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Sunday, August 1, 1999 Published at 11:42 GMT 12:42 UK

Special Report

Pavement cyclists face £20 fine

Just doing this could cost you £20 from 1 August

Cyclists who ride on pavements will face a £20 fixed penalty notice from Sunday.

Although it has been illegal to cycle on the pavements since 1835 it has always been a difficult law to enforce.

Pffenders had to be arrested and prosecuted in the courts and this often wasted valuable police time.

The BBC's Tim Hirsch: "Lobbyists say fines are not the answer"
This new amendment means that any cyclists caught riding on pavements, over the age of 16, can immediately be issued with a fine. They have 28 days to pay up.

The move has been welcomed by road safety organisations, but has provoked outrage from cyclists.

'Lycra louts'

The Pedestrians' Association, says it gets more letters about pavement cyclists than on any other subject.

The BBC's Lisa Costello gets on her bike to find out how cyclists feel about the new fine
They say elderly people, in particular, feel intimidated by so-called "lycra louts" who ride along the pavement at high speed, often narrowly missing pedestrians and sometime causing injury.

[ image: Pro-cycling pressure groups say the new rule is attacking the symptom, not the problem]
Pro-cycling pressure groups say the new rule is attacking the symptom, not the problem
Ben Plowden, a director of the Pedestrians' Association said: "For many pedestrians it is annoying and frustrating to find that space which they think belongs to pedestrians only - is being used by cyclists for whatever reason.

"I think it is particularly problematic for anyone with a physical disability, someone who is partially sighted or blind or hard of hearing who can regard this as a serious menace."

Cyclists angry

But pro-cycling pressure groups say the new rule is attacking the symptom, not the problem.

The reason so many cyclists mount the pavement, they say, is that it is often the only alternative to risking their lives in the traffic when cycle tracks fizzle out or are non-existent.

Leslie Everest, from the London Cycling Campaign says the government should be concentrating on tackling bad drivers and providing more cycling facilities.

[ image: It will be up to the police to decide how firmly to enforce the new rule]
It will be up to the police to decide how firmly to enforce the new rule
She added: "I think they are going to find it quite difficult to implement and probably only do so when there is a possible accident.

"I can't see unless the police themselves get onto bikes, I can't see how they are going to catch people

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30 Jul 99†|†UK
Head to head: Cycling on the pavement

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