Virginia Steel says cyclists and pedestrians need to be able to share the pavements, claiming that forcing cyclists onto the road is unfair

A Hampshire mayor has called a police crackdown on bike riders using pavements an “attack on cyclists”.

Virginia Steel, Mayor of Havant, says she uses the footpaths when she cycles, but police have been stopping cyclists in Bedhampton and Leigh Park, telling them to get back on the road.

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Fines of £50 can be imposed on offenders, but the police say the emphasis is on education rather than punishment. Although Mrs Steel, who has served on the Havant Road Safety Council for more than 20 years, feels it should be a case of sharing the pavements.

“I think it’s an attack on cyclists,” she told the Portsmouth News. “I don’t agree with people being like that when we are trying to get people out of their cars to be more healthy.

“All it needs is a little bit of give and take. I have the doctor telling me I need to keep on riding, but I am being told you can’t ride on the footpath. I was just very angry.

“If Holland can do it….they do it and nobody seems to complain.”

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The News reports that 11 officers were out on patrol in the two areas one morning last month, with 14 cyclists warned for riding on the pavement.

  • Phyl Rubble

    Spot on, squire. Pavement-riding is for 5-year-olds. Get in the saddle, ride to the Mayors office, and demand better ROAD provision for bikies.

  • PL

    “All it needs is a little bit of give
    and take. I have the doctor telling me I need to keep on riding, but I
    am being told you can’t ride on the footpath. I was just very angry.

    If Holland can do it….they do it and nobody seems to complain.”

    Uh right. And how about using the road, which is where cyclists are supposed to be? Pavements are for pedestrians. HGVs aren’t allowed on them either. Is that is an attack on lorry drivers?

    And Holland doesn’t “do it”. Cycling on the pavement is as illegal there as it is an any other country

  • Chris Smith

    Does anyone in authority wonder why cyclists go on the pavements and then try and do something about that? We need to see police on bikes, stopping the motorists who make life on the road so scary for cyclists that they want to go on the pavement in the first place.
    Lets not blame the individual officers for this – they weren’t the one who made the decision! From the look of the photo they are PCSO’s not Police Officers anyway.

  • a keen cyclist

    Pavments are for walking
    on. Would it not be better for the mayor of Havant to be sorting out a cycle lane infustrcture instead of weaving in and out of pedestrians?

  • Micheal White

    I wouldn’t give the officers the time of day. If they refuse to do their jobs and make the roads safer, I do not need to listen, or stop for them on the pavement.

  • Mark Jones

    Nice to read an article from someone with a bit of common sense for once. It’s also a really good point about the contradiction between wanting people to be healthier but also deterring them from cycling. Like she says “all it needs is a bit of give and take”. Either we want a healthier population (through exercise and reduced pollution) that’s not costing billions a year in health care or we don’t? They should make their minds up!!