Thames Valley Police has come in for criticism from cyclists after the force’s Windsor Twitter account published a photo of an officer supposedly enforcing a ‘cyclists dismount’ sign that is merely advisory.
Here’s the tweet in question.
— TVP Windsor (@TVP_Windsor) September 28, 2016
As you might imagine, cyclists were quick to have their say.
Most suggested that there were, perhaps, other matters police could be concentrating on – with a few questions raised about the van in the background.
Some made their point implicitly.
Dear @TVP_Windsor people are not taking seriously my ‘beware of the dog’ sign. Please send someone round.
— Jack Macreath (@erroneous_zone) October 3, 2016
— mike quinn (@mikeqtoo) October 3, 2016
In 2014, Minister for Cycling Robert Goodwill reiterated that the official line from the Department for Transport (DfT) is that cyclists may ride on the footway – more commonly referred to as the pavement – provided they do so considerately. He added that police officers should be using discretion in enforcing the law.
Several people who responded to the TVP Windsor tweet were keen to highlight the response of then National Policing Lead for Cycling, Assistant Chief Constable Mark Milsom, who said:
“We welcome the re-issued guidance from the Minister for Cycling in respect of cycling on the pavement and have re-circulated this to all local forces. The issue of cycling on the pavement, as in other areas of law enforcement, varies according to local circumstances. The ministerial guidance supports the importance of police discretion in taking a reasonable and proportionate approach, with safety being a guiding principle. London's roads present unique challenges, not least of which is the sheer number of drivers, cyclists and pedestrians who use them, therefore their approach may vary from other areas of the country.”