Log In

Reset Password

Footpath cyclists 'dangerous as hell': councillor

COUNCILLOR Malcolm MacLean has told the district council’s environmental planning and regulations committee that cyclists riding on the footpath at speed were as “dangerous as hell”.

The committee was considering the enforcement parking activity report for the three months ending on June 30.

Cr MacLean said it was amazing to see in the report that City Watch had spoken to 239 cyclists riding on the footpath and 193 scooter riders, an increase of 22 over the same period the previous year.

This situation was being totally “abused to the max”.

As recently as the previous night he saw a group of these young kids who rode their bikes in the dark with no lights and no helmets and “flat tack” up the main footpath.

“If you talk to them you get a mouthful of abuse,” he said.

They did not know how to abide by the rules but they did know how to swear. He was sure this was the same crew that was creating havoc around Elgin.

He wondered if the police were involved because they needed to be dealt with.

Enforcement manager Jim Single said police had approached the council to see what could be done about it.

The officers were not aware of the infringements they could issue to cyclists.

A cyclist over 14 could be fined $160 for riding on the footpath, $150 for doing a wheel stand and $55 for not wearing a helmet.

Council officers culd not issue infringement notices for these offences.

Mr Maclean said some of them were as “dangerous as hell” because of the speed they were travelling on the footpath.

Mr Single said he understood about 50 of them had been fined so far. Some were recidivist offenders and difficult to deal with.

Josh Wharehinga said the community was taking ownership of this. When he was at the netball an announcement had been made over the loudspeaker telling everybody to stop this kind of behaviour.

Meredith Akuhata-Brown said City Watch were doing a good job. She was pleased to see they had done things like helping truants back to school. There was a level of social services involved in this space.

Karen Fenn asked what hours the City Watch staff worked and was told it was 9 to 5.

She said she had walked down the street at 4.30 and noticed as it got dark people were loitering, particularly outside pubic toilets. She said the loitering and the comments were intimidating.

Mr Single said it needed to be remembered they were just City Watch, they were not the police.

There were three officers with a new one just appointed and one worked on Saturdays on a roster basis. They would work outside their regular hours for cruise ships.

ON THE WARPATH: Cr MacLean has bikes on footpaths in his sights. File picture