Pavement cycling, police style

20’s Plenty, but not for Mr Plod

Pavement cycling, police style
Pavement cycling, police style

In a state of high-dudgeon at the recent PCC and Hampshire Police crackdown on pavement cycling (read the story in The News) PCF decided to contact Hampshire Police to see how they are dealing with the more serious issue of speeding traffic in our crowded streets.  After all, accident statistics tell us that the big killer of pedestrians is the motor car, not the bicycle.  In fact, you have a considerably higher chance of drowning in the bath than you do of being killed by a cyclist.  Therefore we were confident that, with public safety at the heart of everything they do, Hampshire Police would be taking the problem of speeding traffic seriously.

Or not.  It turns out that “It is ACPO policy that forces do not enforce 20mph speed limits”.  That’s  right – despite the fact that the 20mph limit in Portsmouth was put in place by a democratically elected, law making body, and is widely supported, Hampshire Police are not enforcing it.  Despite being public servants they seem to feel it is up to them to cherry pick which laws to enforce.

Clearly public safety is not at the heart of this.  The biggest danger on the streets is not irresponsible cycling.  PCF now plans to contact the new Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner and ask him to review this as a matter of priority.

Read the full response from Hampshire Police here (it won’t take long)


3 thoughts on “20’s Plenty, but not for Mr Plod”

  1. Am I surprised? Of course not. Whilst I hold a degree of respect for our law enforcers – just like every other body in the public sector, they are susceptible to the vagaries of a slash and burn governement and for that they have to be alone honoured – I bear witness to incidents on an almost daily basis when on the bike, of the police turning a blind eye to flagrant breaches of motoring law. These include drivers on mobile devises;vehicles parked on pavements, vehicles parked on zig-zag lines at crossings; illegal right or left hand turnings out of junctions; infringement of the speed limit etc etc. Its a depressing situation for me as a cyclist and pedestrian, and my mood is worsened when I learn that simply enforcing the law in these types of situations involves a good deal of paperwork and time to process it. That alone is one of the excuses I hear why the police do not bother with this low level of crime. Of course if any of these incidents then results in injury or even death of a third party, the police authority will be putting it’s arms up in horror bemoaning the fact that they are being accused of reacting after the event rather than working proactively to prevent it.

    To help the police and therfore alleviate this dilemma of non-enforcement, is it simply not a case of PCC just installing numbers of humps or sleeping policemen (no irony intended) in these restricted areas? Or is that a decision too far for the Council?

  2. Speed bumps and sleeping policemen just don’t work; they wreck car suspensions (even at the slowest of speeds) and cause damage to the inner tyre wall that can result in tyre failure. And unless you put them on every street, you simply move traffic. Case in point: much more traffic now uses Orchard Road / Talbot Road to avoid the bumps in Fawcett Road. This leads to accidents, but because they’re not reported, PCC do not recognise the problem. Nor do they seem to think through the consequences of their actions; allowing the new Sainsbury’s on Albert Road means people now park on the double yellows outside; this causes cars and cyclists to swerve around them and impinges on the cycle lane on the other side – this was obviously going to happen. There’s also a problem in that the PCC parking enforcement officers are able to issue tickets for parking on double yellow lines, but not, I think, able to issue tickets that mean points on your licence – unlike old traffic wardens. Examples would be parking on zebra crossings. Perhaps we could start up a page where we post pictures of regular bad boys and point the parking office towards it?

  3. Having recently moved to Portsmouth from Lancaster, where 20 mph limits are currently being introduced on all residential roads, Lancashire Police say they will be enforcing the speed limits, albeit after a period of letting people get used to them, so I don’t know about this ACPO policy of not enforcing them.

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