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Minister Robert Goodwill has said 1999 Home Office guidance on "considerate" riding on footway still valid...

Police in a London borough have fined more than 50 people for cycling on the pavement – despite a government minister saying last month that officers needed to use their discretion and that riders were allowed to take to the footway, commonly referred to as pavement, provided they do so considerately.

Officers in Kingston-upon-Thames issued 54 fixed penalty notices to cyclists for the offence as part of the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Safeway, launched at the end of November, reports the Kingston Guardian.

But as we reported on road.cc last month, minister for cycling Robert Goodwill confirmed in a letter to Donnachadh McCarthy of the pressure group Stop Killing Cyclists that Home Office guidance issued in 1999 regarding giving fixed penalty notices to cyclists riding on the footway was still valid.

Mr McCarthy had written to the minister in part to express concern about the targeting of cyclists riding on pavements under Operation Safeway, including at Vauxhall Cross.

The 1999 guidance was given by then Home Office minister Paul Boateng, who said: “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.”

In his letter, Mr Goodwill told Mr McCarthy: “Thank you for bringing the issue of cycling on the pavement around dangerous junctions such as Vauxhall Cross to my attention.

“I agree that the police should be using discretion in enforcing this law and would support Paul Boateng’s original guidance. You may wish to write to Sir Hugh Orde, President of the Association of Chief police Officers, to bring this matter to his attention too."

The Kingston Guardian does not say exactly when the 54 fixed penalty notices were given to the cyclists, and it’s possible some or all of them were issued before Mr Goodwill’s reiteration of the original 1999 guidance filtered down to local level, assuming that has happened.

It’s also possible that not all of the cyclists fined would have been riding in a manner deemed “considerate” at the time, although some would say that is a subjective matter for the officer involved.

However, comments made to the Kingston Guardian by a spokesman for local police suggest that at least some of the cyclists fined were riding on the footway due to fears of the road being dangerous – exactly the circumstances Mr Boateng described in his 1999 guidance.

The spokesman said: “We are aware that some cyclists use pavements in particular areas because they believe this to be safer, however, cycling on the pavements can pose a threat to pedestrians and also to cyclists if they are subsequently re-entering a busy road at a point not designated for this.

“Issuing fixed penalty notices for this offence has been part of an overall programme to encourage mutual respect and consideration among different road user groups through law enforcement,” he added.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

46 comments

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mrmo [2019 posts] 1 year ago
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Mutual respect...... hmmm......

So i trust that EVERY* driver in Kingston has been pulled by the police for jumping red lights, speeding, dangerous driving, tailgating, illegal parking, mobile phones, drinking, smoking, etc etc etc.....

......

* there might be a couple who haven't broken some rule i guess!

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Ush [591 posts] 1 year ago
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Screw that. I avoid the pavement/sidewalk like the plague, but if someone is trundling along being a decent citizen then I'd rather the plod concentrated on the killing machines.

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vbvb [525 posts] 1 year ago
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Interesting to see the guidance wording asks whether you, the cyclist involved, feel fear - not whether "a reasonable person" would feel fear.

I wish someone would reject their FPN and test this in the courts. Might need some hefty cash as it'd need an appeal up a few rungs, I suppose.

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Pete B [22 posts] 1 year ago
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When I read one of the comments on the newspaper site, someone obtained the actual stats for Operation Safeway in Kingston from the Met Police:

164 fixed penalty notices issued
60 FPNs to cyclists
104 to drivers
3 drivers procecuted

Of the 104 to drivers 45 were issued to drivers using mobile phones.

Also it is interesting that at the bottom of the newspaper article it mentions that for ignoring traffic signals; 45 fixed penalty notices for drivers and 5 for cyclists, I think that indicates who does the most “red light jumping” !

But it seems like a lot of journalists, the one writing the newspaper article used the old adage “why let the truth get in the way of a good story”, …. especially an anti-cyclist bias story.

In reply to what Vbvb says, up here in the North and the other “Kingston”; Kingston-upon-Hull to give Hull it’s posh title LOL … looking at the court section of my local newspaper on average for the past couple of months there has been one cyclist a week fined £200 (plus costs of £85) for “pavement cycling” by the Magistrates in the city. I’m not sure if the cyclists concerned rejected a FPN and took it to court or the police aren’t using FPNs and went straight away for prosecution in the courts.

