Nottingham

Tour of Britain race in Mansfield where cyclists banned

Tour of Britain going through London Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Tour of Britain passes through a number of British towns and cities

A council has been accused of double standards for allowing a stage of a major cycle race to start in a town centre where cyclists have been banned.

Mansfield District Council stopped people riding around the market place to combat "anti-social" cycling.

However, it said "responsible" cyclists were welcome in the same place for the Tour of Britain on 6 September.

Campaign group Cycling UK said Mansfield hosting the race was illogical.

The group is currently supporting six cyclists who are challenging the council over a public spaces protection order (PSPO), issued a year ago, which prohibits people from cycling in the pedestrianised market place area.

Anyone who fails to dismount when asked could be fined.

Image caption Stage four of the Tour of Britain will start from Mansfield market place

Cycling UK spokesman Duncan Dollimore said: "They are marketing the town as cycle friendly, but not to people who want to shop there.

"We would never defend cycling anti-social behaviour, but why not deal with those being stupid and not responsible cyclists.

"They are effectively saying cycling is anti-social."

He also criticised the council's own promotional video showing a cyclist riding through areas which are prohibited.

In a statement, Mansfield District Council said it welcomed responsible cyclists to the town to view the race, but with care and consideration.

Riders have been encouraged to dismount, but "normal" rules concerning the PSPO will not be in operation for the "special event".

Mansfield's mayor Kate Allsop said: "This is about safety. This event will be properly monitored and managed.

"What we don't want is people dashing through the town centre on their bikes frightening or upsetting people.

"This is a special event and it would have been a dreadful shame if we were so inflexible that we would not host this amazing opportunity."

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