Cycling on the pavement

by cactuscat   September 23, 2008  

our local authority is gearing up to come down hard on cyclists who ride on the pavement (cause it's *so* dangerous), and i know by law you can get a £30 fixed penalty. but what do you have to be riding on? is it a pavement, or any footpath? and what about other paths that aren't legal rights of way? my commute is partly on a path in a park that's not a footpath (ie it isn't shown as a right of way on the OS map) - can i be fined for riding on that?

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Well if it's not a designated footpath then surely it's a pavement? And fair enough more pedestrians may be killed on the pavements by cars than bikes every year, but bikes don't need to be there either, and aren't cyclists themselves more likely to have an accident when riding on the pavement than riding on the road.?
although I'm sure you won't actually have too much to worry about because it'll probably be one of those quickly forgotten soundbite dropped by a local pol as a bit of kee-jerk populism

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posted by thebikeboy [138 posts]
23rd September 2008 - 22:11

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As I understand things the law generally only applies to a pavement alongside a road, see this bit below:-

Cycling on footways (a pavement at the side of a carriageway) is prohibited by Section 72 of the Highway Act 1835, amended by Section 85(1) of the Local Government Act 1888. This is punishable by a fixed penalty notice of £30 under Section 51 and Schedule 3 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988.
Cyclists have no right to cycle on a footpath away from the road but only commit an offence where local by-laws or traffic regulation orders create such an offence.

and this

It is important to note that most legislation relating to 'cycling on footpaths' actually relates to the riding of cycles on a 'footway set aside for the use of pedestrians' which runs alongside a road. For example, the 'fixed penalties' brought in a few years ago do NOT apply to country footpaths where there is no road. Fixed penalty notices also cannot be applied to areas such as parks, shopping precincts etc. unless a byelaw has been passed making cycling such areas an offence, nor do they apply to anyone under 16. Many people (including police officers) seem to think that 'a footpath is a footpath' wherever it is and that the same laws apply. This is not the case.

Both of the above are taken from this web site

http://www.bikeforall.net/content/cycling_and_the_law.php

posted by fatboyslow [6 posts]
27th September 2008 - 9:08

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