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HowardR [22 posts] 1 year ago
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In Bedford most bicycle users seem to use the pavement by default. Whether this is due to their putting bike is the same ‘toy’ type category as skate boards, that they haven’t got the nerve to ride on the road, they think it’s an act of civil disobedience that sticks two fingers up at ‘the oppressive authorities’ or their mummies doesn’t allow them to go on the road - I haven’t a clue but for whatever their reason it hardly does the cause of cycling any good.  14

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Paul_C [393 posts] 1 year ago
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The law should have been drafted such that it did not require guidance on how to use it.

It should have been written as "riding a bicyle on the pavement without due care and consideration for pedestrians".

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RedfishUK [114 posts] 1 year ago
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We need someone who received a FPN to challenge it in the courts, perhaps one of the cycling pressure groups or a legal firm who deal with cycling issues could assist.

The courts could then rule on the legality of issuing them and give better guidelines

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oozaveared [933 posts] 1 year ago
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As ever some people just can't get their heads round applying rules with common sense.

There is a general rule about not riding on pavements.

plus

There is guidance that on some occasions and in some circumstances pavement riding might be tolerated if it is considerate.

That seems a reasonable position to me.

The Police might be at fault in some or all of these cases maybe by not being aware of that exception and leeway. But when their senior officers task them to fine 50 cyclists each as a political stunt then a pavement rider is low hanging fruit.

Some of the comments on here are equally lacking common sense. The guidance is an exception to a general rule. You use that exception at your own risk.

There are several parts of my 15 mile commute where mixed use paths on the pavements alongside A roads and at busy junctions become just pavements again. So yes I do ride on the pavement. That helps me, helps motorists and since there is almost never anyone walking on that bit of pavement it isn't (in my opinion) inconsiderate.

If a pedestrian is using the pavement then I either get off the pavement or I stop and let them pass. That seems reasonable to me since technically I am the one that shouldn't be there. If you are taking advantage of a bit of leeway in the law then it is incumbent upon you to be like Ceasar's wife in so doing. If it comes down to you arguing the toss with a copper about whether you were being quite considerate enough then you probably were sailing too close to the wind. ie the onus is on you to demonstrate beyond doubt that you were considerate. It's not on them to prove you weren't being considerate.

It is much like the general idea that you have two weeks grace on your tax disc. But the fact is that failure to display is an offence and there is no point arguing that uou thought the police gave tou a bit of leeway most of the time.

ie the rule is the rule.
the guidance is just guidance.

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mtm_01 [195 posts] 1 year ago
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Cycling on the pavement is in itself not a hazard, cycling on the pavement in an irresponsible way is a hazard and that's what the FPN is for - what is not being recognised is that it's possible to ride on the pavement and give way to pedestrians and generally not be a nuisance.

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oozaveared [933 posts] 1 year ago
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mtm_01 wrote:

Cycling on the pavement is in itself not a hazard, cycling on the pavement in an irresponsible way is a hazard and that's what the FPN is for - what is not being recognised is that it's possible to ride on the pavement and give way to pedestrians and generally not be a nuisance.

You're right. Cycling on the pavement is not necessarily a hazard. But it is an offence. Much like speeding in itself is not necessarily a hazard but is still an offence.

I think what some people are doing here is putting the cart before the horse. The rule is not that you CAN ride on pavements as long as you aren't causing a hazard. The rule is that you CAN NOT ride on pavements because it is an offence but that sometimes the police should use discretion and if you aren't causing a hazard should not necessarily fine you. You still committed the offence. The guidance is about dealing with it appropriately and with common sense.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1114 posts] 1 year ago
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Its quite possible for someone to cycle on the pavements because they think the road is too dangerous, and, at the same time, do so selfishly and inconsiderately. I reckon that's the case with most pavement cyclists I encounter.

Really, I'd just say If the road is genuinely too dangerous, get off and walk (and campaign for it to be made less dangerous).

