City of London police crack down on cyclists

City of London police were fining cyclists who rode through red lights in the City on the morning of Tuesday 8th January, possibly in a bid to cash in on publicity brought about by BBC1’s ‘Road Rage: The Battle for Britain’s Roads’ documentary aired on the evening of 7th January.

ITV London were on hand to film the fining which was documented in their 11am news bulletin on 8th January.

Inspector David Aspinall of the City of London police, who was interviewed for the news bulletin, claimed that the ‘number of casualties of cyclists’ in the City is ‘mainly due to cyclist behaviour’. However, a City of London road casualty report from 2007 showed that cyclists jumping red lights did not feature in the top five causes of casualties in the City. Careless driving by lorry and car drivers is a much more serious issue.

LCC recognises that all Londoners have an equal right to street space whether on foot, two wheels or four and should be encouraged to share this space responsibly. The following statement was released by LCC in conjunction with CTC, Sustrans, Living Streets, Transport 2000 and the Environmental Transport on Tuesday 4th September 2006 to coincide with Mayor Ken Livingstone’s Share the Road campaign. For the full statement, please follow the link on the right.

“All road users have a duty of care to avoid endangering or intimidating one another, and to respect each other's rights. This means drivers and motorcyclists need to observe speed limits, not enter bike boxes (ASLs*) at traffic lights and give cyclists  room at junctions and when overtaking; meanwhile cyclists need to avoid frightening pedestrians and avoid potential collisions by stopping at both red lights and pedestrian crossings and not riding on pavements where they are not permitted to do so.

Pedestrian and cycle user groups, in common with other road user organisations, advocate responsible cycling, driving and motorcycling, and this includes observation of traffic regulations by all road users. Pedestrian and cycle user groups believe that greater police enforcement is needed for all road traffic offences including those which most endanger life and limb such as speeding, drink driving and illegal mobile phone use.

Pedestrian and cycle user groups are promoting cycle training as a way of enabling new cyclists to gain the confidence to cycle on city roads.  In London, cycle user groups are also distributing cycle route maps which allow new cyclists to choose the routes that best suit their ability.”

Comments on this article

Comments have now been closed on this article. 

Comment from Jess:

Funny that they weren't on hand to fine the motorists jumping lights this morning...

Comment from Grant:

By all means target the idiots who give we cyclists a bad name, but balance it out and have the police also pouncing on motorists and bus drivers running red lights at the same time. There are idiots in charge of all forms of moving transport.

Comment from Ralph:

Cyclists in the city are a danger to themselves and all other road users. Everyday I witness cyclists riding through red lights, on the pavement and the wrong way on one-way streets. I'm please that the City of London is taking action and is handing out fines.

Comment from Sylvia:

"LCC recognises that all Londoners have an equal right to street space whether on foot, two wheels or four" LCC is part of the problem. Pedestrians and cyclists should come first. The Met are car supremacist bigots, indifferent to motor carnarge, setting an appalling example themselves in their dangerous driving, and wholly indifferent to speeding, red light jumping and the tens of thousands of drivers who every day drive with one hand on the wheel while chatting on a mobile phone. One nearly killed me yesterday. With wimpish friends like LCC, who needs enemies?

Comment from Charlie (LCC):

Sylvia has missed the point. LCC continually campaigns for greater priority to be given to pedestrians and cyclists. Our right to share the street space safely implies that we do come first and that dangerous vehicles need to be constrained.

While we respect the rights of all road users we also expect them to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions. It is reprehensible that the City Police are discriminating against cyclists in their enforcement action when their own research shows cyclists do not cause the casualties.

Comment from Ralph:

No, Sylvia has hit the nail on the head. LCC should be campaigning publicly for removing cars, taxis and in particular lorries from parts of central London and other town centres. The joint statement is badly drafted and reads as if you had to get the AA & RAC on side too. Those on foot and cycle will get on much better if they're both not dodging drivers.

Comment from Mark:

I wish the police would patrol Holland Park Road and stop the anti-social cyclists who repeatably ignore the lights on their South bound journey to the Thames Water Roundabout. As a cyclist, I have been verbally abused by those cyclists, when their irresponsible and dangerous behaviour is politely pointed out.

Comment from George:

I watched the TV programme with interest. But on my ride home the night after the programme, I encountered aggressive drivers who possibly thought this programme gave them the 'green light' to hoot/target cyclist, just for being on the road. these motorists hate cyclists because they are jealous we get to go faster than them. Taxi drivers seem to believe that the higher your BMI the more right you have to use the roads..

Comment from Mark:

I don't feel 'persecuted' as a cyclist. I love cycling within London. my personal opinion is that there are too many 'cyclists' with massive inferiority and self opinionated beliefs. The traffic is here to stay - accept it and then live with it. I have had close shaves, believe me, but most of the riding I see between Hampstead and Fulham, beggars belief.

Comment from Mark 2:

I also agree with Sylvia. LCC is too lightweight, especially on an issue like this where cyclists need someone to speak up for them.

Comment from Andrea:

Is the LCC going to make a formal complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), regarding the lies promulgated by Inspector David Aspinall?

Comment from Gumbie:

I was done in the "purge" for running red lights in Bishopsgate. I have cycled for 20 years in the City and it is a battleground. There are very few provisions for cyclists and a huge increase in their numbers. Many of the roads are in very bad condition, ipod wearing pedestrians wander blindly into the road, busses weave in and out of lanes. Easing over a red light gives you a few yards of free road and does not have to involve terrorising pedestrians. Quoting accident stats is a nonsense, after all very few pedestrians are hurt by cyclists. We are the ones who risk terrible injury. Until cyclists are better catered for the police should turn a blind eye except in extreme cases. p>

Comment from Nick:

By all means fine red light jumpers, but also the the cars as they stop in the bike boxes, this is classed as jumping the lights as they are past their stop line too, but no they dont fine them, the thing that makes me wonder is; how to the police that are trying to fine the cyclist (if they are on a racing bike), catch him/her up in londons traffic, surely no match for the worst offenders, messengers, nothing against messengers though!

Comment from Jason:

I have to agree with Gumbie in this case. If a light is 'eased' through it males it much safer for the cyclist. It is the blanket ruled and rampant hard headedness that make travel so difficult in London. If a light is red and there are no other cars or pedestrians then sure I'll go through it. Busy intersection with hundreds of people trying to get to work then no, that's just stupid. After commuting 40 miles a day for years I have only ever run into people who have stepped into the road, at a place with no crossing, without looking.