Cycling barred in pedestrian areas 9 - 6pm

Published on 16 February 2016

BedfordBID has welcomed plans to make the town centre more pedestrian-friendly.

The Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), obtained by the council, will restrict cyclists from riding bikes through the main pedestrian area between 9am and 6pm. Cyclists will still be able to ride through the town centre from 6pm to 9am.

Bedford Borough Council is keen to encourage more people to make journeys by bike and provides a number of safe cycle routes across the Borough. However, cyclists must act in a safe and appropriate manner at all times.

Anybody riding a bicycle between the designated times set out in the order can be given a Fixed Penalty Notice of up to £75 which will reduce to £50 if paid within eight days. Failure to pay the charge may result in a fine up to £1,000 upon prosecution. PSPOs can be enforced by a police officer, police community support officer and authorised council officers.

There was an extensive public and stakeholder consultation during 2015, taking into account the views of the public, local cycling groups, users of the town centre, business representatives and Bedfordshire Police. The consultation revealed broad support for the introduction of a PSPO and also identified an issue with reckless and inconsiderate cycling in the town centre.

Councillor Colleen Atkins, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Regulatory Services, said: “It’s good that people are cycling as it’s better for the environment and it is healthy exercise. However, reckless and inconsiderate cycling in Bedford town centre has been highlighted as a concern and we are committed to tackling this problem.

“BedfordBID regularly records about 800 cyclists a month riding through Bedford town centre during the daytime and there have been some nasty collisions with pedestrians. We need to make sure cyclists dismount to walk through busy areas. It’s in the interests of other people and for their own safety.

“PSPOs can be very effective in helping to stop nuisance behaviour. This is our intention and hope it will improve the experience for people living in, working in and visiting Bedford.”

The Council’s town centre Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) was approved by the Executive at a meeting on 10 February. The PSPO will remain in place for three years from the date it is introduced.

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