|Borough||2013/14 Total||2014/15 Total||2015/16 Total|
|Barking and Dagenham||9||0||0|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||76||8||0|
|Kensington and Chelsea||595||74||4|
|Kingston upon Thames||117||68||0|
|Richmond upon Thames||99||16||2|
The number of fines issued by the Metropolitan police for cycling on the pavement has plummeted to less than two a day, new figures reveal today (see table above).
Only 406 fixed penalty notices were issued between April and last month, with nine boroughs – including Croydon, Greenwich and Lewisham – registering not a single offence.
It puts police on course to issue about 600 of the £50 on-the-spot fines by the end of March – a cut of two-thirds on the 1,931 in 2014/15, and barely 10 per cent of the 5,003 handed out in 2013/14.
Critics said cuts to police budgets and the axing of community support officers meant thousands of anti-social cyclists were evading punishment. But City Hall said officers were now focusing on riders who put others in danger.
Labour London Assembly member John Biggs, who obtained the figures from Boris Johnson, said: “Despite more cyclists than ever on London’s streets the number of fines issued to pavement hopping cyclists has nose-dived.
“It’s a regular complaint I hear that the thoughtless behaviour of a small minority of cyclists endangers pedestrians who have a right to feel safe on the footpaths in just the same way cyclists should on the roads.
“Whilst it’s only a small minority who break the rules, it can be terrifying for pedestrians when they see a bike hurtling down the path towards them, especially for older people or those with small children.
“The sad fact is that with fewer police and PCSOs out on the beat to enforce the rules, there are also fewer opportunities to crack down on bad behaviour like this.”
Most tickets were issued in Southwark, with 129. Waltham Forest was second highest, with 51. Only 14 tickets were issued in Westminster – compared to 1,213 two years earlier.
City Hall said the way cycling offences were recorded by police was changed last April. The Met’s prosecutions decided whether to issue a fine or allow riders to take part in an “online diversionary course” to educate them on safer and more considerate cycling.
The Met has a safer transport team in each borough but these focus their attention on rogue motorists who present a bigger danger to cyclists and pedestrians.
A spokesman for Mr Johnson said: “The Mayor understands how vulnerable pedestrians can feel when cyclists are on the pavement and that is why he has doubled the number of TfL enforcement officers on our streets with a brief of dealing with bad behaviour on our roads.
“Their work involves tackling any dangerous cycling behaviour alongside a focus on educating roads users, and their work is supported by the Metropolitan police who follow a brief that requires them to use their discretion when issuing fixed penalty notices and concentrate their use on instances where there is clear danger to other people.
“The Mayor believes the best way of preventing people from cycling on the pavement is to provide them with safer roads to cycle on and that is why he is investing nearly £1bn on new cycle infrastructure.”