Kingdom came to Peterborough, but now it’s not just Bridge Street cyclists who think they should go

Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton -
Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton -

It all started with the best of intentions, but now it is looking like being a spectacular own goal for Peterborough City Council.

There is no doubt that many residents were fed up with selfish cyclists flouting the rules and speeding up and down Bridge Street.

Council leader John Holdich took the bike by the handlebars and vowed to rid the city of this menace.

For good measure, there was to be a clampdown on obnoxious litter louts too.

But, the warning klaxon should have been sounding loud and clear when the council employed Kingdom Services Group to do their dirty work. Kingdom is a company that has sparked controversy across the country, with many people unhappy about the tactics it uses. Kingdom gets paid (£45) for every ticket it issues, so where is the incentive to use discretion or common sense?

The PT has highlighted several incidents where residents and visitors have been unhappy with their treatment in this city.

You would perhaps think this would cause the city council some cause for reflection, even it does pocket £35 for every ticket dished out.

This week we surely reached breaking point when a group of children were threatened with a fine by a Kingdom officer.

Their ‘crime’ was attempting to save the planet with a protest that the officer feared was too loud.

Thankfully, and not least because of the intervention of passers-by, common sense did prevail.

Whatever you think of Kingdom and its officers, the responsibility for this treatment of residents and visitors lays squarely on the council.

We were treated to this mealy-mouthed council response about this ‘misunderstanding’. “We have spoken to Kingdom about their handling of this incident and have reminded enforcement officers of their powers and responsibility.’’

Cllr Holdich showed strong leadership in tackling the Bridge Street problems. He needs to do so again.. by ending the contract with Kingdom.