Police have launched a crackdown on cyclists riding the wrong way down a one-way street.

PCs and community support officers have been stopping cyclists caught pedalling on the pavement or the wrong way down St James’s Street in Brighton.

More than 40 cyclists were stopped in the project and asked to fill out a Sussex Police cycling questionnaire instead of the usual £30 fine.

The crackdown has been in force since 2005 when a man was knocked down by a cyclist going the wrong way down Laburnum Grove and spent seven weeks in hospital with a shattered pelvis.

The narrow street is used by a number of buses and although there have not been any recent serious incidents, police are concerned that illegal cycling could cause another accident.

A police spokeswoman said: "Officers and police community support officers conducted the operation following renewed complaints from local shop keepers and residents about cyclists who blatantly ignore the law and cycle against the flow of the one-way traffic or on the pavement.

"This is an extremely busy street and it is only going to be a matter of time before somebody else is seriously injured."

Ben Duncan, Green Party councillor for Queen's Park, welcomed the police operation but has called for a “radical solution” to the problem.

He said: “I think it is fantastic that PCSOs are stopping people going the wrong way down the road. It is very hazardous for people when cyclists come hurtling down the road.

“In my conversations with shoppers and businesses it is a really big problem for people and I know of incidents of pedestrians being hit by cyclists.

“My personal belief is that you can't have a one-way system going up a hill and a radical solution is needed to perhaps make traffic adjustments.”

The police questionnaire is aimed at understanding how the council and police can make the road safer for both cyclists and pedestrians.

Luis Tavares, a fisherman, agreed that St James’s Street can be hazardous.

The 28-year-old said: “Cyclists can be dangerous and they shouldn't be going down the wrong way.

"Some cyclists should have proper training and they should take responsibility as you can kill people.

"I saw an old lady get hit by a bike the other day and I have been close to hitting people before myself."

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