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16/09/2011 // INFO 12 Comments

Police threaten fines over anti-social cycling

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Surrey Police leaflet

Just a few weeks ago, the roads of Surrey played host to the Olympic road race test event with cycling welcomed by the local constabulary. How things can change.

Over the last few days, Surrey Police have been handing out leaflets to cyclists warning them that careless and inconsiderate cycling could be deemed a criminal offence with riders facing a maximum fine of £1,000.

Careless and inconsiderate cycling, as defined by Surrey Police on the leaflet, is “if a person rides a cycle, on a road, without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road”.

Anti-social cycling

Surrey Police told Cycling Weekly that it had taken action to warn cyclists that they may face prosecution following complaints from motorists that cyclists were riding in pelotons, while the police force said it was also looking to crackdown on anti-social cycling on the roads in the region.

Apparently anti-social cycling is considered as cyclists riding in pairs side-by-side or in groups. Surrey Police said such riding behaviour was causing cars to slow down and inconvenience for drivers.

We think Surrey Police are being a tad over the top in their actions, while they could do with a few grammar lessons if the leaflet picture above is any indication.

Update

Surrey Police have responded to the criticism from the cycling community on the leaflet. See the response in the comment section below.


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12 comments [leave one]
John the Monkey September 16, 2011 at 8:34 am

“said such riding behaviour was causing cars to slow down and inconvenience for drivers.”
 
FFS. Only in Britain could slowing cars be seen as a bad thing. And inconvenience? My eye. Most of these half wits would roar past you to join a queue of traffic 100 yds in the distance.  I hope the CTC & local cyclists groups are all over this.

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Matt Shaw September 16, 2011 at 10:07 am

They should read the highway code, too, if they are stopping people riding two abreast

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Alastair Smith September 16, 2011 at 10:24 am

This would appear to be the thin end of the wedge. Next the Police (described as barely literate by a certain senior politician this week) will be banning cyclists from roads that are deemed too narrow to accommodate a flow of motor traffic in each direction whilst passing a cyclist. Perhaps some police consideration ought be given to the practice of cars parking half on the pavement and half on the road causing obstruction and danger to users of both. Take the police out of their cars and put them back on two wheels, I guarantee a different attitude towards cyclists if this occured.

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lyndeloo September 16, 2011 at 11:01 am

This is really suss?  Don’t believe it’s posted by Surrey Police, more like a miserable, angry car driver.

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The_Kraken September 16, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Careless and inconsiderate writing.
£2,000 fine from the Copy Police.

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James - Going Going Bike September 16, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Thanks to @grobelaar for this link: (Sec 66 point 3) http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/Highwaycode/DG_069837

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Insp Terri Poulton September 16, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Hello, I am the local Neighbourhood Inspector for the Mole Valley area and thought it would be a good idea to touch base with you all about this.
 
I would like to apologise about the wording of the attached card which was produced by a local officer who genuinely thought it would be helpful.  We live and learn!
 
Whilst I support the message about road safety – this extends to all road users; I have been very clear through the Cycle and Drive SMART initiatives in the local area that we want to support everyone in enjoying our area – cyclists, drivers and pedestrians.  You can hear me speak about Cycle SMART at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhBgVst2944
 
An increase in cyclists is putting more pressure on the local roads network but I want to focus my efforts on targeting the minority of poor drivers and cyclists.  I hope this message is received as intended – an apology for the blunt, inappropriate card which is no longer being used – but also a plea for understanding.  Safety and tolerance is the key message and, above all, we want everyone to enjoy our beautiful area.

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James - Going Going Bike September 16, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Thank you for commenting Terri. I think the wording and tone does much to get cyclists’ back up, so it is good to see a more friendlier tone from you about what Surrey Police are doing in the area

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WestfieldWanderer September 16, 2011 at 9:10 pm

So it’s an increase in *cyclists* causing pressure on the road network. (That’ll be the day).
Not motorists.
Oh no. That would never do.
Still not good enough, Surrey Bill. Try again.
Institutional Motorism strikes again.

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Tom September 17, 2011 at 2:34 pm

One tip I have learnt was pointed out to me on the Cycling Rules blog written by a barrister.
For some reason, lots of Police officers have no reflectors on their bike pedals. Always take the opportunity to remind them that if they were to take out their bike after dusk, they are committing an offence under the Road Traffic Act regulations!

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Daphne Ladell September 22, 2011 at 10:01 am

I fully support any action the police take, in trying to educate the cyclist and car user to work together.
Speaking as a resident from Box Hill Village, I know we have a serious problem with anti-social behavior from some of the cyclists who cycle through our village.
 
In fact my house fronts the road. For months now we have had to put up with cyclists regularly riding 3/4 abreast, this makes it impossible to overtake and if we try to overtake take them in our cars, the abuse we get is vicious and completely unnecessary, for example; Fingers Up, extreme language, which is not called for.   They act as if they own the road, will not give way to other traffic as if cars should not be on their road !
 
There have been some very bad accidents, in particular one that was very recent, a cyclist went over the white line on Tott Hill / Leech lane Headley on a bend and was hit by a car, coming in the opposite direction.
 
Another issue to be considered, Foul language; I was out gardening in the front of my house on Sunday, a resident and her 2 grandchildren stopped to chat to me, a cycling club went past (they were a club, as they were all dressed the same) shouting to each other and every other word was ‘F**K’ or  ‘F*****G’.  One of the grandchildren asked their Granny ‘What did F*****G mean’.  Is their any need for this ?
 
On a last note, the villagers are looking forward to the Olympics Cycle event, next year. At the recent test event the villagers were out cheering on the cyclists, but disappointed to the lack of visitors to the village.  We do have some extremely good viewing area’s.  The road through the village is straight for nearly 2 miles and some of the best views of the race can be gained by just standing on the pavement, or just outside the village where there is another mile of grass verge.

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Jim September 24, 2011 at 1:24 pm

As a veteran cyclist, I have seen the sport come a longway over the decades. Combined with changing attitudes and an unwillingness to be pushed off the road, cyclists will become more assertive and not allow Petrolheads to act as if they have primacy over everybody. Tintops do not shout at HGVs, tractors or other slow moving vehicles, yet thet still believe they have a god-given right to pass, no overtake, cyclists either lone or in a group.
Our laws regarding cyclists need a radical overhaul. many EU countries have presumed liability against drivers involved in collisions with cyclists. Groups of cyclists are considered as one vehicle and should be overtaken with the same cuation as a long HGV.
As for Plod’s leaflet, I expect it will become a collectors item on Ebay.

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