BURY Police are to put the brakes on irresponsible cyclists who ride illegally on The Rock and put shoppers at the risk of injury.
The week-long clampdown, which begins next month, follows an incident when a young cyclist collided with a partially-sighted woman on the pedestrianised zone.
He then swore at the pensioner, asking if she was blind.
Stephanie Garvey, a volunteer with Bury Blind Society is still recovering months after the incident and is receiving ongoing treatment for leg injuries. She has a ruptured cartilage and torn ligaments.
Inspector Charlotte Cadden, from Bury East Neighbourhood Policing Team, will help spearhead the enforcement operation targeting cyclists on The Rock, which begins on August 2.
She said that apart from the incident involving Mrs Garvey, there had been several other “near misses” in the same area involving cyclists.
Speaking about Mrs Garvey’s plight, Insp Cadden said: “She was knocked to the ground by a young man on a bike. We weren’t informed at the time.
“Since then, she’s had to have some medical intervention and she can’t walk properly now.
“She used to dance and had been very active. But this has completely ruined her quality of life.”
To reinforce the fact that cycling on The Rock is prohibited, Bury Council has installed warning signs at both ends of the popular shopping area.
Insp Cadden said: “It isn’t just the elderly and vulnerable who are at risk. People pushing prams and others have to get out of the way of bikes.
“As part of the enforcement, we will be giving out £30 fixed penalty notices. We will also be working closely with CCTV to monitor these cyclists.”
Councillor Yvonne Wright, chairman of the Bury Blind Society, said: “Bury Council want to make it clear we believe this kind of behaviour involves only a small minority of cyclists. It’s wholly unacceptable. I would say culprits should have their bikes confiscated and crushed.
“The council has put up new signs but we now have to underline the message that such incidents cannot be tolerated. At a time when the town centre is attracting more and more visitors, we want them to feel safe.”