Drivers and cyclists in Brighton and Hove are accusing each other of causing anarchy on the roads.

As sparks flew in a live debate on The Argus website, police were handing out fines to cyclists flouting rules meant to protect seafront pedestrians.

SIMON BARRETT, RUTH MORGAN and BEN PARSONS report on the latest rounds in the battle to make our streets safe.

"TWO wheels good, four wheels bad" is the hardline view of many cyclists.

But for seafront pedestrians, enjoying a promenade shielded from cars, two wheels can be just as menacing.

Police have had reports of children and pensioners being knocked down by careless riders careering along outside the cycle lane.

On Friday morning the worm turned as police and council staff handed £30 fines to riders ignoring signs telling them to stick to their portion of the seafront.

Brighton and Hove City Council seafront officers took up positions between Hove Lagoon and the Peace Statue to warn riders to get back in the cycle lane.

If they strayed out again, one of eight police officers and staff stepped in and slapped them with a fine.

In total 19 fixed penalty notices were issued.

Police Community Support Officer Cat Pearce, who ran the operation, said: "We have given them so many warnings.

"Now it is time to enforce that and give them tickets."

She said cyclists can ruin the enjoyment of the seafront for pedestrians, but stressed most were obeying the rules.

She said: "The majority were in the cycle lane, without a doubt.

"It is just a a few who choose to ignore the signs."

PCSO Pearce said similar operations are planned in future.

She said: "You should be able to walk there without fear of being knocked down by a cyclist.

"People go too fast down here. We have heard all the excuses.

"If you continue to ignore the signage you will get a £30 ticket."

Cyclist Anthony Keegan was one of those hit with a fixed penalty notice.

He admitted he had broken the regulations but said there was no sign to point out the risk of an on-the-spot fine.

He said: "The £30 fine I had no idea about.

"Hundreds of people do this every day. It doesn't cause anyone any great distress.

"It is common sense that you don't cycle really fast down here."

Mr Keegan said he thought the scheme was a money-making exercise by the council.

He said: "Rules are rules. If they've got to raise the cash from somewhere this is one way they need to do it."

Another cyclist, Mark James, said he supported the authorities making people on bicycles more responsible.

He said: "At the end of the day the city council does try to provide for cyclists. If they make an effort to do that then we should make an effort to cycle in the right places.

"I'm not keen on on-the-spot fines but if people are going to abuse what is there how else are you going to prevent it?

"I don't like the idea but at the end of the day I guess a penalty is the only way to stop people cycling where they are not supposed to."

*Watch our video of the police operation at