Cyclist prosecuted for flouting Mansfield riding ban

Christopher Cobb has been fined for cycling in a banned area.Christopher Cobb has been fined for cycling in a banned area.
Christopher Cobb has been fined for cycling in a banned area.
A cyclist has been ordered to pay more than £600 for riding in a banned area of Mansfield town centre.

Christopher Cobb, of Commercial Gate, Mansfield, was prosecuted by Mansfield District Council for breaching the council’s public spaces protection order.

Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court heard that, on April 11, a council neighbourhood warden noticed 22-year-old Cobb riding a mountain bike from Market Place toward Mansfield library, on West Gate, which is banned under the PSPO.

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The cyclist was advised of this and dismounted, but, the court heard, about 10 minutes later the warden saw the same man riding his bike again in West Gate.

The man dismounted, but was stopped by the warden and issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice.

However, he did not pay and was taken to court.

Cobb indicted no plea to the charge and the case was proved in his absence. He was fined £440 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £100 and a victim surcharge of £44.

Councillor Bill Drewett, portfolio holder for safer communities, said: “Cycling has been prohibited in the pedestrianised area of Mansfield town centre to protect pedestrians.

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“There are alternative routes around the town centre or cyclists can act in a responsible fashion and get off and push their bicycles through the town centre.

“This cyclist had the opportunity to pay a much lower fixed penalty of £100 but chose to ignore it which is why he is now facing a much higher penalty as a result of the case having to go to court.”

The controversial cycling ban – brought in last year in a bid to combat anti-social cycling – hit the headlines recently after a leading cycling organisation accused the council of double standards for allowing a stage of The Tour of Britain cycle race to take place in the banned area.

The council said “responsible” cyclists were welcome in the same place when the tour visited a month ago.

The council is now consulting about changes to the PSPO, including reducing the hours the ban is in place.