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pmanc [194 posts] 1 year ago
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oozaveared wrote:

If it comes down to you arguing the toss with a copper about whether you were being quite considerate enough then you probably were sailing too close to the wind.

I was with you up until here. For me this whole story is about this "operation" and dozens of similar ones across the country adopting a "zero tolerance" approach despite the guidance.

imho this is because it's easier for them to stand around stopping and ticketing pavement cyclists (whether they're a problem or not) than it is to tackle the real sources of danger.

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JonD [389 posts] 1 year ago
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oozaveared wrote:

ie the rule is the rule.
the guidance is just guidance.

Not 'just' guidance - it's how the rule is to be applied - ie there is some discretion (which the Police often show in other instances too, regardless of any existance of guidance).
The guidance was issued precisely because a FPN for pavement cycling was brought in, the two aren't separable:

http://lcc.org.uk/articles/minister-for-cycling-clarifies-pavement-cycli...

"When police and PCSOs were given the authority to issue Fixed Penalty Notices for pavement cycling in 1999 the Home Office minister Paul Boetang issued this guidance"

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stumps [3186 posts] 1 year ago
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Discretion is a major tool thats used by officers. If you are upfront and accept you did wrong but point out the reasons why then the vast majority of cops will either bollock you or issue a letter of caution which is a simple letter saying you stopped because of XYZ and were spoken to about it. Or if you have a genuine reason for it then nothing further will come of it.

Its not a fine, caution or court summons.

However if your bollshy or deny the offence you've committed then your likely to get a ticket or summons for whatever offence.

Can i just add letters of caution are for minor offences only which cycling on a pavement is.

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youngoldbloke [107 posts] 1 year ago
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Am I the only one who finds it odd that sometimes it is perfectly legal to cycle on the pavement - i.e. when painted white lines and symbols appear, and when these painted marks cease, cycling on the same pavement becomes an illegal act? Who determines this, and how are they qualified to do so? It is also odd that cycle lanes painted on roads are not usually located where they would be most useful - they cease before pinch points, junctions and other 'difficult' places. I often think 'What am I supposed to do now' when I see the words 'End' painted on the road. .....

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dughs [13 posts] 1 year ago
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Ok, at the risk of being shouted at by my fellow cyclist brethren, (and not really the best location/thread to highlight either) can I just say that a lot of the stories that are published with regards to Police v's Cyclist v's Motorists etc etc probably do not involve most of the people who read this website or would not actually call themselves cyclists. Maybe its just me? I commute, train and race on the road and I feel a lot of the them v's us stories are based on Non-Regular cyclists fueling the media. Granted some/a lot of drivers do not pay due care and attention to the road and in a big metal case have little of no regard /understanding of the bike but equally, I am embarrassed to see a high number of cyclist who don't do themselves any favors. Lack of Self awareness on both parties is the biggest culprit for incidents and generally its the 'person riding the bike' who suffers the most.

How many people on this forum would even consider riding their bike on the path anyway?? unless you are in an extremely high volume traffic area and you are given absolutely no choice. It is probably a lot of the 'individuals who ride a bike' on the path that give the 'Cyclists' a bad rap with the drivers and police in the first place. Not trying to drive a tier system within the cycling community but there should be a 'Self Awareness' safety video that looks at situation from both a drivers, cyclist and pedestrian perspective. This would help a bit of mutual respect amongst all.

I am the first one to complain when a driver risks my life (like last night) on the phone pulling out of a junction in the rain not giving me enough room because I am travelling at 24mph plus down a hill. But unless we educate them but equally educate bike riders to the pedestrian, these stories will just keep going on and on and on.

Let do something about it instead of whining all the time.

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MrGear [87 posts] 1 year ago
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As someone who knows Kingston very well, it’s worth noting the state of cycling in the town. To get from one side of the town centre to the other, you are faced with an extremely unpleasant 3-lane one-way system and also a very busy pedestrian area. Getting around these obstacles is not impossible: There are cycle lanes that take you around these, but they run on the pavements and in some places just end without warning. They are very poorly signposted and in the area around the station and back of the Bentall centre, they are shared paths.

There is also the riverside tow-path, where technically you could ride a horse (but you wouldn’t). As a cyclist, it must be tempting to ride here, and it is legal, but you’d look like a cretin pushing through all the pedestrians.

