Motorists using a cycle lane as a sneaky fast track across a bridge have been hit with fines following a police crackdown.

Safer transport team officers from Twickenham had been alerted to drivers speeding up the left-hand lane of the bridge that crosses over Twickenham station.

They were first alerted to the problem in London Road when Richmond’s borough commander, Clive Chalk, was almost knocked off his bike while crossing the bridge.

Richmond safer transport team officer, police constable Nick Blyth said: “Cyclists have complained previously that cars come right up behind them in their cycle lane and intimidate them when they should not be in the cycle lane in the first place.

“Cars that use the cycle lane tend to be travelling at an unsafe speed and should they come over the brow of the hill and encounter a cyclist they would have trouble stopping in time.”

There were seven penalty notices issued to drivers in an hour on April 5, but officers will be heading back to do several more operations once the school holidays are over.

There were originally two small signs in London Road alerting motorists of the lane, but two more have been put up at the foot of the bridge, where Railway Approach meets London Road.

Drivers found using the cycle lane were issued a £30 fixed penalty notice.

PC Blyth, said: “Most of the motorists tend to comment when stopped that everyone else does it and they were just following them.”

Alastair Barr from Richmond Cycling Campaign said: “The London Road cycle lane is a vital link, including many mums and dads who cycle to school with their kids or to and from Twickenham riverside.

“Being intimidated off the road is a concern many of them share with us, and often leads many to resort to cycling on the pavement. Improving the understanding of and the enforcement of the rules of the road, whether on two wheels or four is beneficial for everyone.

“Ultimately, it is about making our streets safer for everyone and we’re really encouraged to see the police take these concerns seriously."