EDITOR’S COMMENT: Bridge Street cycling ban message not yet getting through

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The clampdown on cycling in Bridge Street is underway.

This week we report on the contrast between the five penalty notices handed out by enforcement officers in the first two days of the campaign and the 45 cyclists we watched ignoring the ban in the space of one hour.

A fixed penalty notice handed out on Bridge Street

A fixed penalty notice handed out on Bridge Street

Our story sparked a frustrated response from council leader John Holdich. Perhaps understandable, after all the patrols are a positive move and over time most cyclists will get the message.

As I’ve said before, Cllr Holdich works hard to get the best for the city and he’s championed the solution to the Bridge Street cycling problem. But I have to disagree with his response that it is the PT’s job to help the council tackle issues like this... it’s not.

It’s our job to report on what is happening. We reflect the concerns of readers and call the local authority to account as well as highlight its achievements. But we are not, and never will be, in the business of providing supportive PR when things don’t go according to plan.

The patrols are a positive step forward but their impact is minimal so far, at peak times the problem remains as bad as ever.

In common with colleagues and readers I have experienced a near miss as a cyclist hurtling along Bridge Street knocked a bag out of my hand.

It’s also true that many responsible cyclists do dismount and some who stay on their bike proceed very carefully at very low speed and in my view only the worst offenders should get penalty notices.

But it is currently still the norm to see cyclists hurtling down Bridge Street at unacceptable speeds.

If the council’s clampdown is to be a success it needs to redouble its efforts and we wish Cllr Holdich and his officers every success with that.

READ MORE on the cycling ban here