Open Letter to Mr Brown, Ex prime minister

farmer_giles
farmer_giles Posts: 39
edited November 2008 in Commuting chat
Dear Mr Brown, (ex Prime minister)
Thanks for the £30 fine, whilst cycling on a footpath 15 metres wide.
Its such a shame you have so much resouce available, to have 6 police officers available to fine cyclists (incidentally there were 6 others with me at the time....), instead of perhaps concentrating on the various murders, drug dealing, stabbings and less serious crimes in South East London.

Incidentally, the reason why myself and 6 others (there would have been more, but unfortnately, I could only stay 45 minutes giving a statement) were on the path, was because the path through burgess park was locked up, no doubt due to the various muggings, stabbings, murders that hapens during the daytime and evening in South East London. Obvoisly this was around 8pm, so you could imagine I am keen to walk around with my £1500 bike, and offer the opportunity to locals, to steal my 'pride and joy'.

Perhaps, fining locals is possibly not the best way of actuallly encouraging the community to assist police officers... when help or information is needed.

I hope my fine, goes to a good cause, rather than your tax bin.

Best Wishes Stuart.

PS: Next time I am in old kent road, burgess park, I will remember to bring some biscuits and hot tea and coffee for the police officers, who have to waste their time following instructions from your inept council. They must have been hungary waiting for cyclists all through the night, who were commuting home.
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Comments

  • tailwindhome
    tailwindhome Posts: 19,291
    Dear Mr Brown, (ex Prime minister)
    Thanks for the £30 fine, whilst cycling on a footpath 15 metres wide.
    Its such a shame you have so much resouce available, to have 6 police officers available to fine cyclists (incidentally there were 6 others with me at the time....), instead of perhaps concentrating on the various murders, drug dealing, stabbings and less serious crimes in South East London.

    Incidentally, the reason why myself and 6 others (there would have been more, but unfortnately, I could only stay 45 minutes giving a statement) were on the path, was because the path through burgess park was locked up, no doubt due to the various muggings, stabbings, murders that hapens during the daytime and evening in South East London. Obvoisly this was around 8pm, so you could imagine I am keen to walk around with my £1500 bike, and offer the opportunity to locals, to steal my 'pride and joy'.

    Perhaps, fining locals is possibly not the best way of actuallly encouraging the community to assist police officers... when help or information is needed.

    I hope my fine, goes to a good cause, rather than your tax bin.

    Best Wishes Stuart.

    PS: Next time I am in old kent road, burgess park, I will remember to bring some biscuits and hot tea and coffee for the police officers, who have to waste their time following instructions from your inept council. They must have been hungary waiting for cyclists all through the night, who were commuting home.


    How's any of this Gordon Brown's fault?

    Why were you on the footpath? I dont know the area but would have thought you should be on either a cycle path or the road.

    This sounds like a rant from someone who broke the law and got caught! Just like the thousands of idiots who complain about getting a fine for speeding.
    “New York has the haircuts, London has the trousers, but Belfast has the reason!
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Is this not the same thing that motorists say when they get stopped for speeding ?

    Whats wrong with the roads anyway ?
  • prj45
    prj45 Posts: 2,208
    next farmer_giles whines about getting a fine for riding through a red light...
  • moonio
    moonio Posts: 802
    'no doubt due to the various muggings, stabbings, murders that hapens during the daytime and evening in South East London.'


    Oh really :roll:
  • gtvlusso
    gtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    Is East London kinda like South Central Los Angeles then?! I would suggesting moving somewhere else, if not for the fine, then definitely for the violence level you describe!
  • [Fletcher]
    If you can't do the time, don't do the crime
    [/Fletcher]
  • cjw
    cjw Posts: 1,889
    Dear Mr Brown,

    It has come to my attention that 6 officers were deployed to catch cyclists breaking the law and giving out £30 fines. This is an OUTRAGE. Surely the cost of the operation would not be covered at a rate of £30 per crime. The offending cyclist should be fined far more than £30 (maybe £300) to ensure that the cost of the operation is covered and to act as a greater deterent.

