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CyclistGuy
Dear All,

I am a cyclist and I ride to my workplace every day. I am one of those who has a drivers license and drove before so I understand the traffic from both points of view.
Today I have been stopped by a Community Support Officer (Toy Cop) because I have committed an offense. I was riding over the main bridge in Richmond which was very busy and I had no room to pass a car and a bus. I never go on the footpath but at this occasion I thought I can just go around them and we are all OK. I have only been on the path shortly and I went back on the road straight away.

Further up the bridge this officer asked me to stop which I did because I had no reason not to. He informed me that I have committed an offense and he needs to see my details. I told him that I was not aware of it that it is an offense and I told him why I went on the footpath. He then explained that he could not let me go because there are CCTV cameras and he has to issue me a ticket.
I told him that I felt this was not fair and I thought a warning would be better since I have never been stopped by the Police or the Support Officers and I had no tickets or any other criminal record before. I am one of those who just respects the rules.

The conclusion of it all is that he issued me with a £30.00 ticket for my first ever offense and showed no understanding, care or flexibility. At this point I sort of got upset because I just felt disgusted by the whole thing. Needless to say all the car drivers and bikers going past shook their heads as they could not believe it either.

The reason why I decided to write here is to see what would be my chance to fight this ticket in court. Not because of the £30.00 but the principal. I understand that it was wrong to mount the footpath but this is my first and I think a warning would have been enough.

Can anyone tell me if I should try or is it just waste of my time?

Thanking you in advance.
Teufel
you have admitted the offence so what would be your defence ?

plastic police have little intelligence or training and given little operation independence
and so have little discretion
fedup2
QUOTE (Teufel @ Tue, 22 Sep 2009 - 13:49) *
you have admitted the offence so what would be your defence ?

plastic police have little intelligence or training and given little operation independence
and so have little discretion



Plastic police....Ha ha


Teufels pretty much summed it up,you DID commit the CRIME so you would have no reasonable arguement.Unfortunatly policing isnt about right or wrong any more its about Targets and cash.Pay the £30 And choose carefully at the next election.
CyclistGuy
Thank you guys. I do realize that I have done wrong and I all I hoped for is some understanding but I guess as we can see that does not exist anymore.
The only thing I hoped for is to get my point across in court.

If I decide to go that far (I must be crazy) would there be any extra cost? I would hate to get a bill for the "court's time".

Thank you again!
MartinHP71
QUOTE (CyclistGuy @ Tue, 22 Sep 2009 - 12:02) *
I never go on the footpath but at this occasion I thought I can just go around them and we are all OK.

I told him that I was not aware of it that it is an offense.

I am one of those who just respects the rules.

I understand that it was wrong to mount the footpath but this is my first.


Well its an offence, same as speeding and they don't normally give out warnings for them (although some offer speed awareness course which still costs you lots of money).

Can't see how you could fight it but hopefully you will now learn that footpaths are for people on foot.
jobo
alll god advice apart from IMHO ridding on the path is not an offence

if it is, can some one show me where this is please


tried reporting the pro manchester congestion charge tricycle for ridding in a pedestrianised area and found it wasnt ilegal
southpaw82
Highway Act 1835, s. 72:

QUOTE
If any person shall wilfully ride upon any footpath or causeway by the side of any road made or set apart for the use or accommodation of foot passengers or shall wilfully lead or drive any horse, ass, sheep, mule, swine, or cattle or carriage of any description, or any truck or sledge, upon any such footpath or causeway; or shall tether any horse, ass, mule, swine, or cattle, on any highway, so as to suffer or permit the tethered animal to be thereon every person so offending in any of the cases aforesaid shall for each and every such offence forfeit and pay any sum not exceeding level 2 on the standard scale, over and above the damages occasioned thereby.


A cycle is a "carriage" (Taylor v Goodwin).

If the OP goes to court they can expect the fine to increase and pay additional prosecution costs (and the victim surcharge, if it applies to this offence).
MartinHP71
QUOTE (jobo @ Tue, 22 Sep 2009 - 16:26) *
alll god advice apart from IMHO ridding on the path is not an offence

if it is, can some one show me where this is please


tried reporting the pro manchester congestion charge tricycle for ridding in a pedestrianised area and found it wasnt ilegal


As Southpaw says and even included in the highway code

64

You MUST NOT cycle on a pavement.

