Police Forcing Cyclists to Use Cycle Super Highways

Discussion in 'Advocacy and Cycling Safety' started by spen666, 28 Jan 2018.

  1. spen666

    spen666 Guru

    Not sure if the Metropolitan Police have got a new policy of ordering cyclists to get off the road and use cycle super highways. Would be interested to hear if anyone else has similar experiences to the two incidents this last week.

    On Thursday night, I was cycling home along the A11 between Stepney Green and Mile End. There is a cycle super highway, an operational bus lane ( signed for use by buses, taxis, motor cycles and taxis) and a lane for all traffic.

    At that part of my commute, I always ride in the "bus lane" because :
    a) I am allowed to
    b) I determine it safer on that stretch than the cycle super highway

    After passing the lights by the university a PCSO rode alongside me and as he passed he told me to "get off the farking road and onto the cycle superhighway". When I shouted back to him "why" he told me I had to use the cycle super highway.

    I laughed at him, tpold him to ticket me then and rode on. He did not follow me. I put this down to him being a PCSO and not knowing the law and him wanting to pretend he had some form of authority.

    I told my fellow cycling friend the story over a beer on Friday night and thought nothing more of it.

    Tonight my mate contacted me to tell me his 22 year old student son was stopped by police officers in a marked car on ( I think) Friday night somewhere near Lambeth Bridge and told to get off his bike in a bus land and that he had to ride on the cycle superhighway. Said lad told the police officer he had right to ride on road. Police officer also threatened him with a prosecution for obstructing the highway until said student pointed out the whole incident was recorded on his bike mounted Go Pro and would include the police officer telling him he was obstructing the highway by means of merely riding on the road!

    It could simply be coincidence, but 2 incidents in a few days involving Met Police and PCSOs incorrectly telling cyclists there are not allowed on the road and threatening to ticket them is concerning

    Would be interested to see if anyone else has had recent similar issues with the Met Police
    Last edited: 29 Jan 2018
    k_green and mustang1 like this.
  2. classic33

    classic33 Legendary Member

    May be nothing more than an order passed down following complaints about the facility not being used. I'd stay on the road.
    dave r and raleighnut like this.
  3. glasgowcyclist

    glasgowcyclist Charming but somewhat feckless

    Have you asked the Met to account for these incidents?
    classic33 likes this.
  4. YukonBoy

    YukonBoy Guru

    Get their numbers if it happens again and ask which station they operate out of.
    classic33 likes this.
  5. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    I'm 90% sure that PCSOs cannot order traffic and so I wouldn't expect them to know traffic law. The question is why they were attempting to police traffic.

    The Lambeth Bridge one is more worrying. That probably should be in a complaint.
  6. Tim Hall

    Tim Hall Guest

    Rather brilliantly, according to the gov.uk website, a PCSO has the power to stop a cycle if it is suspected of being ridden on a footpath. Which in this case it obviously wasn't.
    mustang1 likes this.
  7. Slick

    Slick Veteran

    Has the go pro footage been uploaded yet?
    classic33 likes this.
  8. OP

    spen666 Guru

    I have no intention of stopping riding on road.

    I would welcome a prosecution
  9. OP

    spen666 Guru

    Not yet, I only learned of 2nd incident tonight.

    I understand friend is to speak with LCC re his son's incident
  10. swansonj

    swansonj Guru

    Hmm. The body of the text in that link correctly used the term "footway" but the heading you quote uses "footpath", which is wrong as there is no offence of riding on a footpath. Not exactly helping clear up confusion as to PCSO roles when they can't get it right themselves.
  11. booze and cake

    booze and cake probably out cycling

    I believe the correct response is to laugh, flip them the bird and hit the afterburners, those PCSO bikes are hunks of junk, losing them is as easy as dropping your keys^_^

    I regularly ignore the provided cycle lanes I favour of the road, CS3 is worth avoiding for all the never cleaned smashed glass alone, CS7 has cars regularly parked in it so you're forced out of it anyway, and some if it is just badly designed in my view and I'm not going to support it by cycling in it. I always cycle on the road around the mess of a cycle route at Elephant and Castle and there's a new wiggle round the bus stop one on the south side of Westminster Bridge thats ignored by everyone already.

    I've yet to be taken to task on it, or seen anyone else told either, sounds like you just encountered jobsworth of the week, who don't know what they're on about. I know the cycle lanes are not mandatory so I would ignore them anyway, they can ask me to cycle there but I'll just smile and say no thanks.
  12. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    We've had one terminology correction, so here's another: I think most of the superhighways discussed above are mandatory (motorists required to keep out, normally a solid line or kerb) but not compulsory (cyclists aren't required to use them).
    mustang1 and booze and cake like this.
  13. OP

    spen666 Guru

    I personally have no intention of ignoring them. I am happy to be prosecuted for this as I know I am legally correct.

    My concern is more about what they are telling other, less legally clued up cyclists who are likely to believe Met police officers or PCSOs
  14. OP

    spen666 Guru

    [QUOTE 5132627, member: 45"]Neither of those accounts involve a cyclist being forced to use a SH. Presumably because there's no power to do so.
    [/quote] in both cases the police / PCSO DID try to force cyclist to use the cycle superhighway. They failed because in both instances the cyclists knew their rights
    Which is why I was asking on here if others had similar experiences.

    A sensible person tries to understand the situation before raising complaints
    confusedcyclist, Donger and mustang1 like this.
  15. winjim

    winjim A youth of interminable age

    I've nothing to add regarding the superhighways, but if you're making a complaint, and if your account of the first incident is correct, I hope they will be looking into the conduct of the officer aggressively swearing at you.
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