An enforcement team took to the streets of York to tackle the increasing problem of cyclists riding where they shouldn’t.
A group made up of police officers, police community support officers, York BID street rangers, and council enforcement officers patrolled the footstreets as part of a coordinated response.
The action was organised by the York BID (Business Improvement District).
Carl Alsop, BID operations manager, said: “We felt we needed to take action after a series of complaints about cycling in pedestrian areas.
“These came from businesses, members of the public, and the city centre hosts. There were numerous reports of near misses where cyclists were racing along the footstreets or on pavements.
“Now those streets are busy again with residents, visitors and families, the problem has become more urgent.”
At the height of lockdown, the rules that prohibited cycling through the York footstreets were relaxed.
This was to encourage people to get their daily exercise, and to help facilitate food deliveries to support people stuck at home and local businesses.
Now, though, the deserted streets of spring have transformed into the packed streets of summer. And the rules are definitely back in force – and cover the newly-extended footstreets.
During the recent operation, which lasted from 10.30am to 2pm, enforcement officers stopped a cyclist about every five minutes.
This time it was largely an education exercise – informing city centre riders of the rules. But cyclists were warned that if they were caught in future they could be fined.
“After the success of this first coordinated operation, were are going to hold more, without warning, at different times of the day,” said Carl.
“And those flouting the rules or riding recklessly could be given a penalty notice by those empowered to do so.”
“The BID is a big supporter of cyclists – we have invested in increasing the available city centre bike storage by about ten per cent,” Carl added.
“However, for the good of all those who work, shop and socialise in York city centre, we need to make it clear to the small minority of riders who ignore the rules that their anti-social behaviour isn’t acceptable.”
Concerns were raised about the visibility of the signage during the exercise. In response the BID arranged to clean up some very mucky traffic regulation signs, so everyone can clearly see them clearly.
Also during the operation, the parking officers issued penalty notices to three cars parked illegally in the city centre.