Swoop on pavement cyclists

Cyclists on path in Park Rd Spalding'Photo:  SG010312-TW  www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/buyaphoto
Cyclists on path in Park Rd Spalding'Photo: SG010312-TW www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/buyaphoto
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You asked the police to take action on Spalding’s pavement cyclists – and yesterday on a special 5am patrol they stopped and dealt with a staggering 100 riders.

Operation Oatmeal got under way when most of us were only dreaming about breakfast.

But that is the hour many factory employees finish night shifts and cycle home – and officers were ready to catch them if they were breaking the law.

Sgt Stuart Brotherton, who led the operation, said four hot spots around the town were targeted – Pinchbeck Road towards Pinchbeck, Winsover Road towards Spalding, Hawthorn Bank and Halmer Gate.

Of the 100 cyclists who were stopped, 59 £30 fixed penalty tickets were issued for cycling on the pavements.

He said: “The facts don’t lie – it was a shocking result. Cycling on the pavements is the second biggest concern in Spalding after street drinking.

“While the operation was taking place, one resident came out and shouted ‘bravo’.

“Of course, some were tweeting asking what we were doing – and I am sure many will think there are more important things we could have been dealing with.

“But whenever we attend community panels, pavement cycling is the one people are always complaining about.

“It is a serious crime. As soon as a rider takes to the footpath they are putting pedestrians at risk.

“This operation is sending out a clear message - when people ride a cycle they are riding a vehicle.

“There’s no excuse for the people who were caught and no point saying why can’t we be more lenient because we have been out before and they know they should not be doing it.”

As well as the cycling offences, 10 vehicles were stopped for exceeding the 30mph limit, with four getting fixed penalty notices. one driver was stopped for seatbelt violation, a ticket was issued for a noisy exhaust and two suspicious vehicles were stopped and searched.

Sgt Brotherton said: “This was a successful operation. The officers started at 5am and will still be working through the afternoon.”