Cycle shorts

This article was published in 2007, in Newsletter 72.

Cycling on the pavement – new fixed penalty powers in Nottingham

Nottingham City Council Community Protection Officers (Neighbourhood Wardens) have recently been given the power to issue Fixed Penalty Notices for cycling on the pavement. This power has been accredited to the Community Protection Officers (CPOs) from Nottinghamshire police’s Chief Constable. A CPO has the power to stop the cyclist under Section 163(2) of the Road Traffic Act 1988. The fine is currently £30.

Whilst it is recognised from statements from those who have been issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice that riding on the road may be hazardous, action will be taken against individuals who cycle in such a manner as to be a danger to others, particularly in areas where dedicated cycle paths exist but riders are still using pavements.

(From a report by David Scothern, Nottinghamshire Police, in the Lothian Cycle Campaign’s newsletter, Spring 2007)

Only 10 MPs cycle in 2006

It was disappointing to see only ten MPs claiming for cycling on their annual expense forms, published earlier in the year. Of 646 MPs, 636 – that’s 98.5 per cent of the House of Commons – made no journeys on their bikes at all last year, which is a pitiful example given the extensive cycling network in London and the environmental rhetoric that most politicians are now preaching. However, it is encouraging to see that Parliament is willing to pay its employees a not insignificant 20p for each mile they cycle – one of the few organisations in the country to do so.

(From Coventry Cycling Campaign newsletter, Spring 2007.)

A Wheel Steal

An average of 1200 bikes are stolen in Britain every day. A study has revealed that cycles are a thief’s dream and that the market for selling on nicked bikes is booming.

Researchers left locked mountain bikes in ten cities to see how long they would last before being pinched. Half were stolen within two hours and the majority disappeared within a day. In London, thieves struck in less than an hour. The bike left next to a student campus in Edinburgh, however, was still there after 24 hours.

Insurers Direct Line, who carried out the experiment, said 439,000 bikes are nicked annually, at a cost of £35 million. Stolen bikes are easy to sell on because buyers usually don’t bother checking where they came from. On-line auction sites have also made it easier to sell on stolen bikes because sales are less regulated and buyers are unlikely to ask about the origin of cycles. Nearly half of all second-hand bikes bought last year were purchased over the internet.

(From Coventry Cycling Campaign newsletter, Spring 2007 from Ben Spencer, Daily, 16 February 2007.)