FINES will be dished out to cyclists and electric scooter riders if they are caught on Southend’s pavements.

The council agreed to take a strong stance against careless cyclists and electric scooters as members discussed how an increase post Covid-19 has left pedestrians feeling unsafe.

Cabinet members voted for fines to be levelled at anyone caught riding on the pavement, despite an initial proposal which focussing on the High Street and seafront.

Children under 16 will be exempt.

Independent councillor Trevor Harp said: “A big part of my post bag is related to people absolutely abhorring cycling on pavements across the borough so making this boroughwide is a welcome change.

“I fully applaud that we are making all our pavements safe rather than concentrating on the high street and seafront.”

A report published ahead of the meeting said that in the last three months there has been a spike in crashes between pedestrians and cyclists on footpaths.

The council’s community safety unit and Essex Police have also seen a growing number of complaints about dangerous cycling. On busy days these reports “are almost daily to officers on patrol”.

Under UK law it is already illegal for cyclists over the age of 16 to ride on the pavement and those caught doing it can face on the spot fines of £50.

Liberal Democrat councillor Carole Mulroney said cycling on pavements has been particularly problematic in Old Leigh where cyclists have been seen riding on narrow footpaths.

She said: “I am pleased this is pan-borough, in Old Leigh we have lots of residential streets where pavements are narrow so I think it’s a good thing and this will resonate with residents.

“Over the course of pandemic, a big part of the complaints I’ve seen have been people saying yes we need more people cycling but why can’t they do it more carefully.”

There has been a major surge in people buying bicycles since the start of lockdown, with Halfords revealing that bike sales had risen 57.1 per cent.

On Wednesday, the Government also launched a new “fix your bike” scheme, offering 50,000 vouchers worth £50 for bike repairs