday and Rememberance Day we have to target the greatest threats. (Although a cyclist was warned on Sunday morning in Addlestone for cycling on the footpath).

      Today we are working with the family of the murdered schoolboy for his funeral and investigating the theft of carpet, a Land Rover Defender’s registraion plates, and reviewing the safety of a vulnerable person who has threatened to kill themselves amongst other stuff.

      I was wondering if like Community SPeed Watch we could get six concerned and keen local people to form a “cycle watch”. I think this sort of partnership would support the PCC Kevin Hurley’s ‘Zero Tolerance’ approach to anti-social behaviour and with police support might work to improve the culture of cycling in Runnymede?

      Any takers? Any views?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s