Council scraps plan to use order to clamp down on 'reckless' cycling in Rugby town centre - here's why

Rugby council has scrapped a proposal to use a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to clamp down on cycling in the town centre.

Thursday, 7th November 2019, 1:11 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th November 2019, 1:11 pm
Rugby town centre.

Last year the borough council asked residents for their views on a proposal to use a PSPO give Rugby's street wardens the power to deal with problem cyclists in the pedestrianised area of the town centre.

At the time, Cllr Neil Sandison of Rugby's Eastlands ward told the Advertiser he had witnessed people being put in danger because of incidents of anti-social and reckless cycling in the area.

Police already have powers to deal with problem cyclists - and an existing order already forbids cycling in the pedestrianised part of the town centre between 11am and 4pm.

But the PSPO would give Rugby's street wardens the power to deal with problem cyclists as well.

The council held a public consultation on the matter which began in July this year, running until September.

What did people have to say about the proposal when they responded to the consultation?

A report the officers prepared for Rugby's councillors states that the consultation received 42 valid responses.

13 of those respondents were in favour of the proposed order and 29 were against.

The police Safer Neighbourhood Team said the proposal was a good idea 'on the face of it' - adding that they get complaints over cyclists in the town centre.

Rugby First supported the proposal, stating: "Generally it's a good idea, rangers have complaints on a near daily basis.

"We have attended a number of first aid incidents caused by cyclists."

Warwickshire County Council opposed the order - stating that existing regulations should be enforced, rather than imposing another order for the same problem.

Residents had mixed views, with one stating they had been injured by an irresponsible cyclist in the town centre.

Others said cyclists should not all be subjected to a PSPO because of a minority of irresponsible people.

Council offers recommend the proposal be scrapped

Based on the public response, and the county council's comment, Rugby council officers recommended that councillors do not go any further with the proposal.

And the officers' report, which they prepared for councillors, explains that there is already a Traffic Regulation Order in place between the hours of 11:00-16:00, during which cycling is ‘not permitted’ under the Highway Act 1835.

This, the report adds, means that current enforcement against anti social cycling is the responsibility of the police.

And, should a PSPO be introduced, enforcement would likely become the responsibility of the council - potentially leaving them liable for any damage or injury claims.

The report adds: "RBC has received one complaint regarding cycling in the town centre in the last 6 months and has not received any further reports or requests for assistance on this matter from the enforcing authorities (Warwickshire Police and Warwickshire County Council).

"The consultation results show a lack of supportive evidence to implement this PSPO and a lack of evidence to demonstrate the issue being of a persistent or continuing nature.

"There is however, significant anecdotal evidence to show there is a problem which is not being adequately dealt with currently."

Councillors at Rugby's cabinet meeting on Monday, November 4, decided to go no further with the proposal.