Police set trap for pavement cyclists in Leicester's Golden Mile
Police set a trap for cyclists riding on the pavement along Leicester's Golden Mile yesterday.
Two groups of officers were stationed hundreds of yards apart – one at the Belgrave flyover with the other at the Loughborough Road junction – for several hours during the day.
Cyclists caught riding on the pavement were told to dismount by officers, who then informed their colleagues to be on the look-out.
Riders who got back in the saddle and resumed riding illegally were hit with automatic £30 fines by the second group of officers.
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However, by the end of the operation officers had warned 52 riders and all complied – so no fines were handed out.
Cyclist Yatin Valand, 28, of Belgrave, Leicester, was told to dismount when officers spotted him riding on the pavement.
Mr Valand, a printer, said: "This is a dangerous road and it is safer to ride on the pavement – although I know that is dangerous for pedestrians.
"I can understand why people are concerned about people who ride on the pavement and why the police are doing what they are doing today.
"I think cycle lanes would be good for this area."
Bhavna Lakhani, who owns a photographic studio in Belgrave Road, said: "I have sympathy with the cyclists and the pedestrians.
"I can understand why some cyclists are not happy about riding on the main road because it is very busy here and the traffic goes very fast.
"But this is a busy area and there are many children and elderly people walking up and down Belgrave Road. They could be seriously hurt if they were hit by a cyclist."
Ratilal Govind, chairman of the Belgrave United Neighbourhood Watch, said: "This is an issue which people bring up time and again as they are worried a pedestrian will be seriously injured.
"It is excellent to see the police out enforcing the law."
Yesterday's operation was run by officers from Melton Road police station in response to a steady stream of complaints from residents.
Sergeant Sarah Widdowson, who was taking part in the operation, said: "Often cyclists we catch riding on the pavement will say they don't feel confident riding on the main road. There are cycle routes across the whole of the city, so there is an alternative.
"The city council also offers free cycle training, w hich will give them the skills and confidence to ride on the main roads."
In addition to the cycling operation, officers also worked with parking enforcement firm Vinci and the city wardens service to monitor traffic in the area.
Eighty motorists were warned they were parked illegally, largely on double yellow lines in the residential streets off Belgrave Road. Of those, five were handed £60 parking fines.