Crackdown is not anti-cy­cling

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - TOWNHALLVIEW - John Holdich

I’ve learned over the years that you of­ten need to give things time be­fore call­ing it a suc­cess or fail­ure. Take cy­cling on Bridge Street for ex­am­ple. In May we be­gan fin­ing peo­ple for unau­tho­rised cy­cling as part of a new city cen­tre Pub­lic Spa­ces Pro­tec­tion Or­der (PSPO) which aims to tackle a range of anti-so­cial be­hav­iour. At the time there were some who doubted whether our ap­proach would lead to a re­duc­tion in cy­cling along the busy shop­ping street.

But, less than three months on, feel­ings have changed and peo­ple are notic­ing an in­crease in the num­ber of peo­ple dis­mount­ing and walk­ing the short dis­tance with their bike - in­clud­ing the Peter­bor­ough Tele­graph.

The fig­ures back it up too in the first two weeks we fined 195 peo­ple, but in the past two weeks it’s less than half, 84.

It’s been a dif­fi­cult issue for us, as we know that although many peo­ple sup­port our view that al­low­ing cyclists to use Bridge Street dur­ing the day can pose a dan­ger to pedes­tri­ans, there are those that think this tar­geted mea­sure means we don’t sup­port cy­cling in the city.

This couldn’t be fur­ther from the truth. In the past four years we have spent over £1.5mil­lion on im­prove­ments to the city’s pri­mary cy­cle net­works, which has in­cluded projects such as the cy­cling up­grades on East­field Road.

We’ve also pro­vided a range of other ini­tia­tives to get peo­ple ped­alling, such as the Bike­abil­ity cy­cle train­ing de­liv­ered to thou­sands of school pupils in the city.

Build­ing on the suc­cess of the city cen­tre PSPO, a new or­der will be in­tro­duced in Mill­field, New Eng­land, parts of East­field, Lower Bridge Street and the Em­bank­ment next week. It will mean that any­one caught lit­ter­ing, spit­ting, uri­nat­ing, defe­cat­ing or com­mit­ting a range of other anti-so­cial be­hav­iours in pub­lic will re­ceive an £80 fine.

This week we were de­lighted to learn that a joint bid sub­mit­ted along with Cam­bridgeshire County Coun­cil has been suc­cess­ful and that an ex­tra £3.5 mil­lion is on its way to the city and wider county to tackle drought dam­aged roads.

We’re also in­vest­ing in many of our ma­jor routes to im­prove the road net­work for all. A pub­lic meet­ing takes place next week where you can find out about plans for the £5.5mil­lion up­grade to im­prove Junc­tion 18 of the A47 where it meets the A15. I am sure many of you are fa­mil­iar with this junc­tion, as it is the round­about sep­a­rat­ing Lin­coln Road, near Brother­hood Re­tail Park, and Bourges Boule­vard, close to Boule­vard Re­tail Park and Maskew Av­enue Re­tail Park. Some of you will call it Rhubarb Bridge.

The up­grade will fo­cus on re­mov­ing the net­work of foot­bridges and im­prov­ing the junc­tion for pedes­tri­ans, cyclists and mo­torists by re­design­ing the round­about to in­crease ca­pac­ity for the fu­ture.

The plans are for the bridges to be re­placed, as they are near­ing the end of their life, with pedes­trian ground-level cross­ings. This will have ben­e­fits for dis­abled peo­ple and elim­i­nate the need for an iso­lated sub­way at the cen­tre of the round­about.

Some res­i­dents want to see a re­place­ment net­work of bridges, and have spo­ken out about this, how­ever this could cost up to £30 mil­lion and this is fund­ing we don’t have avail­able.

The meet­ing is open to all and will take place at the Sal­va­tion Army Ci­tadel, 1203 Bourges Boule­vard, off Pep­per­corn Close, on Au­gust 9 between 3pm and 7pm.

If you have chil­dren aged three or four, did you know you could qual­ify for ex­tra free child­care? All three and four year olds in Peter­bor­ough are al­ready el­i­gi­ble for 15 hours child­care funded by the coun­cil in a num­ber of nurs­eries, child­min­ders and other Of­sted-reg­is­tered set­tings.

Now, thanks to gov­ern­ment fund­ing, some par­ents will be able to get 30 hours of funded term-time child­care a week.

More in­for­ma­tion is avail­able on our web­site or at www. child­care­choices.gov.uk.

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