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Catches 18 cyclists on the footpath in an hour - and it's all on camera...

A Bristol campaigner against pavement cycling has been photographing offenders in the city centre in an attempt to cut down the practice she says is a 'nuisance'.

70-year-old Ruth Bailey, a member of Bristol Older People's Forum, has pinpointed the Haymarket as a particular troublespot, and in just one hour outside Primark and Debenhams she caught 18 cyclists using the pavement. She said she was not fast enough with her camera to snap a further six she saw.

"I am concerned about safety on the pavements," Mrs Bailey told This is Bristol.

"I am especially concerned about pedestrian areas such as Broadmead. Near Primark and Debenhams, cyclists come racing through where there are queues at the bus stops.

"When I was there on Saturday there was someone cycling one-handed carrying bags while on the phone.

"They weave in and out, and get so close to pedestrians. I have got an arthritic knee, and if you have got a stiff knee you may be able to see something coming towards you but cannot jump this way or that to get out of their way. It is the same for people who are blind or cannot hear very well."

A spokeswoman for the city council said that in areas where cycling on pavements is problematic the police can take action, and the council had worked with them on enforcement of the law in the past.

The story has provoked intense debate, with one reader of the site commenting:

"I would rather see a cyclist on a pavement than negotiating a dangerous junction (such as Cabstand in Portishead) and see them knocked off their bike. We have all ridden on the pavement at some time, whether young or old. Get over it.”

But many were in agreement with Mrs Bailey.

One asked: “So if a Granny can go out and catch these illegal acts why can't the police?" while another suggested: "If you feel the roads are too busy for you, then you need to dismount and push your cycle on the footpath!”

A third took a pragmatic approach, commenting:

"Other people are all horrible. In particular, anyone who doesn't use the same mode of transport as you is some sort of scum. None of them obey the law and they all put decent people like you at risk. Why don't they all just go away and stop ruining everything?

Apply this rule to cyclists, car drivers, pedestrians, First Bus, as you see fit.

Then, apply ad nauseum for the inevitable thread of 7,000 same-as-last-time comments that will now ensue.”

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

28 comments

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MrsK [42 posts] 3 years ago
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As long as you don't ride like a tool on the pavement, get off if you need to and generally don't take the piss I think very few people would think it's a problem. And smile at people and do please and thank you and all that. Nobody smiles in Broadmead though.

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Gkam84 [9068 posts] 3 years ago
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Good on her. I'm not as kind to pavement cyclists and aim to get in their way, If they don't hop off the pavement or dismount their bike and try to barge past me. Opppps. Shoulder check, Ice hockey style, not the cycling term.

Get on the road or walk and get off the pavement. Else i'll try and off you myself. Arseholes. Unless its a MARKED cycle path. Just don't use it. Its a safety feature to keep pedestrians out of the way of cars.

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JohnS [198 posts] 3 years ago
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Sounds like there's something wrong with the road layout where she took her pix.

If cyclists feel they have to take to the pavement for convenience or safety, it means the roads have been made unsuitable either by threatening or congested traffic or a traffic system that sends them miles out of their way.

Tell you what, how about redesigning local roads so that you can cycle directly and safely? Then worry about pedestrians (who already have miles of dedicated pavement). Then worry about motor traffic, more than half of which is making unnecessary journeys of less then two miles which could easily be walked or cycled.

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Gkam84 [9068 posts] 3 years ago
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I enjoy threatening people with violence? Not really, but when its needed I'm not adverse to using it.

I should have really quantified my statement above by saying I only do it in my small village and to adults as kids don't know any better. I only make them stop.

It all came about when my Granny was knocked down and damaged her hip and shoulder by a 32 year old on his little jump bike I think its called. With no seat, somewhere between a BMX and a MTB? He didn't bother to stop, just pushed her out of the way and onto the kerb.

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nuclear coffee [205 posts] 3 years ago
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Good on her, we all love a plucky old lady :). Seems the council has three choices:

1)spend money on decent cyclepaths - enabling people
2)spend money on police - punishing people but keeping order
3)neither, saving money but not solving the problem

I wonder which they'll choose?  3

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lokikontroll [51 posts] 3 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:

Good on her. I'm not as kind to pavement cyclists and aim to get in their way, If they don't hop off the pavement or dismount their bike and try to barge past me. Opppps. Shoulder check, Ice hockey style, not the cycling term.

Get on the road or walk and get off the pavement. Else i'll try and off you myself. Arseholes. Unless its a MARKED cycle path. Just don't use it. Its a safety feature to keep pedestrians out of the way of cars.

You really are a tough guy, aren't you Gkam?

Your posts often seem to indicate that you enjoy threatening people with violence or wishing it upon them.

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Gkam84 [9068 posts] 3 years ago
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You forgot option 4

4) Commission a survey on cyclist's using the footpath, choosing a member of the council's family to undertake it and charge a fortune. Then do not act on the findings.

