The hierarchy on the road?

by SideBurn   April 4, 2013  

OK I will own up... I have been moonlighting... looking at other (running) forums.... what would the Velominati say? But in doing so I found this nugget!
"I imagine it is legal for you to run in the road (in the sense that it is permitted) but you shouldn't do it because you don't have a right of way. Cars have the right of way.

There was a middle aged twit running in the road in Richmond Park against the traffic one Saturday afternoon three years ago. I signalled to him with my arm as I approached on my bike that he was to get out of my way. He only just jumped onto the verge in time to avoid getting mown down by me. He called me an idiot. I told him he was the idiot and shouldn't be in the road. He said, "What does the Highway Code say then?" I told him it said pedestrians can use the road carriageway IF there is no footpath available, but as there are dozens of footpaths available in the park, he has no rights in respect of the road and shouldn't be on it. I followed him for a bit after that. He continued to use the road until he nearly knocked down a group of pedestrians trying to cross the road who were, understandably, looking the other way, towards the traffic, not expecting a runner to be coming the other way against the traffic, and didn't see him coming. He then switched to using the footpath instead. He then continued on the footpath rather than the road until he left the park.

It baffles me that some runners think, because they are training for a road-running event, they should be running in on busy public roads (the carriageway, not the pavement) in order to train. I believe they shouldn't, and they may lose a claim if a car hits them, because they shouldn't be there in the first place.

It's also an unforgiving surface to train on. Far better to run on soft.

If you live in an area where the roads don't have pavements, consider buying a running machine and r
unning at home."
It struck me that this is a strange proposition to put on a -running- forum....
Many people have stated the law to him; but he says this IS the law! My thinking is he would not get much sympathy on a cycling forum for this, let alone a running forum! (I do know the law on this btw) but fire away.... what do you think?

12 user comments

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It should be common sense, regardless of the what the law says, if the law said it was ok to cycle in outside lane of the m25 I still wouldn't do it because I know at some point it would end in tears.

I've come around a bend in a car before to find runners two abreast running towards me, I was perhaps doing 40mph (with plenty of time to stop, the verge was too rough for them to continue running, my only option was to either come to a halt or to move completely over to the other side of the road, neither of which IMO I should've been put in a position in to do so.

posted by thebungle [115 posts]
4th April 2013 - 10:41

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highway code wrote:
Pavements (including any path along the side of a road) should be used if provided. Where possible, avoid being next to the kerb with your back to the traffic. If you have to step into the road, look both ways first. Always show due care and consideration for others.

it's a 'should' rather than a MUST, so it's not compulsory. Technically people on foot have a right of way on all roads excepting motorways. the wording is similar to the wording that DfT were *going* to use for cycle paths before everyone kicked up a stink about that. One of the main reasons was because many people thought it would allow insurance companies to claim contributory negligence more easily.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7234 posts]
4th April 2013 - 10:50

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Dave Atkinson wrote:
Technically people on foot have a right of way on all roads excepting motorways.

An oft overlooked little nugget that most road users are
not aware of Smile

still on the 3rd switch-back of Bwlch !

posted by therevokid [664 posts]
4th April 2013 - 11:00

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thebungle wrote:
It should be common sense, regardless of the what the law says, if the law said it was ok to cycle in outside lane of the m25 I still wouldn't do it because I know at some point it would end in tears.

I've come around a bend in a car before to find runners two abreast running towards me, I was perhaps doing 40mph (with plenty of time to stop, the verge was too rough for them to continue running, my only option was to either come to a halt or to move completely over to the other side of the road, neither of which IMO I should've been put in a position in to do so.

What if it was two bikes, travelling in the same direction as you?

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2890 posts]
4th April 2013 - 11:08

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thebungle wrote:
It should be common sense, regardless of the what the law says, if the law said it was ok to cycle in outside lane of the m25 I still wouldn't do it because I know at some point it would end in tears.

