Cyclists caught pedalling on the pavement and ignoring red lights were fined £30 in a police crackdown.

Two police officers and eight police community support officers patrolled St James's Street, Kemp Town, Brighton, for six hours and handed out more than 30 fixed penalty notices.

Police said the most common offences were cycling on the pavement, riding in the wrong direction down the one-way street and ignoring a red light.

PCSO James Conway said: "These types of issues have been there for years and now they really are a priority for residents and traders who are complaining to us.

"There have been serious accidents and a lot of near-misses. People tell us they have nearly been knocked down by cycles on the pavement.

"Cyclists going at speed down the St James's Street hill the wrong way are a huge danger.

"After four years of warning people we are now issuing tickets - we find word spreads fast."

One resident was issued with a fine for cycling on the pavement.

He said: "The roads can be lethal for cyclists. Cars don't care about us, so I ride on the pavement.

"I think this fine is unfair. I need to ride every day for my job and I can't see this stopping me.

"I think it's more a money-making exercise than an issue of safety."

Cyclist Mark Deedman, of Belle Vue Gardens, Kemp Town, said he thought the presence of the community support officers was a good thing.

He said: "I cycle every day and I think the fines are fair enough. Cyclists shouldn't break the rules any more than motorists.

"Just because a bike is less dangerous than a car, it doesn't mean serious accidents can't be caused.

"I make sure I ride safely and legally and I wish other cyclists would too."

PCSO Conway said that most people issued with fines were aware they were breaking the rules and took the fine with good grace.

He said: "Most people accepted it. They knew what they were doing was wrong but said they were in a hurry or taking a shortcut.

One man actually said he complains about bikes going the wrong way down one-way streets and he was doing it himself.

"Of course there were a couple of people who weren't happy about it. But we have given out flyers and put up signs on lamp posts among other things over the years so there really is no excuse."

Last month PCSOs handed out 19 penalty notices for cyclists riding outside cycle lanes on Hove seafront and hope that operations targeting rule breakers will help bring cyclists into line.

The day-long crackdown has been an annual event, but it could now go ahead more often.

PCSO Conway said: "Maybe we won't be waiting for a year before we come out here and do this again."

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