Spending money and not solving the issue's. Thats the council's normal stance on things  3

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Campag_10 [153 posts] 3 years ago
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People don't do anything without a good reason. So why are so many cyclists riding through a pedestrianised area? There's probably some thoughtless highway design that's really inhospitable to cyclists or a lack of cycle stands nearby.

I was riding on the NCN 4 yesterday in Windsor Great Park and pedestrians with dogs were a nightmare. Standing chatting blocking the width of the track or with their dogs off the leash letting them run across my path. Totally oblivious to anyone else using the track.

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A V Lowe [567 posts] 3 years ago
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Its funny how no-one seems to have an equal campaign to photograph cars driving on the footway, or totally blocking it.

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Jon Burrage [998 posts] 3 years ago
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Its not great to cycle on pavements, I avoid it where possible and only ride on them when shared. The interesting thing here is that this IS a shared path.

I live in Bristol and for my sins worked on the cycle city team. I dont like people cycling on pavements and to be fair, I dont like shared paths either because it wil always mean confusion as to who has right of way. In this case the path takes you from the bear pit toward broadmead which allows cyclists to avoid the busiest traffic island in Bristol and 2 very busy dual carriageway sections.

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Sarah Barth [86 posts] 3 years ago
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Are you sure, Jon? I should have mentioned, the Evening Post article said this too:

City council spokeswoman Kate Hartas confirmed that the stretch of pavement outside Primark and Debenhams is not a shared space for cyclists to use.

"There is a cycle lane that goes through the side of Primark that is segregated," she said. "People should not cycle through Broadmead, as that is not a shared space because of the shoppers wandering around."

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Jon Burrage [998 posts] 3 years ago
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Broadmead has shared path status - and scarse signage. The path in front of debenhams and primark has never been shared, the one behind has/was and unless the council changed their mind in the last 2 months still is.

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Jon Burrage [998 posts] 3 years ago
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I wouldnt put too much weight into the reporting of the bristol evening post, it is a gutter rag owned and published by the same group that owns the daily mail.
What a council spokesperson says and then is printed can frequently be lost en route.

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JohnS [198 posts] 3 years ago
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A V Lowe wrote:

Its funny how no-one seems to have an equal campaign to photograph cars driving on the footway, or totally blocking it.

+1

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si4star [44 posts] 3 years ago
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She needs to get a flippin life!

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fluffy_mike [94 posts] 3 years ago
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Get on the road or walk and get off the pavement. Else i'll try and off you myself. Arseholes.

Doesn't take much for you to get in a fight, does it?

Sadly, aggressive people like you are a far greater problem to society than pavement cyclists, most of whom are simply trying to not get killed by fast-moving (often) badly driven motor vehicles.

Seriously, if you're hitting strangers in the street regularly, you need counselling.

Or maybe you're all talk?

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OldRidgeback [2554 posts] 3 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:

I enjoy threatening people with violence? Not really, but when its needed I'm not adverse to using it.

I should have really quantified my statement above by saying I only do it in my small village and to adults as kids don't know any better. I only make them stop.

It all came about when my Granny was knocked down and damaged her hip and shoulder by a 32 year old on his little jump bike I think its called. With no seat, somewhere between a BMX and a MTB? He didn't bother to stop, just pushed her out of the way and onto the kerb.

Riding aggressively on the pavement, as the bloke on the jump bike did, is never acceptable. But if there are few pedestrians around and the pavements are wide, I don't see the harm.

Telling kids not to ride on the pavement is something you might want to think about. It does depend on how old they are of course. If someone told my sons not to ride on the pavement though I think I'd be rather less than impressed. I did have words with someone on just that point when I was taking my sons to football as it happens - there was no-one else around, the pavements were wide and the road was busy. I don't know what traffic volumes or vehicle speeds are like in your village but some parents may take issue if you tell their kids to ride in the road when there is preceived danger in doing so.

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tourdelound [151 posts] 3 years ago
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Or a campaign to photograph cars illegaly parking on dedicated cycle tracks, as seems to be acceptable in sunny Lowestoft.
 14

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Gkam84 [9068 posts] 3 years ago
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OldRidgeback wrote:

Riding aggressively on the pavement, as the bloke on the jump bike did, is never acceptable. But if there are few pedestrians around and the pavements are wide, I don't see the harm.

Telling kids not to ride on the pavement is something you might want to think about. It does depend on how old they are of course. If someone told my sons not to ride on the pavement though I think I'd be rather less than impressed. I did have words with someone on just that point when I was taking my sons to football as it happens - there was no-one else around, the pavements were wide and the road was busy. I don't know what traffic volumes or vehicle speeds are like in your village but some parents may take issue if you tell their kids to ride in the road when there is preceived danger in doing so.

The main road is a 30 and the rest of the village is a 20's plenty thing.

