Cycling charity opposes outright ban on riding in Mansfield town centre

Mansfield town centre
Mansfield town centre

A national cycling group is challenging the plans to ban bikes from Mansfield town centre.

The district council recently agreed to toughen up on anti-social behaviour by voting to introduce public space protection orders (PSPOs), which included an outright ban on cycling through the town centre.

Support group Cycling UK has now contacted the council to raise concerns, insisting that such moves could hinder the promotion of cycling as an alternative form of transport.

Duncan Dollimore, the senior road safety and legal campaigner at the Surrey-based charity, said a growing number of local cyclists are unhappy about the move.

He says those who commute have little option but to use the town centre, often on a morning or an evening when it is quiet, so feels set times for no cycling would be a fair solution.

“In other towns where there’s town centre restrictions, it’s usually between certain times, like 10am to 4pm,” he said.

“We would not want people to be criminalised for riding through the town centre at 3am.

“The number of reported incidents is understood to be extremely small so we are objecting to the principal.

“Cycling provision in Mansfield is dire and if you can’t go through the town centre then you are thrown out onto the ring road which is not designed for cyclists.”

Cycling UK has since penned a letter to Mansfield District Council calling for a re-consideration of the plans.

However, Councillor Mick Barton, portfolio holder for public protection and who backed the PSPOs, disagreed with making changes.

He said: “I think it’s a mountain out of a mole hill, all we are asking is cyclists to dismount for about 200 yards - it’s only Market Place but there are pinch points asking people to dismount as they approach.

“I do not agree with the timed restrictions, we have a night-time economy and as part of our future plans we want to make it a community hub from early in the morning until midnight.”