    Cyclists often see themselves above the law both by cycling on pavements (which is potentially dangerous as pedestrians do not expect trasnporttion to be travelling on them), jumping red lights and generally ignoring the laws of the road. This has the effect of showing cyclists in a bad light with other road users, pedestrians and the media - damaging the perception of cycling.

    I for one wholeheartedly support your operations.

    Regards

    XXXXXXXX
    London to Paris Forum
    http://cjwoods.com/london2paris

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  • Oh, come on guys.

    This is the cycling equivalent of enforcing a stop line in rural Wales at 3am, or writing a parking ticket at 5:50 for a meter that runs until 6.

    Its profoundly annoying and trivial and we all know it.

    BUT - the police weren't deployed in the park for that reason, they just happened to be there.

    AND - Farmer Giles - you were caught at it. Precisely why they just didn't ask you to get off I don't know (perhaps you were going a bit fast?) but it s a fair cop, innit? Chalk it down to experience and save money on the stamp.
  • Jen J
    Jen J Posts: 1,054
    Perhaps the fact there were 6 of you was just too much to turn a blind eye...

    But as the others have said - you know the rules, so be prepared to accept the consequences if you break them.
    Commuting: Giant Bowery 08
    Winter Hack: Triandrun Vento 3
    Madone

    It's all about me...
  • I also fail to see the point of this rant, you got caught doing something illegal and as such you where fined.

    I'd love for the police to crack down on more serious crimes such as the stabbings, speeding motorists and those that still insist on driving whilst on the phone.

    I'd be interested to know where you where heading and where you got caught as I've ridden past Burgess Park a few times when I'm commuting towards Docklands and as far as I can remember, and see on google maps here it's not a huge park and could quite easily ride round using the roads on your "pride and joy"
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  • Littigator
    Littigator Posts: 1,262
    I've just bought a new hat...and a pair of snuggly mittens :shock:

    Oops, I think I'm in the wrong thread!
    Roadie FCN: 3

    Fixed FCN: 6
  • My attention has been distracted by the US presidential election. Has there been a change of leadership in the UK overnight?

    Like some other posters have pointed out, you hardly have a two-way choice between cycling through the park and riding on the path you took. Admittedly I am a yokel, but I am sure there are roads in London.

    And it's a bit "rich" (excuse the pun) to have a go at the priorities of the police at the same time as implying that the value of your bike should play some part in their decision making. Do you think people on cheaper bikes should be fined, but you shouldn't?
  • Littigator wrote:
    I've just bought a new hat...and a pair of snuggly mittens :shock:

    Oops, I think I'm in the wrong thread!

    Na-noo na-noo style lobster ones?
  • Littigator wrote:
    I've just bought a new hat...and a pair of snuggly mittens :shock:

    Oops, I think I'm in the wrong thread!

    Na-noo na-noo style lobster ones?
    Have you just had your monthly session of regression hypnosis, LiT?

    And....... you are back in the room.
  • Slow Downcp
    Slow Downcp Posts: 3,041
    I wish police would hand out more of these fines - maybe then people would stop cycling on footpaths, giving all cyclists a bad image.
    Carlsberg don't make cycle clothing, but if they did it would probably still not be as good as Assos
  • symo
    symo Posts: 1,743
    Were they on foot? Speed off dear boy speed off.
    +++++++++++++++++++++
    we are the proud, the few, Descendents.

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  • Why Gordon Brown ? surely the Met Police or Boris.
    Bu99er all to do with the P.M.
  • Everything is Gordon Brown's fault.

    Oh, and I don't think bugger gets filtered out.

    Let's try: bugger bugger bugger bugger
  • Littigator wrote:
    I've just bought a new hat...and a pair of snuggly mittens :shock:

    Oops, I think I'm in the wrong thread!

