London cyclist Alex Paton is challenging a fixed penalty notice given to him by the police after he allegedly jumped a red light.

Paton moved in front of a vehicle parked in the cyclists’ advanced stop line at the junction between Fulham High Street and New King’s Road. Although Paton waited in front of the motorist at the lights, a police officer spotted him, and radioed a colleague who issued Paton with the fixed penalty notice (FPN) after he turned at the junction.

After gaining legal advice from the CTC’s Cyclist Defence Fund (CDF), Paton is now launching an appeal against the FPN on the grounds that it was issued unfairly. An appeal for funds has amassed over £2300 from fellow cyclists to help him fight the case.

“My resolve probably would have faltered taking this to court had there not been such overwhelming support from fellow cyclists to back my case,” said Paton, who has submitted his case for a hearing to the Magistrate’s court.

The use of advanced stop lines (ASL) at junctions is not clear-cut. The current law says that cyclists must enter the box – often coloured in green –  using a feeder lane or via a dashed line on the road. If there are two or more lanes for traffic, the feeder lane can, in some instances, be position between lanes. This can cause a hazard for cyclists wanting to turn left at a junction, particularly if they approach the junction just as the lights change and find themselves caught between moving columns of traffic.

“The Department for Transport plans to make amendments to the regulation governing ASLs to overcome the problems of accessing ASLs,” said Rhia Weston, the CTC’s Road Justice Campaigner.

“The fact that such changes are in the pipeline gives hope that the DfT will also clarify the law governing what a cyclist should do if an ASL is illegally occupied by a vehicle.”

“CDF agreed to support his legal challenge on the basis that it could set a legal precedent around the enforcement of ASLs.”

  • Chris

    If you want to donate to the fund you can do so here

  • Robert

    It is also an offence for a motor vehicle to stop within an ASL, although I would bet that the motorist blocking the ASL in this case was not prosecuted!………………….It is also about time that someone challenged the indiscriminate use fixed penalty notices for cyclists using a footway. These are often handed out as part of ‘zero tolerance clampdowns’ with absolutely no notice being taken of whether the cyclist was riding inconsiderately or even if there were any pedestrians about! This is runs completely counter to the intention of the Home Office when these penalties were introduced, with Home Office Minister Paul Boeteng issuing a letter that stated …………………………..’The introduction of the fixed penalty is not aimed at responsible cyclists who sometimes feel obliged to use the pavement out of fear of traffic and who show consideration to other pavement users when doing so. Chief police officers, who are responsible for enforcement, acknowledge that many cyclists, particularly children and young people, are afraid to cycle on the road, sensitivity and careful use of police discretion is required.’ …………………………..In 2004 this guidance was reiterated by John Crozier of the Home Office who in a letter dated 23/02/04 (Ref T5080/4) stated, with particular reference to the use of FPN’s by Community Support Officers ………………………….. ‘The Government have included provision in the Anti Social Behaviour Bill to enable CSOs and accredited persons to stop those cycling irresponsibly on the pavement in order to issue a fixed penalty notice. I should stress that the issue is about inconsiderate cycling on the pavements. The new provisions are not aimed at responsible cyclists who sometimes feel obliged to use the pavement out of fear of the traffic, and who show consideration to other road users when doing so. Chief officers recognise that the fixed penalty needs to be used with a considerable degree of discretion and it cannot be issued to anyone under the age of 16 ………………………….. It is about time the the Police and CSO’s started enforcing the law as intended, rather than acting as though their primary role was to dance to the tune of cyclist-hating ‘Daily Mail readers’.