10:30AM, Friday 08 October 2021
A resident who was the first cyclist to be fined on the first day of the Royal Borough’s Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) has called for less ‘officious’ policing by community wardens.
Steve Cooper, 64, said he was fined for cycling along the High Street ‘slower than walking pace’ whilst returning home with his shopping.
Mr Cooper added that, as he was being fined by a community warden, another individual ‘went past smiling’ whilst cycling on his back wheel.
Since it was introduced on Tuesday, August 31, the PSPO has attracted controversy, with community wardens unable to fine e-scooter riders.
Moreover, some cyclists on social media have questioned the policy.
Cllr Gurch Singh (Lib Dem, St Mary’s) has also said he believes there should be ‘prominent signage’ in place.
Mr Cooper told the Advertiser that he had emerged from the alleyway next to Wilkos, where there was not any signage, on August 31.
“I was cycling so slowly that when the guy actually gave me the fine, two shopkeepers came out and said ‘you’re actually cycling slower than the pedestrians were walking,’ added Steve.
“I said: ‘yeah, I always do because I’ve got shopping on my bike.’
“If I see anybody else going too fast, I’m usually the first to tell people to slow down, especially if they’re on scooters.
“The guy who came over was very officious; he pulled his notebook out straight away, and apparently they said that I refused to get off the bike, which is absolutely ridiculous, otherwise I’d have just ridden away.”
Steve also revealed the slip of paper which he had been given had said he had been in breach of a PSPO under section 67 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
“It’s just a bit annoying that he couldn’t come over and say that the council was tightening up on this,” he said.
“Obviously, from now, I won’t cycle down there.
“But he didn’t give me the opportunity and he was very officious and unnecessary, and I don’t see the point in that really.
“The two shopkeepers that came out said that we’re trying to get people to shop in the town, not put them off.
“He didn’t understand how the fine system worked; I said: ‘what do I have to do now’, and I was told by one of the wardens that I’d have to wait for an invoice to come through, which is incorrect as you have to pay it as soon as you can.”
Mr Cooper added that he had received ‘a lot of support’ since being issued the £100 fine, and believed he was not ‘anti-social’ at 64 years of age.
A spokesperson for the council said: “[Public Spaces Protection Orders] were well publicised in advance of their introduction, including in the Maidenhead Advertiser, and signage makes clear the requirements of the orders and the financial penalties for failing to comply.
“The orders prohibit cycling at any speed, and are not a speed limit on cycling.”
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