Peterborough an Environment Capital? These two cyclists don't think so

A police officer having stopped a cyclist in Peterborough's Bridge Street
A police officer having stopped a cyclist in Peterborough's Bridge Street
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Last month my friend & I cycled from Southend to Bridlington along the national cycle network. Day 2 we went from Cambridge to Stamford passing through Peterborough.

Last month my friend & I cycled from Southend to Bridlington along the national cycle network. Day 2 we went from Cambridge to Stamford passing through Peterborough. We liked your cathedral. The weather was kind. We passed a huge sign telling us that Peterborough was the UK’s environment capital. Peterborough clearly has good things to offer. There is a considerable amount of building work going on which meant that some of the cycle paths were blocked and the signs were not altogether clear. All forgivable.

Picture the scene: 2 middle aged chaps on our bikes, both of us clipped to the pedals (in case you’ve never tried it, this system is efficient for riding, but walking is a pain - you resemble a penguin with a bowel problem). My bike also has 2 panniers attached to the rear wheel weighing in at about 12lb each. This doesn’t sound like much, but it makes pushing the thing very cumbersome. We’re not athletes and have been pedalling for about 40 miles without tea or cake. We are looking forward to stopping in Peterborough to refuel.

So after several diversions, we find the centre of Peterborough, walk over a pedestrian crossing following a marked cycle path. Get back on our bikes, going at walking pace as we are looking for somewhere to park our bikes and bottoms. We are approached by 2 policemen - that’s what they look like anyway - who take down our details and fine us £80 each for cycling where we shouldn't be cycling. No discount for prompt payment.

Going back to the street furniture by the pedestrian crossing, there was indeed a no-cyling sign. Right above the sign for the cycle path which we had honed in on.

Fair? Environment capital? Obviously we don’t think so.