Yesterday Dick met Inspector Steve Bell of Neighbourhood Policing and his cycling colleague to express Dynamo’s safety concerns re the following:
- rat-running past no-entry signs like Damside and Spring Garden Street in Lancaster city centre
- parking in mandatory cycle lanes (especially when contra-flow) like Chapel Street
- pavement parking
- enforcement of 20mph speed limits.
The meeting made clear how, despite goodwill, nothing is simple, how responsibilities fall between the police and the County Council, and (reading between the lines) how funding is being stretched further and further.
Regarding the rat-running – the County Council needs to change the road signs before the police can prosecute, but this isn’t a high priority for the County. The inspector was willing to raise awareness through the police facebook page and by stopping offenders (subject to officers being available). Dick is writing to the County to ask them to move it up their list.
The City and County Council parking authorities control parking in cycle lanes, and the Inspector will ask them to issue tickets. However, Road Safety Officers – 4 for a very large county – are overstretched.
It seems that central government has backed out of encouraging enforcement of 20mph speed restrictions as it would be too unpopular. (Not with us!) Volunteers can be trained to become part of the Community Road Watch Team and issued with speed monitors. CRWTs are very active in some parts of Lancashire – including Garstang. Perhaps we need to make contact with Garstang.
Re parking on pavements – this is not an absolute offence. It needs to be shown that it is causing an obstruction.
So, a helpful meeting with some ideas of how to follow it up.