Recently elected police and crime commissioner Sir Graham Bright has vowed to put a brake on “dangerous cyclists”, ahead of what he believes will be a boom in tourism to Cambridge following the recent royal visit.

Sir Graham has explained in an interview with Cambridge News that he was alerted to the issue during his election campaign and insists that “Dangerous cycling is a risk to all road users”. This, he added, is particularly pertinent in Cambridge, where “there are more bicycles per head of population than almost anywhere in the world.”

Cambridgeshire County Council’s 2011 Joint Road Casualty Data Report reflects Sir Graham’s concerns, stating that 15% of all road casualties in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough were pedal cyclists and 46% of these were injured in Cambridge City where pedal cycles were involved in 60% of all accidents.

His calls for a crackdown have seen undercover police targeting law-breaking cyclists, with fifty-four cyclists caught and issued with fixed penalty notices of £30 on the 17th December alone.

Sir Graham argues "I think we’ve got to a stage in Cambridge where people have forgotten that cyclists aren’t supposed to cycle on pavements, through red lights and the wrong way up a one-way street.”

He continues "And cyclists also take their own lives in their hands when they cycle without lights. You just have to look at the number of bikes that haven’t got lights in Cambridge and it’s the poor old motorist that gets the blame if they hit one of them.”

Critics of the crackdown have described the campaign as a “waste of resources”, but Chief Constable Simon Parr has defended the operation, claiming “we already had something in stock because the local community had become aware it was a problem.”

Tom Porteous, a second year NatSci at Gonville and Caius, supports the campaign: “Despite being in a few collisions with vehicles myself in Cambridge, I am still inclined to agree with the commissioner. Although dangerous driving is still a problem with far too many drivers not paying enough attention to cyclists, they often don’t help themselves.”

Catherine Baumann, a third year English student at Fitzwilliam, would prefer a more even-handed response, however, suggesting that Sir Graham also needs to address “the threatening and inconsiderate way in which many of the bus and taxi drivers handle themselves around bikes.”

Joe Wallace, a second year historian at Gonville and Caius, suggests that part of the problem stems from the sheer volume of pedestrians in the city centre, arguing that cyclists often only pose a risk because “pedestrians seem to think that in Cambridge you walk in the road, not on the pavement, and that you do not need to check the road before stepping into it”, a situation he describes as “hugely frustrating for cyclists and drivers.”

Nick Lee, a third year Gonville and Caius economist, expresses a similar sentiment, blaming part of the problem on the “huge volume of pedestrians and tiny pavements, which means that they spill out onto the street.” He adds that issues in the city centre often arise because cyclists aren’t aware of which streets are one-way, or do not realise that it applies to them, a problem made more confusing by a number of one-way streets that are two-way for bikes.

The Cambridge Cycling Campaign has given Bright’s crackdown the green light providing that it is applied fairly and reasonably, with a spokesman for the campaign proposing that police resources should be allocated in proportion to the “damage and danger” vehicles pose, “Accordingly we look forward to hearing what Sir Graham has planned to deal with drivers on mobile phones, those speeding, and how he plans to ensure full redress for those affected by bad driving.”