I've come around a bend in a car before to find runners two abreast running towards me, I was perhaps doing 40mph (with plenty of time to stop, the verge was too rough for them to continue running, my only option was to either come to a halt or to move completely over to the other side of the road, neither of which IMO I should've been put in a position in to do so.

I entirely agree with the 'law of common sense' and 'the law of the jungle' that seems to exist on our roads angle.
My main issue is that he feels that he has the legal 'right' to force the runner off the road? My thinking is that if a motorist was to make a similar proposition (I forced the cyclist off the road because he should not have been there) on Road cc that the lynch mob would be out; well a literal one maybe, and I would join in!

posted by SideBurn [763 posts]
4th April 2013 - 12:00

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Very interestingly the person who posted this has just posted, "Yet if this was a cycling forum you'd all be saying CM was spot on with his assessment of the runner" I actually started this post before he said this, but it is precisely my motivation to post it!

posted by SideBurn [763 posts]
4th April 2013 - 12:17

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Dave is correct about rights - pedestrians have priority over everyone, it's an inverted hierarchy of priority. Car drivers do NOT have a right of way over other road users. Most of them conveniently forget this and assume the roads are made for them, so are happy to bully those more vulnerable.

It's difficult to comment without seeing photos but if this runner was far enough out into the road to deliberately cause an issue for other traffic AND nearly ran into a group of people looking the other way I'd suggest he is an arse and needs to learn some manners. The same would apply to a cyclist or any other road user.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1888 posts]
5th April 2013 - 12:01

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Simon E wrote:
It's difficult to comment without seeing photos but if this runner was far enough out into the road to deliberately cause an issue for other traffic AND nearly ran into a group of people looking the other way I'd suggest he is an arse and needs to learn some manners. The same would apply to a cyclist or any other road user.

I know what you are saying; my thoughts are that they are both wrong to a certain degree, but that the cyclist is more wrong? Reason being that he feels he had the legal right to force the runner off the road because there was a more suitable place to run nearby? This seems very close to the cyclists should use cyclepaths arguement? But as I said I am just interested in peoples reactions, I am not going to get all upset etc as I was not either participant! Cheers!

posted by SideBurn [763 posts]
5th April 2013 - 22:02

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I have often wondered why runners run on the road rather than an empty pavement and force other road users to move out of their way. Motorists who get annoyed at having to go around a cyclist seem quite happy to have to avoid runners going against the flow of traffic. Could a runner give me a reason why they run on the road? And "Because we can" is not a valid reason.

posted by Welsh boy [102 posts]
21st May 2013 - 21:48

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You sound like ignorant drivers talking about cyclists

posted by SammyG [295 posts]
21st May 2013 - 21:51

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Welsh boy wrote:
I have often wondered why runners run on the road rather than an empty pavement and force other road users to move out of their way. Motorists who get annoyed at having to go around a cyclist seem quite happy to have to avoid runners going against the flow of traffic. Could a runner give me a reason why they run on the road? And "Because we can" is not a valid reason.

Are you saying that there are runners that run in the road next to an empty pavement? Or are you saying that runners should stick to the pavements?
Where I live I cannot go very far without walking/running on the road! In my experience drivers are no more sympathetic to runners than cyclists!
But to answer the question, doing marathon training (20-24 miles) without running on the road cannot be easy anywhere, but is very difficult round here without using a vehicle

posted by SideBurn [763 posts]
21st May 2013 - 22:34

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Regardless of what ever the highway code is, you should be courteous and friendly to all road users. Drivers, Cyclists, Horse riders, Runners, Ramblers, Walkers. How can you be expected to be treated fairly if you don't treat others the same way! Runners shouldn't stick to pavements no less than Horse riders should stick to bridleways.

Don't certain cyclists see that there own intolerance to other road users is the same problem that drivers have with cyclists.

Whether or not a rule, law or code I was always taught to walk against the flow of traffic on a road, something to do with being able to see the cars and being able to move of the road if necessary (or to look the person about to run you down in the eyes)

posted by Cycle_Jim [281 posts]
22nd May 2013 - 9:52

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