Police fine 400 cyclists in London crackdown

Motorists punished too, and bike thieves caught

London's specialist police cycling squad has been expanded, with a new onus on catching motorists and cyclists who disobey the rules of the road

London’s bike cops handed out fines to 400 cyclists during a six-week operation this summer. They also issued £60 fixed penalty notices to more than 900 drivers and motorcyclists, and arrested more than 20 people.

The aim was to target road users who disobeyed traffic signals, encroached on advance stop lines, cycled carelessly or on pavements, or used their mobile phones on the two pilot Barclays Cycle Superhighways.

Of the cyclists who were issued FPNs between 19 July and 25 August, 106 who committed less serious offences were given the option to have their fine cancelled if they attended a safety education course.

Half took this up, along with 250 motorists. The cyclists were shown what the view is like from the cab of a lorry and advised about HGVs’ blind spots. Following the success of this operation, the Metropolitan Police’s Cycle Task Force – which was set up in June with the original remit of tackling cycle theft and vandalism – has been expanded.

The 10 new officers – bringing the total to 40 –will focus on traffic enforcement and cycle safety, with enforcement operations expected to take place on a monthly basis across the capital. However, the unit’s original focus has not been forgotten. Officers made nearly 20 arrests for bike theft over the summer and security marked nearly 5,000 bikes.

Commander Mark Gore, from the Metropolitan Police’s Safer Transport Command, said: “While the vast majority of cyclists and motorists behave with care around London, a visible police presence helps all road users, including cyclists, to use the road responsibly.  The Cycle Task Force will continue to organise targeted operations to tackle bike theft and vandalism, as well as encourage considerate, safe and lawful behaviour from all road users.”

To contact the Cycle Task Force, email CycleTaskForce@met.police.uk.