Reckless cyclists on council hitlist

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Rogue cyclists are in our sights!

A surge in complaints over dangerous cycling has sparked a crackdown on the streets of Blackpool.

Council chiefs say there has been a significant increase in complaints about cycling on pavements, failing to stop at red lights and other dangerous cycling practices that put pedestrians at risk of injury over the past few months.

So now, in order to combat the problem and try to encourage cyclists to change their behaviour, officers teamed up to try to catch them in the act and show them the errors of their ways.

Teams hit the streets yesterday to tackle the rogue riders.

Coun Mark Smith, who represents one of the main hotspots – Talbot ward in central Blackpool – said: “There are two issues which we hope to tackle in order to make the pavements a safer place for pedestrians.

“One is with cyclists who lack the confidence to ride on the roads. We’re hoping officers can encounter them during the action days, engage with them and encourage them to go on courses to increase their confidence in order to stop them from causing a risk to pedestrians.

“The other is from people who simply don’t care and ride on the pavements with a total disregard for public safety. They could receive on-the-spot fixed penalty notices and will face the scrutiny of the police.”

Sgt Kirstie Whyatt, of Blackpool Police, said: “We are very supportive of these plans to help improve the safety of pedestrians.

“We have noticed a rise in the number of incidents being reported to us and hope these action days will allow us to give cyclists the confidence to start using the road.

“Thousands of people visit the resort every year and it is important to ensure their safety throughout the town’s streets.”

Town hall bosses said they had no specific figures for the rise in complaints but said they had more referrals through Police and Community Together (PACT) meetings and other community events.

Blackpool Council will host regular cycling sessions for residents who want to increase their confidence on the roads.

Call 476330.