Mansfield District Council taken to court for town centre cycle ban
Legal proceedings were commenced against the Council in the High Court on 12 September in what is believed to be the first appeal against a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) since the legislation creating these orders was passed in 2014.
MDC introduced this PSPO, which made it a criminal offence to cycle through parts of Mansfield town centre, on 01 August. This cycle ban applies for 24 hours a day, even outside of trading hours and when the streets are deserted.
The PSPO was apparently introduced to address anti-social behaviour of a minority of people who cycled in the designated area. It now impacts upon residents, considerate cyclists and disabled people who may use specially adapted cycles to visit the town centre.
PSPOs have been described as a “busybody’s charter”. They allow Councils to declare a range of legal activities, such as cycling, busking or standing in groups of three or more, as illegal within geographically defined areas.
Through the CDF, Cycling UK and the Council have agreed to continue discussions regarding the cycling ban pending the hearing of the appeal. Cycling UK’s CDF contends that the Council have exceeded their powers by using legislation designed to prevent anti-social behaviour to arbitrarily ban an otherwise legal activity.
Cycling UK’s Duncan Dollimore, spokesperson for the Cyclists’ Defence Fund, said:
“Cycling UK is disappointed that we have reached such a stage where legal proceedings are necessary.
“How can the council have failed to account for people with disabilities who might use a cycle as a mobility aid or even those who commute to work within the defined area? Clearly a rethink from the Council is needed.
“If the Council was experiencing problems with a small number of inconsiderate people cycling, it would be far better to tackle that behaviour, which would benefit everyone, rather than impose a blanket ban on all cycling in the area at all times."
Notes to editors
- Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone. www.cyclinguk.org
- The Cyclists’ Defence Fund (CDF) is a subsidiary charity to Cycling UK, which offers help with cyclists’ legal cases and provides information about the legal aspects of cycling in the UK. www.cyclistsdefencefund.org.uk
- Anyone wishing to support the CDF in this case and in future cases can do so via: www.cyclistsdefencefund.org.uk/donate-cdf
- PSPOs were introduced two years ago under the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014, to enable Councils to prohibit certain types of behaviour deemed anti-social within a geographically defined area.
Press contact information
For more information contact the national Cycling UK Press Office on 01483 238 315, 07786 320 713 or email firstname.lastname@example.org