Council in bid to crack down on antisocial cyclists and e-scooter riders in Basildon

Extra powers are being drawn up enabling fines on people riding bikes and electric scooters antisocially in Basildon.

Basildon Council’s proposed expansion of the public space protection order could also see the prohibition of buskers using amplifiers in the town centre.

The order, introduced on April 1 2022 and lasting until March 31 2025, currently includes the prohibition of urinating in public and car cruising.

Anyone in breach can face a fixed penalty fine of £100.

The council says extending the order to tackle the use of bicycles causing anti-social behaviour would help protect pedestrians – especially the elderly and children from being knocked down.

Councillor Stuart Terson, chairman of the People Scrutiny Committee said: “The amount of near misses that we’ve seen either with adults but especially with children and those that are disabled or the elderly.

“If we haven’t had any serious instances already I’m very surprised. So I would be completely in favour of cracking down on people using bikes antisocially.”

The council has said it has seen a rise in the number of complaints  – linked to large groups of young people riding in a manner that was “causing alarm, distress, and harassment”.

The report states: “Several of these individuals have social media videos evidencing large bike gatherings and ‘ride outs’ across the borough.

“The videos demonstrate the scale of the issue and the typical behaviour that is displayed including riding in large groups, on main roads with no consideration to traffic, and often doing wheelies and riding very close to pedestrians in the town.”

Committee member Councillor Jeff Henry said a collision involving people travelling at “incredible speed” through pedestrianised areas such as shopping precincts could end with “potentially life-changing injuries for some of these elderly vulnerable quite frail people”.

His suggestion to include electric scooters in the consultation for the draft order was also accepted.

The Community Safety Team have also received numerous reports of buskers with amplifiers operating within Basildon town centre which people say is causing a noise disturbance to residents and businesses.

Elaine Navin, Head of Housing Management and Community Safety told the People Scrutiny Committee on March 23: “Because we’ve got residents that live in the town centre and we’ve got quite a lot of businesses that are not necessarily retail businesses we’ve got quite a lot of um office accommodation that is above the retail.

“That really loud music can have a massive impact on those people so it’s really a way to stop that level of nuisance.”

A report will go to cabinet in June to give the go-ahead for a public consultation on the proposals.

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter