CYCLISTS flouting the law will be targeted during a clampdown.

Operation Grimaldi is being held in Bolton town centre to reduce the amount of crashes involving cyclists and educate them on the rules of the road.

Offending cyclists stopped by police today and yesterday face a £50 fine or they will be offered the chance to waive the penalty by taking part in an awareness event at Bolton Central Fire Station.

Insp Andy Sidebotham, for Bolton central police, said: “There’s a lot of people getting into cycling but they might not have had any training or been on a bike for years.

“It’s about challenging the behaviour. Most cyclists are really considerate but a small number are unaware of the law. And some don’t pay any attention to the law — they are the ones who will be targeted.”

The course involves CCTV footage of cyclists carrying out dangerous manoeuvres and being educated on how to be a safe rider. People are also given a fluorescent jacket.

Children aged 16 and under seen cycling dangerously will be given advice.

Deputy police and crime commissioner for Greater Manchester Jim Battle said: “It’s really important that we improve road craft for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. The worrying figure is 90 per cent of cyclists have no training whatsoever.”

He said the operation would educate those without the necessary training.

Cllr David Chadwick, a member of Transport for Greater Manchester’s committee, said: “We at Bolton Council are always getting complaints about cyclists. I am a strong believer of education, it is the same for people in two wheels as it is for those on four. It might come as a shock to some of the people that they are being taken to task.”

Alan Mulraney, aged 45, from Halliwell, was issued with a £50 fine for riding his bike through Victoria Square on Friday.

He was given the option to take the fine or attend the 45-minute cycle safety awareness course.

Mr Mulraney said: “It’s political correctness gone mad, I’ve been riding my bike for 30 to 35 years and nothing like this has ever happened.

“I must have gone through the square countless times. A policeman came up to me and said you’re not allowed to ride your bike here, that’ll be a £50 fine. I’d never heard of this scheme I must admit and I thought it was wrong that they didn’t warn me at all.”

Offences include cycling under the influence of alcohol and drugs, inconsiderate cycling, cycling on a pathway and failing to comply with a traffic sign.

The operation has seen the police join forces with the fire service, Bolton Council and TFGM.