The levels of traffic vary. Most days there are very few motors on the road. Only if something is happening like the highland games, I understand it then.

I'm not talking primary school kids though. But kids that are old enough to know better 11-15 kinda age.

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WolfieSmith [1244 posts] 3 years ago
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Cyclists are stuck between pavement and road and welcomed on neither. I'm playing my old record again but instead of pointing out infrigements to each orher we should realise that slower traffic and sharing the roads is achievable with focus.

I love passing hoodies on their bikes with my 9 year old daughter. We're on the road but the urban gangsters stick to the pavement. It's the bizarre situation we have let happen over the past 40 years in this country.

Time did a change. 20 is Plenty!

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giff77 [1191 posts] 3 years ago
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I tend to take the same line as gkam. Unless they're a youngster (under 12) I'll not get out of their way. Even more so if they're wearing lycra and on a road bike. I see too many weaving through pedestrians with no concern. They then bounce on to the road and go scooting accross to the other pavement without looking or anything else.

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tonyrockyhorror [2 posts] 3 years ago
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People don't do anything without a good reason. So why are so many cyclists riding through a pedestrianised area? There's probably some thoughtless highway design that's really inhospitable to cyclists or a lack of cycle stands nearby.

I was riding on the NCN 4 yesterday in Windsor Great Park and pedestrians with dogs were a nightmare. Standing chatting blocking the width of the track or with their dogs off the leash letting them run across my path. Totally oblivious to anyone else using the track.

"Standing chatting blocking the width of the track or with their dogs off the leash letting them run across my path. Totally oblivious to anyone else using the track."

But, hang on, I thought "People don't do anything without a good reason". Or does that only apply to cyclists?

Sounds very much like the car-driving trolls who insist that nobody driving a car could ever possibly be at fault, and all the ills of the road are caused by everybody else.

I'd go for the "People don't do anything without a good reason" line, as long as you count "can't be arsed to do anything that would even momentarily inconvenience me" as a "good reason".

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HKCambridge [215 posts] 3 years ago
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I'd question her priorities in terms of dangerous traffic, but fair play to her this is a decent way to go about making a change.

I was terribly worried some gran had gone around sticking her walking stick into people's spokes or something.

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Coleman [331 posts] 3 years ago
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This kind of person is the reason the police are obliged to put pavement cycling above other crimes in their priority list. Bristol has some real problems that the police should be dealing with.

Remember the Home Office advice to police in dealing with pavement cycling? If it's not an immediate danger to anyone then action is not recommended.

Physical assault on children by pavement vigilantes is acceptable these days? My, how things have changed. I'd call the plod if I saw such attack. Hopefully they'd appreciate the importance of dealing with such thuggery.

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kie7077 [833 posts] 3 years ago
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What's so special about dual use cycle paths? Nothing, it's arbitrary bollocks. The one on the A10 passes garden gates, bus stops and car doors, that pretty much kills any arguments about where you can cycle, why should you be able to cycle past some bus stops, gates etc and not others, it's a complete nonsense.

And as for jumping out of the way of cyclists, who ever expects a pedestrian to jump out of the way.. (other than a few bad eggs and they're just as bad on the roads - pedestrian crossings etc).

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mingmong [254 posts] 3 years ago
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si4star wrote:

She needs to get a flippin life!

This.

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a.jumper [845 posts] 3 years ago
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tourdelound wrote:

Or a campaign to photograph cars illegaly parking on dedicated cycle tracks, as seems to be acceptable in sunny Lowestoft.
 14

http://www.mybikelane.com/

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Lacticlegs [124 posts] 3 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:

I enjoy threatening people with violence? Not really, but when its needed I'm not adverse to using it.

I should have really quantified my statement above by saying I only do it in my small village and to adults as kids don't know any better. I only make them stop.

It all came about when my Granny was knocked down and damaged her hip and shoulder by a 32 year old on his little jump bike I think its called. With no seat, somewhere between a BMX and a MTB? He didn't bother to stop, just pushed her out of the way and onto the kerb.

Oh sod off Gkam84! Lokikontroll is absolutely spot on - your posts are almost always negative, aggressive and laughable.

Seriously - what is your problem? The amount of times you try to paint yourself as some Vinnie Jones character tells me that you are most likely a complete gimp. Still - it's pretty easy to be tough when you're trolling anonymously online isn't it? And spare us the crap about your Grandma - that's a bullshit effort to justify your previous threat to commit violence on people. Oh and not kids - just adults, and you 'only make them stop'? Really - so an ice-hockey style shoulder block would merely slow 'em down huh?

You are a prat. And no amount of back-pedaling after you realised what a fool you just made of yourself is going to change that. Get some therapy idiot. If that won't work then try a shoulder block on someone older than 11-15 - I'll happily volunteer, just tell me where and i'll come cycle on the pavement near you, then we can discuss the matter in person. Dickhead.