    Na-noo na-noo style lobster ones?
    Have you just had your monthly session of regression hypnosis, LiT?

    And....... you are back in the room.

    You know the one, Mork and Mindy? OK, I'll shut up.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    You can buy a mork styleee windbreaker on ASOS - a snip at £90 or summat...
  • boybiker
    boybiker Posts: 531
    Didn't you know ? its part of the anti-labour backlash which says that you are allowed to do absolutely anything that you want and if it all goes pear shaped or you get caught doing it then you get to whine about it, and its never your fault for being such a Pratt in the first place.
    Its not quite libertarianism as Bantham saw it.
    The gear changing, helmet wearing fule.
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  • boybiker wrote:
    Didn't you know ? its part of the anti-labour backlash which says that you are allowed to do absolutely anything that you want and if it all goes pear shaped or you get caught doing it then you get to whine about it, and its never your fault for being such a Pratt in the first place.
    Its not quite libertarianism as Bantham saw it.
    Do you work in banking?
  • hi all,

    just an update. regarding the posts made:

    The reason why I was on the path (incidentally it was 8pm at night time) I did have lights on.... I live in London. was because it was the only way of getting onto the road. The other route is through the park, which apparantly we can cycle through (arbeit on a path which is 2 metres wide) this was shut. So people had to cycle around 15 metres to get onto a side road. The path itsself is around 15 metres wide. enough for 12 people to walk on without any danger...

    The other 6 people (were just random people on their way home, ladies on knackered 1 speed bikes. Regarding speed. I amonst, all the others were cycling slowly (slow enough to actually stop and approach the coppers) I thiought i had been stopped because they wanted information about a crime. In the last 3 months, there was 2 shootings and 1 stabbing (fatal). during my chat - they were pulling over OAP ladies?? and fining them... old kent road itself, is possibly not the saftest road in london (I have seen a few pile ups...)

    I would have no complaints about going through a red light or indeed riding wreckesly, which the police office admitted I was not or others... there were no signs saying get off your cycle... and to be honest "how many people are going to walk around that part of London with their cycles - when it has a reputation) .... Regarding the fact - that is was just by chance that they were there, they had a van parked up and basically were just pulling over cyclists.. When I spoke with the officer, I was told "instructions of southwark council" I actually feel sorry for the coppers..... when they perhaps could be doing something more productive for the community...

    My only point really is.... the copper admitted it was by instruction of the council. Coppers have much better ways of spending their time dealing with serious issues. Next time, somebody has their house burgeled, car stolen and you are told 'we will be around there in half and hour' have a think about the fact there were 5+ officers.... spending their night there, just for collecting fines...

    and yes I do blame Gbrown because he has the power to instruct councils to actually good use of the resources available to them...
    hope this claifies... thanks
  • Big Red S
    Big Red S Posts: 26,890
    hi all,

    just an update. regarding the posts made:

    The reason why I was on the path (incidentally it was 8pm at night time) I did have lights on.... I live in London. was because it was the only way of getting onto the road. The other route is through the park, which apparantly we can cycle through (arbeit on a path which is 2 metres wide) this was shut. So people had to cycle around 15 metres to get onto a side road. The path itsself is around 15 metres wide. enough for 12 people to walk on without any danger...
    The fact that it's wide enough for you to fell safe riding on it doesn't mean it's legal for you ride on it.
    I would have no complaints about going through a red light or indeed riding wreckesly, which the police office admitted I was not or others... there were no signs saying get off your cycle... and to be honest "how many people are going to walk around that part of London with their cycles - when it has a reputation) .... Regarding the fact - that is was just by chance that they were there, they had a van parked up and basically were just pulling over cyclists.. When I spoke with the officer, I was told "instructions of southwark council" I actually feel sorry for the coppers..... when they perhaps could be doing something more productive for the community...
    They were probably responding to complaints from the public to the council about all these cyclists on the pavement.
    Which is a shame, really, because if there weren't all these cyclists on the pavement they could be doing something useful like catching rapists.
    My only point really is.... the copper admitted it was by instruction of the council. Coppers have much better ways of spending their time dealing with serious issues. Next time, somebody has their house burgeled, car stolen and you are told 'we will be around there in half and hour' have a think about the fact there were 5+ officers.... spending their night there, just for collecting fines...
    Just because some idiot decided that the existence of more serious crimes means he's allowed to commit less serious ones?
    and yes I do blame Gbrown because he has the power to instruct councils to actually good use of the resources available to them...
    Not if he's 'ex-prime minister' in your world?
  • Look, if you feel strongly about it, object to the fine. Take pictures showing the disposition of signs and the closure of the cycle path - if you were enticed into the park on the basis of there being a cycle route, directed off it due to closure onto a path via a route where there was no cycling, you may have a case.

