Fourteen people are sharing a court bill of almost £9,000 after failing to pay fines for cycling in Grimsby town centre.
Cases against 12 defendants were proved in their absence at Grimsby Magistrates’ Court on Friday 6 November. Each was fined £440 and ordered to pay a £44 government surcharge and £226.04 costs.
A further two defendants pleaded guilty and were fined £70 and £80 respectively. Both were ordered to pay a £32 government surcharge and one was ordered to pay a contribution towards costs in the sum of £150.
The 14 defendants were taken to court for cycling in a prohibited cycling zone in breach of a Public Space Protection Order.
All the defendants had been issued with a £100 fixed penalty notice for cycling in the pedestrianised area on Victoria Street.
The fixed penalty notice is an alternative to prosecution and allows 14 days to pay. Anyone who chooses not to pay a fine can be taken to court.
A Public Space Protection Order was introduced in July 2019 banning people from cycling in the pedestrian area. Since then, a total of 415 fines have been given.
Councillor Ron Shepherd, cabinet member for Safer and Stronger Communities at North East Lincolnshire Council, said:
“Anyone who refuses to pay a fixed penalty notice risks a court appearance where fines can be much higher.
“I’m pleased the courts are supporting our stance with these rulings.
“Visitors and workers in the town centre are fed up with nuisance cyclists putting them at risk.
“Enforcement officers are here to put a stop to this problem behaviour and keep our town centre a safe and welcoming place.”
Officers from Local Authority Support carry out patrols and gather evidence which is passed on to Doncaster Council who issue the fines on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council.
Private patrols were introduced after a wide-ranging public consultation in 2017. People said they wanted to see more enforcement against those who litter and don’t pick up after their dogs.
This was followed by the introduction a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for a number of other offences in summer 2019.
North East Lincolnshire Council works closely with other organisations, including the police and local businesses, to enforce legislation and help keep the town centre safe.
As well as littering, dog control and cycling offences, officers can also enforce against smoking in commercial vehicles.
North East Lincolnshire introduced private patrols for littering and dog fouling in November 2018, as part of an agreement with Doncaster Council. Officers started issuing fines for cycling in the pedestrian area in July 2019.