Cyclists using the Bristol and Bath Railway Cycle Path have been stopped by police for riding too fast. Officers stationed themselves near the Devon Road bridge, adjacent to Bristol's Whitehall Primary School, yesterday and spoke to anyone who was measured as going faster than 20mph.
The crackdown on riders occurred in the wake of resident complaints and several petitions. While there is no speed limit on the cycle path, it's heavily used by walkers, dog owners and joggers as well as cyclists – especially on the stretch being monitored, where it cuts through Bristol's inner city.
PCSO Adam Needs told news site Bristol 24/7: “We spoke to more than 15 cyclists who were travelling at excessive speeds. One cyclist was going so fast that he fell off his bike right in front of us. I think people forget what a danger and hazard they can be to themselves and others at speeds of over 20mph.
“People have told us how busy it can be at that time of the morning and reported some very near misses. We want to encourage people to use the path considerately and responsibly to prevent any accidents happening."
Many of BikeRadar's team use the path for commuting to work, and have ridden along the path for years.
Immediate Media's bike workshop manager Jonny Ashelford cycled past the police officers and explained: "We did see the police but we must have slowed down to under 20 before they saw us as they didn’t want to talk to us, which I think is the point to the whole exercise. If you’re riding along that section of the path and you keep an eye out on what's ahead of you, and prepare to slow down if something is there, you will be fine.
"A bigger problem is with walkers once it gets dark, who have no lights or reflective clothing."
Meanwhile, the Strava segment for that piece of the path has been tagged as a 'Hazardous Segment' (with no leaderboard) and advises riders to slow down here.
BikeRadar's Gregor MacGregor said: "I cycle along the path each week and I do try and hare along several bits – I use Strava. However, I'm always careful to slow down around crossing points, and especially at the Devon Road bridge location where children often cross. It pretty much comes down to common sense."
Local residents praised the cycle path but also criticised some cyclists for going too fast, especially as older people and children also use the route.
Elsewhere, BBC Radio 2 presenter Jeremy Vine also made the news recently for being stopped for speeding on his bike in Hyde Park, London. The keen cyclist was clocked at 16mph with officers stating that the park was a 5mph zone.