Public Space Protection Order
Bedford town centre to be more pedestrian
Bedford town centre is set to be more
pedestrian friendly thanks to a new legal power.
The Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) will
restrict cyclists from riding bikes through the main pedestrian
area between 9am and 6pm. Cyclists will still be able to ride
through the town centre from 6pm to 9am.
Bedford Borough Council is keen to encourage
more people to make journeys by bike and provides a number of safe
cycle routes across the Borough. However, cyclists must act in a
safe and appropriate manner at all times.
Anybody riding a bicycle between the
designated times set out in the order can be given a Fixed Penalty
Notice of up to £75 which will reduce to £50 if paid within eight
days. Failure to pay the charge may result in a fine up to £1,000
upon prosecution. PSPOs can be enforced by a police officer, police
community support officer and authorised council officers.
There was an extensive public and stakeholder
consultation during 2015, taking into account the views of the
public, local cycling groups, users of the town centre, business
representatives and Bedfordshire Police. The consultation revealed
broad support for the introduction of a PSPO and also identified an
issue with reckless and inconsiderate cycling in the town
Councillor Colleen Atkins, Portfolio Holder
for Community Safety and Regulatory Services, said: “It’s good that
people are cycling as it’s better for the environment and it is
healthy exercise. However, reckless and inconsiderate cycling in
Bedford town centre has been highlighted as a concern and we are
committed to tackling this problem.
“Bedford BID regularly records about 800
cyclists a month riding through Bedford town centre during the
daytime and there have been some nasty collisions with pedestrians.
We need to make sure cyclists dismount to walk through busy areas.
It’s in the interests of other people and for their own safety.
“PSPOs can be very effective in helping to
stop nuisance behaviour. This is our intention and hope it will
improve the experience for people living in, working in and
The Council’s town centre Public Spaces
Protection Order (PSPO) was approved by the Executive at a meeting
on 10 February. The PSPO will remain in place for three years from
the date it is introduced.