The Trinity Square shopping centre/complex/I-don’t-know-what-you-call-it opened in Gateshead on the former site of the Trinity Square car park – aka The Get Carter Car park. While the new buildings are absolutely hideous, and the architects who designed such an ugly and temporary structure should be embarrassed, but having the area pedestrianised and West Street quieter because of restrictions to parking and deliveries does make the environment better as a whole. It’s a privately owned site so they have private security guards around most of the time.
They’ve posted the sign below at the edges of the property; the signs are quite small and easy to miss.
A few weeks back I entered the property on my bike about 7pm. I was sat on my bike, pushing it slowly with my feet as there were a few pedestrians about, and I’d already been told off previously for cycling (slowly) on the property. (The property has private security guards.) This time the guard said to me ‘There’s no cycling allowed, you have to push your bike. The signs are all up now’. I got off my bike and pushed it to the stands. Afterwards I sought out the sign and took the above photo.
I know the image isn’t all that clear, but it shows (clockwise from upper left) No Smoking, No Drinking, No Skateboarding, and No Cycling. It also reads ‘Please refrain from smoking’.
Apparently I don’t know the definition of refrain because the next time I went to the property and I noticed loads of people sat in the courtyard smoking I approached the two security guards and duty and asked why they’ve not asked people to extinguish their cigarettes but are sure to tell me to walk my bike, even if I am sat on it, pushing it very slowly with my feet. I pointed out that the signs say No Smoking, etc., but they told me that they don’t. (I don’t know about you, but to me it looks like they say it not only via a symbol but in words.) I raised this with them and they said they’ve not been instructed to tell people not to smoke, that people are allowed because it’s an open air place, and what the sign is really there to discourage smoking for health reasons.
Oh, right, it’s a public health message is it?
They told me that for safety reasons I had to push my bike (I was at the time), but that if it was late and empty then I could feel free to cycle. I just found the whole thing annoying. The signs clearly state what behaviours are not allowed on the property, but the enforcement isn’t even handed. Smoking is as much, if not more, of an anti-social activity than cycling.