West Midlands cycling boss joins police on ‘eye-opening’ bike ride - here’s what happened

Andy Street’s cycling and walking commissioner Adam Tranter had a bike ride full of surprises when he linked up with police officers

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West Midlands cyclist tsar Adam Tranter has hailed an ‘eye-opening’ experience after joining police for a 100-minute blitz around Birmingham. Andy Street’s cycling and walking commissioner watched officers seize drugs, make an arrest and issue more than 20 fines in Handsworth and Soho yesterday, September 21.

Within minutes, the crackdown saw two drivers fined for parking their cars in the middle of a road. One uninsured vehicle was later towed away.

Another poorly-parked car, sprawled across a street, led officers to the address of a wanted male, said Mr Tranter. He was arrested for unrelated offences and was ticketed for obstructing the road and pavement.

A motorist was then pulled over for speeding around a corner. Soho Police said its officers inspected the car and seized cannabis from inside.

Mr Tranter, who live-tweeted the operation, said he was soon unable to “keep up” with the amount of drivers pulling up around the officers and parking illegally. “As officers process the male with cannabis, more drivers park up and receive fines,” he tweeted.

Later, on Grove Lane, several vehicles were spotted parked across pavement. Passers-by shouted “good job” at officers dealing with the contraventions, said Mr Tranter. Another car was also found parked outside a school on a pathway. Mr Tranter asked: “How is a pedestrian supposed to get past?”

West Midlands walking and cycling commissioner Adam Tranter joins police for a bike rideWest Midlands walking and cycling commissioner Adam Tranter joins police for a bike ride
West Midlands walking and cycling commissioner Adam Tranter joins police for a bike ride

The operation, which started at 10.40am, and finished at 12.20pm, impressed the mayor’s cycling and walking commissioner. He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “It was really eye-opening to observe the work of the Soho Road and Ladywood neighbourhood teams.

“They’re showing how local policing teams can have a real impact on improving road safety and keeping vulnerable road users safe. Some of the driving behaviour and parking I witnessed was abysmal – leaving no space for pedestrians to get past on the pavement.”

He added: “Officers also made an arrest and seized drugs as well as getting lots of positive feedback from the community as they were taking action. It’s very clear to me that tackling these issues is also tackling other priorities such as drugs and violence.

“I’m grateful to the teams for showing what’s possible as part of OpTriton. If replicated by other neighbourhood policing teams across the region, it would be truly transformative.”

Soho Road Police tweeted: “The team have had a really productive hour with Adam Tranter showcasing the work we’re driving across West Midlands Police.” The force added that one person was arrested, drugs were recovered and an “excess of 20 tickets” were issued to drivers.