So long story short is that it is not surprising that people end up on pavements in Kingston. Cycling provision is there, but it’s very poorly marked and takes illogical routes through town and against the flow of traffic.

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oozaveared [933 posts] 1 year ago
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youngoldbloke wrote:

Am I the only one who finds it odd that sometimes it is perfectly legal to cycle on the pavement - i.e. when painted white lines and symbols appear, and when these painted marks cease, cycling on the same pavement becomes an illegal act? Who determines this, and how are they qualified to do so? It is also odd that cycle lanes painted on roads are not usually located where they would be most useful - they cease before pinch points, junctions and other 'difficult' places. I often think 'What am I supposed to do now' when I see the words 'End' painted on the road. .....

Sorry but someone has to make a decision as to what is a footway only and what is a mixed use path. Whatever their reasonings, they have the authority to decide this. I would expect in most cases that a very narrow footway that has a high volume of pedestrians using it would be deemed inappropriate for mixed use. At the other end of the scale a very wide fottway with few pedestrians using it would be ideal as a mixed use path. In between it's a judgement on width and pedestrian use. Someone has to make the call and it's the local highways department. Likewise someone also decides where a 50mph speed limit on the same road becomes a 30mph one and then where exactly it becomes a 50mph one again.

It's not confusing. Just accept that a decision has been made. Someone had to make it. They did their best to make a good decision. We could all double guess every decision about every line on a road and in the end someone would still have to decide. Just abide by them. That's all you have to do.

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Critchio [163 posts] 1 year ago
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stumps wrote:

.... However if your bollshy or deny the offence you've committed then your likely to get a ticket or summons for whatever offence.

And this is why the Police have a bad rep. What Stumps is describing is the attitude test. Which is archaic and should be beaten out of every officer.

When you go to a job like this as a police officer you should already have made up your mind how you are going to deal with it. In this case if the cycling is not considerate and perhaps likely to endanger others that is when you decide to issue a ticket or not. Not after an attitude test. You make your decision prior to engaging the person.

Only then can you say you have acted impartially, without malice or ill will. Remember your affirmation? The attitude test is cave man stuf. And please spare me the, "well in the real world" crap.

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stumps [3186 posts] 1 year ago
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Critchio wrote:
stumps wrote:

.... However if your bollshy or deny the offence you've committed then your likely to get a ticket or summons for whatever offence.

And this is why the Police have a bad rep. What Stumps is describing is the attitude test. Which is archaic and should be beaten out of every officer.

When you go to a job like this as a police officer you should already have made up your mind how you are going to deal with it. In this case if the cycling is not considerate and perhaps likely to endanger others that is when you decide to issue a ticket or not. Not after an attitude test. You make your decision prior to engaging the person.

Only then can you say you have acted impartially, without malice or ill will. Remember your affirmation? The attitude test is cave man stuf. And please spare me the, "well in the real world" crap.

Sorry but your talking complete and utter shit. You can never make your mind up about whats going to happen before you get there, thats so so wrong. Until you speak to people about whats happened and get all the facts you cant make a decision. Its you thats archaic and completely out of touch and i would go as far as saying your a complete muppet if you think thats how we should deal with jobs, no wonder the Police get so much grief with idiots like you about.

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oozaveared [933 posts] 1 year ago
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stumps wrote:
Critchio wrote:
stumps wrote:

.... However if your bollshy or deny the offence you've committed then your likely to get a ticket or summons for whatever offence.

And this is why the Police have a bad rep. What Stumps is describing is the attitude test. Which is archaic and should be beaten out of every officer.

When you go to a job like this as a police officer you should already have made up your mind how you are going to deal with it. In this case if the cycling is not considerate and perhaps likely to endanger others that is when you decide to issue a ticket or not. Not after an attitude test. You make your decision prior to engaging the person.

Only then can you say you have acted impartially, without malice or ill will. Remember your affirmation? The attitude test is cave man stuf. And please spare me the, "well in the real world" crap.

Sorry but your talking complete and utter shit. You can never make your mind up about whats going to happen before you get there, thats so so wrong. Until you speak to people about whats happened and get all the facts you cant make a decision. Its you thats archaic and completely out of touch and i would go as far as saying your a complete muppet if you think thats how we should deal with jobs, no wonder the Police get so much grief with idiots like you about.

I'm with Stumps on this. An "attitude test" as you call it is perfectly appropriate as is listening to what people have to say and establishing the facts.

Commiting offence "A" but being genuinely sorry or having a good reason for it, or at least trying to explain why you committed it in a reasonable way and being prepared to take the consequences of your actions is one attitude.

Commiting offence "A" but being obstructive, obfuscating, lying, hiding or making up facts, attempting to run off, providing false details. generally not taking any responsinbility for your actions is another.

These two attitudes are not equivalent.

There is nothing so unfair as the equal treatment of unequals.

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gb901 [149 posts] 1 year ago
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stumps wrote:
Critchio wrote:
stumps wrote:

.... However if your bollshy or deny the offence you've committed then your likely to get a ticket or summons for whatever offence.

And this is why the Police have a bad rep. What Stumps is describing is the attitude test. Which is archaic and should be beaten out of every officer.

When you go to a job like this as a police officer you should already have made up your mind how you are going to deal with it. In this case if the cycling is not considerate and perhaps likely to endanger others that is when you decide to issue a ticket or not. Not after an attitude test. You make your decision prior to engaging the person.

Only then can you say you have acted impartially, without malice or ill will. Remember your affirmation? The attitude test is cave man stuf. And please spare me the, "well in the real world" crap.

Sorry but your talking complete and utter shit. You can never make your mind up about whats going to happen before you get there, thats so so wrong. Until you speak to people about whats happened and get all the facts you cant make a decision. Its you thats archaic and completely out of touch and i would go as far as saying your a complete muppet if you think thats how we should deal with jobs, no wonder the Police get so much grief with idiots like you about.

One would hope a police officer would carries out their duty with reference to the perceived offence rather than be swayed by ones attitude to them?

PS Resorting to abuse and vulgarity in ones posts does show a lack of control and certain mentality!

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FluffyKittenofT... [1114 posts] 1 year ago
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oozaveared wrote:
youngoldbloke wrote:

Am I the only one who finds it odd that sometimes it is perfectly legal to cycle on the pavement - i.e. when painted white lines and symbols appear, and when these painted marks cease, cycling on the same pavement becomes an illegal act? Who determines this, and how are they qualified to do so? It is also odd that cycle lanes painted on roads are not usually located where they would be most useful - they cease before pinch points, junctions and other 'difficult' places. I often think 'What am I supposed to do now' when I see the words 'End' painted on the road. .....

Sorry but someone has to make a decision as to what is a footway only and what is a mixed use path. Whatever their reasonings, they have the authority to decide this. I would expect in most cases that a very narrow footway that has a high volume of pedestrians using it would be deemed inappropriate for mixed use. At the other end of the scale a very wide fottway with few pedestrians using it would be ideal as a mixed use path. In between it's a judgement on width and pedestrian use. Someone has to make the call and it's the local highways department. Likewise someone also decides where a 50mph speed limit on the same road becomes a 30mph one and then where exactly it becomes a 50mph one again.

It's not confusing. Just accept that a decision has been made. Someone had to make it. They did their best to make a good decision. We could all double guess every decision about every line on a road and in the end someone would still have to decide. Just abide by them. That's all you have to do.

The fact is though that it often _is_ confusing. What makes it confusing is not the mere fact that in some places cycling is allowed and in some it isn't, its that its so often very badly signposted. For example, there are 'shared use' paths that never officially end, they just sort of fade away as the signs identifying them become more-and-more infrequent and eventually stop entirely without ever explicitly telling you the shared-use path has ended. You are just left to sort of figure it out for yourself.

Or you'll follow a marked official cycle route, it will take you round a corner and suddenly deposit you on a pavement that you then realise isn't itself marked as shared use (I think in fact in this case you were supposed to turn off the path before that point, but there's no sign there to tell you that and not even a dropped kerb to enable you to do it).

The poor signposting seems almost designed to trick people into ending up on non-shared-use pavements (obviously in reality its just sloppiness). It also means pedestrians often don't realise when a path is shared use.

