Pavement Cycling

From the March 2013 PCA Newsletter.  Please feel free to add your own comments.      

Cycling on the pavement (or footway, as it’s known in legal parlance) is a perennial topic of conversation, with some advocating tolerance (up to a point) and others maintaining that cyclists should never set tyre on footway.  What is beyond dispute is that footway cycling is illegal, under the Highways Act of 1835.

However, when bringing footway cycling within the fixed penalty regime in 1999, the Home Secretary of the time introduced some leeway by saying “The introduction of the fixed penalty is not aimed at responsible cyclists who sometimes feel obliged to use the pavement out of fear of traffic and who show consideration to other pavement users when doing so. Chief police officers, who are responsible for enforcement, acknowledge that many cyclists, particularly children and young people, are afraid to cycle on the road, sensitivity and careful use of police discretion is required.”

When we last checked with the Met Police locally, their thinking was much the same as the 1999 Home Office guidance.  But some people are pushing for zero tolerance of footway cycling, saying that any issue with the safety of cycling on the carriageway should be solved there rather than moved onto the footway.  Given the ever increasing popularity of cycling, we would like to know what you think.

"I am 100% in favour.  We went to Japan last year and in Tokyo and Kyoto, cyclists share all pavements with pedestrians and never have to ride on the roads.  Same in Stockholm and Uppsala in Sweden.  Most pavements in the UK are nearly always empty - where there are more crowded, wide pavements (say Pitshanger Lane) we could do what they do in Japan, paint a line to denote who has which half. Cheap to do and so much safer. I would cycle everywhere if I could cycle on pavements".

I have no objection to young children and adults (in emergencies) using the pavement to cycle on for the least possible distance, providing they respect other users of the pavement.

I do object to cyclists who seem to think they have a divine right to cycle on the pavement.

Once again it is a question of education as many cyclist seem totally unaware that they are committing an offence.

May I suggest that a publicity campaign may be the answer. I often walk with my dog on a lead along the lane and have to avoid arrogant cyclists who think they have the right of way.

I have no objection to young children cycling on the pavements as long as the are 'kept in control' by a responsible adult that is accompanying them however, adults & older children should either cycle on the road or push their bikes on the path.

I am a dog owner and myself and my dog frequently have to move out of the way of oncoming cycles and I've seen elderly people having to step aside too.

Whatever the outcome to address this, consideration should also be given to the increasing number of skateboards and scooters that are congesting our pathways.