One of our residents' biggest complaints is cycling on pavements. So with our Community Police Officers and PCSOs in Westbourne, we have organised 4 action afternoon in Jan and Feb 2016 to try to reduce these incidents.
A PCSO stands at the entrance of the Westbourne Arcade at around 4.30pm to catch those who are two lazy to cycle around the one way system, but cycle on the pavement instead, using it as a short cut.
"At the same time they stop anyone cycling correctly on the road, but without lights. In such cases, tickets are issued, but they are "torn up" if the owner can show a receipt for a new set of lights within 7 days at the police station.
Sometimes, if a person cycling on the pavement is "considerate" to pedestrians, or is a child and it would be dangerous to cycle on the road, the PCSO will ask them to get off their bike, ask them to push it and not issue a ticket. But if they are causing danger, tickets will be issued immediately.
15th March 2016
The police reported back that during those 4 sessions, they issued 4 penalty tickets to cyclists riding in the dark without lights. All 4 people who received those tickets presented themselves to the police station within a week, and showed the duty officer a receipt for lights they had purchased. Those penalty tickets were then torn up, as the purpose of the exercise was to improve road safety, not to fine people.
There is a report in today's Bournemouth Echo you may have seen Click Here
The Echo failed to point out that in the Westbourne Resident's Meeting that I chaired, we had just had an excellent 30min presentation about improving the safety of cyclists and pedestrians on our roads and pavements.
We looked at new initiatives being used locally and elsewhere in the UK, and comparing them with other methods overseas.
I asked for this presentation because Bournemouth has the 3rd highest accident rate for cyclists in the country, and I wanted residents to be aware of the problems in our community.
There then followed a heated discussion from the audience where people were focussing their frustrations at irresponsible cyclists on pavements.
To move the meeting on and to change the mood I made a joke, which made the Echo headlines.
People laughed and clapped at my joke, it changed the mood and we moved on. I offended one person.
The Police then made a 25min presentation which included the above report on the safer cycling initiative I had asked the police to conduct in Westbourne.
Unfortunately the Echo chose not to report the context in which my comments were made, which was a shame, because the focus on the two presentations was all about the safety for cyclists and pedestrians in Westbourne and Bournemouth as a whole.