There are also weird bits where a shared-use bit of pavement tries to lure you off the road for about 20 yards before telling you to get straight back on to the road again - why? What's the point of these things?

So I prefer to just not bother with them.

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gmac101 [106 posts] 1 year ago
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I cycle through Kingston every working day and I spotted the PC's pulling cyclists over. They were stationed at the beginning of the main shopping street which is wholly pedestrianised and if you cycle down it you can avoid the Kingston inner ring road and it's multi lane race track (This is where the Chinese Medicine guy took out a few pedestrians last year - Too many bike people was his catch phrase). There is a cycle track but it's not great.
I cycle along a pedestrianised street (Castle street) where cycling is permitted, it looks very like the street where they were pulling people over and I suspect a number of those who were caught were just confused.
Kingston isn't Amsterdam by a long stretch but compared with some of the other SW London boroughs they don't do too bad a job

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jacknorell [942 posts] 1 year ago
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gb901 wrote:

One would hope a police officer would carries out their duty with reference to the perceived offence rather than be swayed by ones attitude to them?

I think that Stumps is referring to the attitude of the person being spoken to with regards to the action that person carried out.

And, frankly, I'm all in favour of a-hole tax. The same ejits who gob off to a police officer are the same one's who are quite happy to intimidate you on the bus or penalty pass you on the road...!

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giff77 [1191 posts] 1 year ago
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Critchio wrote:
stumps wrote:

.... However if your bollshy or deny the offence you've committed then your likely to get a ticket or summons for whatever offence.

And this is why the Police have a bad rep. What Stumps is describing is the attitude test. Which is archaic and should be beaten out of every officer.

When you go to a job like this as a police officer you should already have made up your mind how you are going to deal with it. In this case if the cycling is not considerate and perhaps likely to endanger others that is when you decide to issue a ticket or not. Not after an attitude test. You make your decision prior to engaging the person.

Only then can you say you have acted impartially, without malice or ill will. Remember your affirmation? The attitude test is cave man stuf. And please spare me the, "well in the real world" crap.

Sounds like the basis of a police state there. Officers deciding what to do before a situation can be assessed.

I remember the polis been called out to deal with a situation involving a gobby individual in a coffee shop. The officers quizzed a few of us who were there and then immediately arrested the guy. Now, my initial thought was that they would have just told him to beat it. Like wise, I have seen situations diffused by just a few 'friendly' words. Sometimes that's all it takes.

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Critchio [163 posts] 1 year ago
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stumps wrote:

Sorry but your talking complete and utter shit. You can never make your mind up about whats going to happen before you get there, thats so so wrong. Until you speak to people about whats happened and get all the facts you cant make a decision. Its you thats archaic and completely out of touch and i would go as far as saying your a complete muppet if you think thats how we should deal with jobs, no wonder the Police get so much grief with idiots like you about.

No I am not talking utter shit, sorry. You are very vocal on this website and I am fine by that and I get you are probably passionate about cycling as much as I am, but its not the first time you spout police'y stuff and are so robust in your opinions you get tunnel vision. And then you start dropping insults, maybe out of frustration, I dunno. I can trade them with you but whats the point?

In the context of this article (which my post was aimed at) if a Police officer sees a cyclist riding on the pavement he should decide, using his discretion at that point in time whether the cycling seen warrants the issue of a ticket due to the circumstances - too fast round a corner, head down, arse up weaving in and out of pedestrians and acting dangerously.

That is when you decide whether the ticket gets issued and it totally fits in with the direction or guidance from Paul Boeteng. You then stop the individual and point out what he's done and tell him he will get a ticket. If he then becomes an idiot and verbal you can also deal with that. You have dealt with that impartially and without any personal bias at all, as law expects from its officers.

Your contribution is: "However if your bollshy or deny the offence you've committed then your likely to get a ticket or summons for whatever offence."