    However, I've been fined (for carrying a single on the roof of my car) where the copper in question was factually incorrect in their understanding of the law. He took measurements and pictures which proved beyond doubt that I was complying with the exepmption relating to the type of boat I was transporting and had even asked me what sort of boat it was.

    Not withstanding all of the facts, my "appeal" landed on the same officer's desk, who elected to save face and my only option would have been to go to court. Who has the time?

    So, if you object and feel that signage was inadequate, then you will have to jump through the hoops to demonstrate the fact.
  • zanes
    zanes Posts: 563
    To be fair, when you're on £1500(!!!!!1111!!!1111!) worth of bike it would be a massive hassle to get off and walk 15 metres on a footpath. :roll:

    You did the crime, now do the time. And yes, cycling on a fotpath/pavement is my pet hate. And yes, I got off and walked along 20 metres of pavement yesterday, because the roadway was closed for repairs/resurfacing. In SPD-SL shoes, although I only have a £400 bike.
  • Jen J
    Jen J Posts: 1,054
    I agree with what Big Red S but it's a long post to quote again ;)

    The key point for me, is that you broke the rules and yet are not prepared to accept the penalty.

    You mention having to cycle on the path for 15 metres to get to the road. You were really too scared to walk your bike for 15 meteres? Wow. Dare I say MTFU.

    Your choice of route may have been taken from you, but you still had a choice of walking or cycling. You chose to cycle, and thus chose to break the law. End of.
    Commuting: Giant Bowery 08
    Winter Hack: Triandrun Vento 3
    Madone

    It's all about me...
  • even though he's not ex pm really, he doesn't have the power you say he does.
  • Evening folks,

    interesting to see everbodys reply. i think that some of my comments may have been misunderstood: the reference to the 1500 bike. Anybody who knows the 'New Cross / Peckham area" in SE london is aware that its not the safest. I've been threatended once by some lad with his pitbull, (this was on the same road where I got off to cross over the road at the traffic lights) so I prefer to keep on my bike especially at night. So my point was that really that my bike means a lot to me, along with my well being. It could be 200 quids worth, but a more expensive toy / car is a magnet for trouble.....

    i would sometime like to invite some of the posters on here... on a nice little bike ride around London, perhaps it will give you some idea of the reasons why some people try to avoid certain roads and areas. For myself to get back onto the road towards honor oak... se23.. i would have to gone back onto the main old kent road and cut accross 3 lanes...of traffic.. which is pretty nerveracking... however i didnt know the cycle path would be locked up? so unless you know every backstreet... you tend to pick the safest route.

    regarding the fine.... yes I paid. The amount wasnt the issue. when i spoke with the copper. she asked me for my name and address, which i provided. But aftewards I said: how do you know I have given you the right name: eg she didnt radio to check my background.... wierd. usually if you are under arrest I believe you're details are checked on computer for other offences?? - but really did this require the resource of 6 police officers? did the 60+ year old woman carrying her shopping home, averaging 1mph (there is a sansburys oposite) really deserve to be fined... surely a ticking off - would have sufficed, but then again... i would rather a 60 year old woman was on the rather large pavement, away from the traffic... then having to pick her up from the road.

