A WOMAN cyclist was shocked to be stopped at 7.30am by a police van and warned she could get a £500 fine for riding on Weymouth seafront.

Lucy Horwood, a coach for the British Windsurfing Team, was going to the national sailing academy on Portland.

“There must be better things for police to do,” said the Preston resident.

“The officer said he was supposed to take my name and address and I could face a £500 fine. I was a bit shocked.

“I could understand it if I was weaving in and out of kids. There was hardly anyone there at that time.

“The police were polite. It was only the second time I’d cycled to work. I was trying to ‘do my bit’.”

Lucy, 29, found the incident frustrating because cycle trails and roads can feel dangerous – and later the same day she would have been glad to see police around.

“I was going home on the Rodwell Trail and I had to pass by a group of young lads hanging around,” she said.

“And by Asda there were about eight drunks. I felt vulnerable as a lone woman. The trail can be dark.”

Dorset Police and Weymouth and Portland Council began a crackdown on seafront cycling on August 1.

Inspector Peter Meteau, section commander for Weymouth and Portland, said: “There is a debate every summer about how the laws and bylaws will be enforced.

“It’s very difficult but we need to have a modicum of common sense. First time offenders are getting letters.

“This is about dealing with people who cycle recklessly in a robust manner.

“If a young person is careering along with people jumping for cover they need to be prosecuted.

“We don’t want to resort to legislation. This lady wasn’t fined.

“We will get criticism whatever we do. But I think it’s about trying to make it safe for all concerned.”

Coun Brendan Webster, brief holder for tourism and community facilities, said: “I had a near miss at around 7.30am in December with a cyclist going about 15-20 mph.

“It’s possible to have an accident even in the mornings.”

A Weymouth and Portland Council spokesman said: “It’s not for us to comment on how the police use their resources.”