Figures reveal number of fines handed to cyclists riding on footpaths in Suffolk

Campaigner says there are not enough cycling paths in Ipswich.

Campaigner says there are not enough cycling paths in Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

Almost half of fines handed out to cyclists for riding on the pavements in Suffolk in the past five years were in Ipswich.

Since 2010, 57 fixed penalty notices have been issued to bicycle riders in the county for cycling on footpaths and causeways.

The figures, released under Freedom of Information laws, show that 49% (28) of these notices were in the county town.

Kevin Ablitt, of transport campaigning group, Cycle Ipswich, said: “In certain footpaths people are not sure where they are and are not allowed to cycle.

“There are also not enough cycle paths in Ipswich, so people will make their own choices.”

Mr Ablitt said the high level of traffic influenced cyclists in the town to ride on the pavements because they felt unsafe.

He added the group recently conducted a test along the Norwich Road/Chevallier Street/Valley Road junction.

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It found that the off-road route took four times longer to cycle across than the road route through the mini roundabouts.

“For people to get about quickly and efficiently you need to get better cycling infrastructure,” Mr Ablitt said.

The statistics show that the most common streets in Ipswich that riders were caught on are Westgate Street, Tavern Street, St Helen’s Street and Elm Street.

Inspector Jane Coe from Ipswich North East said cycling on pavements was a regular issue raised to safer neighbourhood teams by members of the public.

“A cyclist can reach significant speed, which can not only pose a risk to pedestrians but also themselves if they are involved in a collision,” she added.

“However our aim is to educate cyclists and discretion is used by officers in every case.”

The town with the second highest number of offences was Newmarket with 14 fines followed by Lowestoft with five.

In 2010, 22 Suffolk cyclists were fined; in 2011, 12; in 2012, eight, in 2013, one; last year, 12; and so far in 2015, two.