    Question: if you are not suited to road riding, eg age, nervous cause of a previous accident... then does this mean you should sell your bike? and walk everywhere? I have no issues with people sharing space, as long as there is tollarance and 95% of the time, there are no issues. There are plenty of roads in Bristol where the pavement has been split into 2, again no problems and it encourages people into cycliing? Are we going to be continually fining people for occasianally using paths, if is deemed to be safer for both the person cycling and other vehicle users??

    for 98% of my journey, its on road. I have no issues with riding on streets of london, even though its pretty dangerous due to some taxi driver, some pesdetrians walking out in the middle of the road, motorbikes and cars. But i respect everybody, and am not one of these persons that wants everybody to be fining eatchother... eg motorbikes in cycle lanes.. people walking out in the middle of the roads (can you imagine if the coppers had to arrest and fine every pedrestrian who didnt use a zebra crossing....)

    there is obvosily a lot of media attention.... towards cyclists.. but I tend to find the ones that misbehave the most... tend to be on the racers doing 20 mph+. some of you on here have admitted on these forums to going through red lights (which I do not)... but at the same time I can fully understand why cycists do certain things... such as going through a light to turn left (as an example). I can also understand peoples frustration at cycling on certain paths being reckless, but this is a minority... perhaps what is needed is tollarance by everone, rather than jumping on a bandwagon.... every cyclist/driver/taxi driver... is an idiot etc.

    Some of you have mentioned that I was on a rant... more frustrated at... was the action taken against those who were cycling that night, what did it really achieve? Not a lot, I guess.. apart from alientating a few people. what happened to a bit of common sense used by coppers (again they were under instruction by the council... 9 times out of 10, unless you are being a dangerous plonker, you are left alone.... I dont blame the coppers at all....

    Again to claify there are differences between reckless riding and safe ridding (the cyclists that give us bad names tend to be the reckless ones) just because you have ridden on a path, does not mean you are reckless? - does it? reckless could be due to a number of things, eg not having a cycle bell , jumping red lights, one way streets, riding on the other side of the road (a favourite one in London city) and riding too fast(wether that be on a pavement or road), not paying due attention to others,,,

    The incident the other night was purly for collecting taxes, Not once did I see a pedestrian on that small stretch. and there is a massive difference between cycling on a path (in a busy city centre during rush hour) and (in a quiet suberb late at night) (no matter how long the distance) , nor were any vehicles pulled over, or car speed cameras in action....the fact thats it right next to a main commuter bike path.. says it all.

    perhaps some of the posters on here, need to have a think about why people sometimes ride on paths? before labeling us as idiots, I'd rather be an idiot that is alive than an idiot that is dead? one thing for sure that 60 year old woman... was not an idiot or a criminal...nor does she derserve to be tagged as one...

    cheers Stu.

    PS - look forward to smacking in the next rider ... who rams his / her bike into mine at the next traffic lights. I am joing by the way :D . I'll just report them to the police for criminal damage, reckless riding etc....or rather say hello and continue to be my polite self. :). after all that is the law... and common sense doesnt apply anymore!
  • Eau Rouge
    Eau Rouge Posts: 1,118
    Reading this:

    http://www.bikeforall.net/content/cycli ... he_law.php
    "The introduction of the fixed penalty is not aimed at responsible cyclists who sometimes feel obliged to use the pavement out of fear of traffic and who show consideration to other pavement users when doing so. Chief police officers, who are responsible for enforcement, acknowledge that many cyclists, particularly children and young people, are afraid to cycle on the road, sensitivity and careful use of police discretion is required."

    I'm not sure the police were right to be issuing fines, but I don't know all the details.

    Clearly he wasn't riding in a manner likely to endanger others.