Which is simply wrong. The key word is Bollshy there. Your word not mine. So if you see a guy on a cycle riding on pavement and stop him having the initial intention just to advise him to slow down and were only going to give him a warning but he then gets "bollshy" with you you'd right out a ticket and issue it to him? Thats is what your post spelled out, to me at least. You are suggesting right there that if someone gets bollshy it changes how the police deal with an incident and a person? You have let it get personal because he might have insulted your mother and you have effectively issued a ticket because the cyclist was an asshole, not because he was riding dangerously on the pavement. Where is the ticky box on the ticket that says "Failed Attitude Test".

Most people, me included would say he deserved a ticket for being an ass, but you, doing what you do, have to behave differently and you know it. You cant apply that attitude test (although you obviously do) and thats why the police do often get bad press because of heavy handedness. And lets face you will know colleagues that just like picking on easy targets with easy process and write out tickets to people for *just* cycling on the pavement.

The attitude test is about well er, attitude? It has absolutely nothing to do with: "You can never make your mind up about whats going to happen before you get there, thats so so wrong. Until you speak to people about whats happened and get all the facts you cant make a decision."

Thats called investigating, isn't it? Totally different thing. I think you went off at a tangent and began talking about your job in general. I was focusing on the article and responding to your quite wrong opinions. In my opinion of course.

I wasn't going to share this but I will.... I was given a ticket for cycling on pavement once. Newly tar and chipped road surface, new bike, didn't want stone chips/tar on frame. 9.30pm, lights front and back. No pedestrians, rode slowly on pavement. Plod comes out of nowhere, frightens the life out of me and orders me onto the road, or walk the bike. I said, "Really? There's nobody about, its nearly 10 o'clock at night... seriously havent you got better things to do? Me calm composed and relaxed, no swearing. The response, "Right, I wasn't going to but you can have a ticket for being lippy."

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stumps [3186 posts] 1 year ago
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Critchio, i accept i may have gone off at a tangent for which i apologise, it must be my age, but i repeat that discretion plays a massive part in our job, you can call it whatever you want, but it wont change.

There are always some bad apples in every basket and i'm sure there are some over zealous cops, which is a shame, because in the end we are here to help not hinder.

No hard feelings mate  4

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arfa [696 posts] 1 year ago
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"Haven't you got something better to do/criminals to catch/I pay your wages/I am a lawyer/I know xyz". All of them guaranteed to ensure the full force of the law is brought to bear.
When the police & criminal evidence act was brought in it was colloquially renamed "the ways & means act", ie we have the ways and means of nailing you....
You or I might not like someone's authority but they have it and not behaving appropriately is only going to bring about an unhappy ending.

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sceats [5 posts] 1 year ago
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First-post here as was googling about the legality of FPN and this thread came up. So here's my contribution, mainly in response to someone above who asked if it ill be taken to court as I'm planning to do so.
I got stopped by 2 polite PCSOs under the operation Safeway before Christmas, just to the east of Elephant & Castle roundabout. There's a cut through past E&C overground that lets you avoid both of the roundabouts if you're coming from the south heading east, as I do on my commute. The cycle path has been suspended for a couple of years on the south side of the New Kent Road due to the housing estate re-development. This is annoying as there's about 30m of pavement (wide ish, but narrows past a bus stop) from the cut-through to the ped. crossing where you can safely cross the 4 lane highway to continue heading east to Tower Bridge road. I used to take the cycle path on this, and until it's reinstated I slowly and considerately cycle along the pavement when it's not busy. If I miss-time it and 7 buses deposit their innards there I walk.
The PCSOs who stopped me (few other pavement users, me cycling considerately) handed out FPN as a matter of course in a polite manner, and neither they nor I realised that there was any discretion involved. It seemed fundamentally unjust that a £50 fine without any discussion was handed out from on high, so I started looking into the law. Its only since I've done so that I've come across the 1999 Paul Boateng letter which re-inforces my point, and now Minister Goodwill's guidance, and ACPOs subsequent press release.
I've written to the Traffic department initially pointing out my case under the law, and asking for any proceedings to be dropped to avoid wasting time and money to which I received a reply saying they will be giving my case consideration. Since then I've received two official and somewhat bullying letters informing me that due to non-payment of fine a whole list of things might happen to me, including bailiffs etc. and I will be receive a court summons. So it seems like I'll be getting some time in front of the magistrates as a potential test-case. So any advice most welcome!

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