Tougher action on Bridge Street cycling ban to start next month
Cyclists on Bridge Street should expect Â£80 fines from next month after Peterborough City Council received new ticketing powers.
It follows approval of a city centre Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) which comes into force in April, barring a late challenge from councillors.
The PSPO will grant SaferPeterborough Prevention and Enforcement Service officers - which includes council staff - additional powers to deal with anti-social behaviour, which includes cycling on Bridge Street between 9am and 6pm when the ban is in operation.
Council leader Councillor John Holdich has already insisted that he wants to see the ban rigorously enforced with a ‘zero tolerance’ approach.
However, there will be a six week grace period for cyclists where no fines will be issued.
Instead, officers will use that time to talk to the public about the new order and what the penalties are.
Fixed penalty notices of £80 will be sent to those breaching the order, with an early repayment option of £60.
Further offences include littering, spitting, dangerous cycling and drinking in public.
Adrian Chapman, service director for adults and communities at the council, said: “Anti-social behaviour is a real issue for many residents and this new order is designed to ensure that everyone is able to enjoy the city centre.
“The order will give our Prevention and Enforcement Service officers more powers to deal with unacceptable behaviour. In the majority of cases if you are caught breaching the order, such as unauthorised cycling on Bridge Street, you will be issued with a fixed penalty notice.”
Powers for council officers to enforce the ban were due to come into force last October, but the council then realised that it needed new legislation for that to happen.
The PSPO will also make begging an offence.
A council spokesman said: “Under the PSPO, however, officers working with the council’s Housing Needs team will make efforts to offer support.
“If an individual was to continue to breach the PSPO for begging then options such as legally requiring them to access support services would be considered, rather than fines and subsequent prosecution for non-payment.”
New signage will be erected in the city centre to inform the public about the new PSPO.
Meanwhile, a consultation was also held for a PSPO to cover an area encompassing Millfield, New England, the Embankment and Lower Bridge Street.
That order will allow people to be fined for not disposing of alcohol or leaving the scene when requested to do so, for urinating or defecating in a public place, leaving bins on “the public highway” on days they are not due to be collected, and littering or spitting.
The proposed PSPO for this area is due to be implemented by the summer.