The mother of a 14-year-old cyclist has spoken out after a man threatened to punch her son for cycling on the pavement.
Isaac Slade, aged 14 and a student at Queen Elizabeth School in Wimborne Minster, Dorset, would usually have ridden on the road during his commute to and from school.
However, on his six-mile journey home, he noticed that one of his tyres had developed a slow puncture, so rode on the pavement instead.
The Dorset Echo reports that his mother Nikki Slade, who is the leader of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, wrote about the incident on her Facebook page.
She said that Isaac alerted two pedestrians ahead of him that he was about to ride past them, but one turned round and said he would punch the youngster in the face if he did not get on the road.
“He was threatened with being punched off his bike,” said Councillor Slade, who represents the Liberal Democrats on the council, which is controlled by the Unity Alliance coalition.
“He had a puncture and it was safer for him to go slowly on the pavement,” she continued.
“He was coming down by the sorting office and he was on the pavement with two people in front of him.
“He called out to them ‘Excuse me’ so he could get past them and the guy turned around and says, ‘If you don’t get in the road, I’ll punch you off your bike’.”
She said that all of her children ride to and from school every day and that “Isaac would normally have been riding his bike in the road. It was just this one particular occasion that he wasn’t.
“He’s a gentle person and he’s absolutely mortified by this,” added Councillor Slade, who is hoping to obtain CCTV footage of the incident.
“We’re doing our best to encourage kids to be independent and get themselves around, and this was a horrible thing to have happened.
“We ask our children to take responsibility and be respectful, and then grown adults don’t show any respect for them in return.”
In 2014, then transport minister Robert Goodwill reiterated that the Department for Transport’s official line was that cyclists are allowed to ride on the pavement so long as they do so considerately.
The guidance is based on that originally published by former Home Office minister Paul Boateng in 1999 when fixed notice penalties were originally introduced, and repeated five years later.
The original 1999 guidance 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.”
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.