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.