06:14PM, Thursday 09 September 2021
Cyclists who refuse to dismount along Maidenhead's High Street and Windsor's Peascod Street will now be fined by the Royal Borough’s community wardens — but they will be unable to fine e-scooter riders.
Under a new Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), mounted riders in the pedestrianised zones of the High Street will face a £100 fixed penalty notice (FPN) which could rise to £1,000 in the courts if not paid.
At a full council meeting in April, councillors approved the creation of two PSPOs to tackle cycling in the pedestrianised areas as well as to address the issue of dog fouling.
It followed a public consultation in which more than three-quarters of respondents agreed with the council’s proposal to take enforcement action against cycling in the pedestrianised zones in the High Street and Windsor’s Peascod Street.
Announcing the plans, Cllr David Cannon, cabinet member for public protection and parking, said: “We are looking to make improvements to support both cycling and walking as forms of active travel, which benefit the environment and personal wellbeing too, and it’s important that all road users follow the rules.
“While most cyclists are responsible, we will use enforcement powers under the PSPO to respond to community concerns and tackle the behaviour of a few who ignore the no cycling signage in these zones, don’t dismount and risk pedestrian safety.”
He added that community wardens had been speaking with cyclists to ‘make them aware’ of their new powers prior to the commencement of the fixed penalty notices.
“Over the last week, our community wardens have been speaking with cyclists to make them aware of their new powers and warn that anyone caught ignoring the no cycling rule will get a £100 fixed penalty notice,” said Cllr Cannon.
“While they can’t be everywhere all the time, they will be doing targeted spot checks and undertaking targeted enforcement days, as part of their routine work to support community safety and address anti-social behaviour.”
However, at a Maidenhead Town Forum meeting on Monday, community warden Andy Aldridge confirmed that the Royal Borough’s patrollers had no powers to fine e-scooter riders in the town centre.
“[Electric scooters] have a motor in them, and unfortunately that would come under the police’s remit,” said Mr Aldridge.
“We do stop scooters, because there are a lot of them about. We do treat them as a bicycle; however, we can’t enforce it under our PSPO as it’s purely for cycles.”
He also confirmed that council currently has seven community wardens, one of whom is a senior warden, across the Royal Borough.
One fixed penalty notice has already been issued since the PSPO was introduced on August 31, after a cyclist ‘refused’ to dismount after being stopped by community wardens.
Speaking to the Advertiser, Cllr Gurch Singh (Lib Dem, St Mary’s) said that he believed the £100 FPN was ‘way too high’, and said he hoped to see ‘prominent’ signage to inform cyclists about the PSPO.
“I’m against the £100 fine; I think that cyclists should ride in a controlled manner, and they should be educated,” he said.
“There’s a lot of people who cycle out of need and necessity, rather than other reasons, and they’re the ones who are going to get caught out by this.
“I think it’s wrong; educate the people who are riding the bikes. There should be high-visibility signs. If the signs are not there, then it’s not fair.”