[Laws HA 1835 sect 72 & R(S)A 1984, sect 129]

jobo
Thanks SP

buts more complex than the absolute youve given

A Footpath means a highway over which the public have a right of way on foot only, not being a footway [Section 329(1) Highways Act 1980].

A Footway means a way comprised in a highway, which also comprises a carriageway, being a way over which the public has a right of way on foot only [Section 329(1) Highways Act 1980].

so the offence from 1980 onwards is driving on a footway, not foot path which has no carriageway associated with it and for reference is not covered by the fixed penalty scheme



On 1st August 1999, new legislation came into force to allow a fixed penalty notice to be served on anyone who is guilty of cycling on a footway. However the Home Office issued guidance on how the new legislation should be applied, indicating that they should only be used where a cyclist is riding in a manner that may endanger others. At the time Home Office Minister Paul Boateng issued a letter stating that:

"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."

Almost identical advice has since been issued by the Home Office with regards the use of fixed penalty notices by 'Community Support Officers' and wardens.

"CSOs and accredited persons will be accountable in the same way as police officers. They will be under the direction and control of the chief officer, supervised on a daily basis by the local community beat officer and will be subject to the same police complaints system. 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. (Letter to Mr H. Peel from John Crozier of The Home Office, reference T5080/4, 23 February 2004)


so unless the CSO is making the accusation that the nature of the OP cycling was dangerous, then the CSO has breech HO guidance and has missused the ticket scheme


I believe that being forced on to the footway for safety reasons is enough to constitute a defence ? and certainly should be subject to a complaint to the chief constable who will hopefully drop the case



ref http://www.bikeforall.net/content/cycling_and_the_law.php
southpaw82
The offence doesn't only apply only to a footpath, vis "or causeway by the side of any road made or set apart for the use or accommodation of foot passengers". The guidance is not binding and penalty notices can be issued at the officer's discretion.

Being forced onto the footway for safety reasons would have to fall within the defence of duress in order to succeed.
jobo
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Tue, 22 Sep 2009 - 18:38) *
The offence doesn't only apply only to a footpath, vis "or causeway by the side of any road made or set apart for the use or accommodation of foot passengers". The guidance is not binding and penalty notices can be issued at the officer's discretion.


didnt say it did, i said the ticket scheme only applies to foot ways, not foot paths, foot paths require byelaws to make cycling ilegal

guidance might not be binding, but its persuasive and it will be presumably have been incorporate in to force policy
BigZim
I believe child buggies, push chairs or prams should also not be on a footpath or pavement! Try asking a mother to enter the road!
southpaw82
 
QUOTE (jobo @ Tue, 22 Sep 2009 - 18:54) *
didnt say it did, i said the ticket scheme only applies to foot ways, not foot paths, foot paths require byelaws to make cycling ilegal

guidance might not be binding, but its persuasive and it will be presumably have been incorporate in to force policy

In the instant case we're talking about a footway running alongside a road, no?


Force policy does not prevent the issue of a notice.

jobo
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Tue, 22 Sep 2009 - 19:17) *
QUOTE (jobo @ Tue, 22 Sep 2009 - 18:54) *
didnt say it did, i said the ticket scheme only applies to foot ways, not foot paths, foot paths require byelaws to make cycling ilegal

guidance might not be binding, but its persuasive and it will be presumably have been incorporate in to force policy

In the instant case we're talking about a footway running alongside a road, no?


Force policy does not prevent the issue of a notice.




no force it doesnt prevent the issue of a notice, but it does affect the validity of that notice and as such can be subject to a complaint to the CO

that may get it dropped other wise its off to court with the possibility of duress of circumstances as a defence with HO guidance to back this up
davepoth
So in conclusion, would it better when cycling to just not stop if instructed to do so by a PCSO? it's not like they can take your license down or anything?
jobo
i must admit that would be my strategy. and one addopted by the local youths with some success

but id hesitate to recommend it to any one else
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