Could ‘On The Spot’ fines be the answer to problem pavement cyclists in Deeside?
Walk along the pavement from Queensferry to Connah’s Quay and theres a pretty good chance you’ll come within inches of a collision with a bike rider.
Hundreds of people are seen riding bikes along pavements in Deeside weekly, many heading too and from work in employment areas such as Sandycroft, Queensferry and Deeside Industrial Park.
The problem appears to be growing which is perhaps a reflection of the poor public transport servicing those particular areas .
Yet, that doesn’t excuse those cyclists who are often seen riding on pavements at speed in the day times, while many ride with no lights in the evening.
Roads aren’t designed for cyclists.
Roads weren’t designed with cyclists in mind nor were the pavements, which presents a bit of a problem for both bike rider and pedestrian.
Efforts have been made recently to widen the pavement near Deeside Leisure Centre solving part of the problem, mainly away from the busier areas.
The real danger for pedestrians and to a degree cyclists, begins where the road narrows and the bulk of the shops begin from Shotton train station through to Connah’s Quay High Street.
The problem has been around for years and despite periodic purges by police nothing really seems to change, its a miracle no one has been seriously injured.
Could the answer to the ongoing issue lie with Flintshire County Council’s new dog poo enforcement ‘partners’ Kingdom Environmental Protection Services?
Alyn and Deeside AM Carl Sargeant says he receives dozens of complaints from concerned pedestrians in Connah’s Quay, Shotton and Queensferry, who have been, or have almost been, knocked off their feet by cyclists.
Now he is asking North Wales Police and Flintshire County Council to look into the possibility of using Kingdom to issue on-the-spot fines to cyclists caught riding pavements in the same way as they do to those caught littering or allowing their dogs to foul without cleaning it up.
“Cycling on the pavements along the bottom road in Deeside has been a problem for years,” he said.
Periodic Police Campaigns.
“North Wales Police have run campaigns where they stop to talk to people and distribute leaflets and say they have given the problem as many resources as they can.
But the problem is still prevalent and people are still very worried. It only takes a person unaware a cyclist is approaching from behind to make a sudden stop to tie their laces or turn into a shop to cause a collision.
This has happened, and continues to happen, and pedestrians have had enough.
I’ve written to the police and local authority asking about the legality of allowing a company like Kingdom Environmental Protection Services to issue on the spot fines.
If it’s not possible, I have asked them about the possibility of a dedicated warden.”
Cyclists seeking refuge.
The introduction of fixed penalty fines for those ‘caught’ riding on pavements would need to have a degree of discretion built in, something the new Flintshire enforcement officers are not noted for currently.
Often responsible cyclists have no choice but to seek refuge on pavements out of fear of the traffic, and show consideration to other pavement users as a matter of course.
In February this year North Wales ran Operation Gulf, a two week campaign targeting cyclists riding on the pavements in Deeside, officers spoke to 154 cyclists during the operation.
Should the council’s new ‘enforcers’ issue ‘On The Spot’ fines to problem pavement cyclists in Deeside?
@DeesideDotCom only if the council’s going to build proper segregated cycle paths to make it safe to cycle not on the pavement…
— Josh Morris (@JoshMorrisFP) September 22, 2016
@DeesideDotCom By law they can’t issue fines…its a fixed penalty….only a court can issue a fine. Wording is important if they issue one
— Wiggo (@PW0101) September 22, 2016
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