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Should cyclists be allowed on footpaths?

Hereford Incident Hunderton

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#1 Frank Smith

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Posted 15 August 2017

Should cyclists be allowed on footpaths?

 

I ask the question because this morning I was walking along Belmont Avenue and a chap on a bike knocked into me from behind and almost knocked me to the floor as he came speeding past me on along the footpath on his bike. He turned around and shouted sorry pal but to be honest it not only startled me but I will probably have a bruise on my arm. I could have easily lost my balance and fallen into the road.

 

I thought riding a bicycle on a footpath was illegal? I appreciate that some people do not like riding on the roads and most of the councils in the country are implementing cycle lanes where they can but if the roads are narrow in the first place it makes it very difficult. I always remeber growing up that the police would tell you to get off your bike and walk on footpaths but that does not appear to happen anymore.

 

I have just seen this article on Sky news http://news.sky.com/...-hears-10989512

 


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#2 Steve Major

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Posted 15 August 2017

Hello Frank, good question and sorry to hear of your misfortune today, glad that you are ok.

 

It is illegal to ride a bike on a footpath in the UK, see rule 64 here


Edited by Steve Major, 15 August 2017 .

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#3 adamski

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Posted 15 August 2017

Illegal or not, when was the last time anyone saw a cyclist using a pavement being approached by an officer of the law?
My front door opens directly onto the pavement. I've lost count of the number of times I've almost had a collision with a cyclist when leaving my house. Now I look both ways, as if I'm crossing the road!!!
One more for you. A year ago I was walking along Broad Street, away from High Town. A cyclist was coming towards me on the pavement, no lights (it was dark enough to need them) and effectively going the wrong way on a one way street. I watched in horror as I became aware of a car approaching the cross roads from West Street. I was helpless to stop either of them. The cyclist seemed not only oblivious to how daft they were being, but also to the fact that they were approaching a road crossing, where pedestrians would always come to a stop before crossing.
She went straight in to the wing of the car, her wheel hitting the car's wheel, she rolled over the bonnet, bike looked a mess and bloke swearing about the damage to his car, which was a lovely mini less than a year old.
Cyclist was having a go at the driver!
No insurance to pay for the car damage obviously. What if someone had been injured??
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#4 Aylestone Voice

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Posted 15 August 2017

It is sad that all cyclists seem to get the blame for the actions of a minority. But you are right if there was a bit of enforcement there would less problems


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#5 adamski

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Posted 15 August 2017

Yes, AV, I'm a cyclist and a motorist.
I think I'm in the minority though, as I always stop at traffic lights etc, and never cycle on the pavement. Maybe I shouldn't say I'm in the minority, but there really are so many cyclists on the pavements these days.
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#6 Mick

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Posted 15 August 2017

It is sad that all cyclists seem to get the blame for the actions of a minority. But you are right if there was a bit of enforcement there would less problems

 

I agree AV however, I do see many cyclists riding on the pavements, riding across pedestrian crossings without getting off their bikes and ignoring traffic lights. I actually saw a lad today on his mobile phone while riding on the path, the law should be applied to all road users, I also think cyclists should have some sort of insurance.


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#7 Rebecca Morrison

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Posted 16 August 2017

Too many cyclists on footpaths these days it is ridiculous.


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#8 Chris Chappell

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Posted 16 August 2017

Same old story, cops can not be everywhere. So sorry to hear about this incident but not sure unless full discription of cyclist and other witnesses come forward what can be done. It is not as if Belmont Avenue is that busy with school out, there can be little excuse for being on the pavement.
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#9 Bill Thomas

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Posted 18 August 2017

Cyclists should not be allowed to ride on footpaths, they are FOOT paths. I understand all the reason behind this but it is starting to become the norm and I think the police and local authorities needs to do more in the way of enforcing the law and by providing more cycle lanes, which I appreciate is difficult on a lot of narrow roads.


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#10 Maggie May

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Posted 18 August 2017

Cyclists should not be allowed to ride on footpaths, they are FOOT paths. I understand all the reason behind this but it is starting to become the norm and I think the police and local authorities needs to do more in the way of enforcing the law and by providing more cycle lanes, which I appreciate is difficult on a lot of narrow roads.

I agree Bill, and I am a cyclist. As I cycle around Hereford I notice that a lot of the road is often taken up with cars parked all day and night on main roads. For example at the bottom of Belmont Road as you approach the Asda junction if you cycle on the main road you have to go outside of parked cars with not much space for cars wanting to overtake the slower cyclist (me). It means that vehicles take up effectively 3 to 4 lanes and yet there is no dedicated space for cyclists who are not very confident on roads and want something safer than fresh air to protect them from vehicles. The same applies on Whitecross road, where it seems that rather than clear a whole lane of parked cars (right by the old Bulmers staff car park) the Council have made the pavement "shared space" and put pedestrians and cyclists together.

I have now got rid of my car as I use it so little. Instead I just hire one if I need to go away anywhere this way. Some cars in Hereford seem to be parked for days without any noticeable use. I am surprised that more people don't do what I do and save quite a bit of money by not having a car.


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#11 Ken Baynham

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Posted 18 August 2017

I agree that cyclists have become a hazard on pavements and the law does little to prevent it.

 

If footpaths are above a certain width cycling is allowed but I have always thought the onus is on the cyclist to respect the welfare of pedestrians in the same way as the onus is on motorists to respect the welfare of cyclists on the road (not sure if this is law or just accepted courtesy). Whether law or courtesy I see little evidence of it shown by cyclists riding illegally on footpaths.

 

The shared space pavement on Whitecross road confuses me as the law clearly states that riding a cycle on a pavement is illegal.


Edited by Ken Baynham , 18 August 2017 .

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#12 George Armstrong

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Posted 19 August 2017

Yes, Ken, but if a traffic order designates a pavement to be dual use, then it's not solely a footpath anymore. Personally I like the Whitecross Rd shared pavements, and find them clearly marked and easy to use. They work well around Saxon Gate & Holme Lacy Rd too.
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#13 twowheelsgood

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Posted 19 August 2017

I agree that cyclists have become a hazard on pavements and the law does little to prevent it.

 

If footpaths are above a certain width cycling is allowed but I have always thought the onus is on the cyclist to respect the welfare of pedestrians in the same way as the onus is on motorists to respect the welfare of cyclists on the road (not sure if this is law or just accepted courtesy). Whether law or courtesy I see little evidence of it shown by cyclists riding illegally on footpaths.

 

The shared space pavement on Whitecross road confuses me as the law clearly states that riding a cycle on a pavement is illegal.

 

Width is immaterial - it is the legal status of the path. As George says, if they are designated as 'shared space' then cycling is allowed and these paths are signed with small repeater signs showing a pedestrian and a bicycle. Many in the City are far from ideal but they are a lot better than nothing. I use the Whitecross Road one for instance, as a cyclist, to get to Plough Lane without having to try and turn right across Whitecross Road. You do have to be wary of wandering pedestrians who are inevitably oblivious to the fact that it is a shared space and they should act accordingly. 


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#14 Ken Baynham

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Posted 19 August 2017

Thanks for the clarification George.

 

I still think for a footpath or pavement to legally be used by cyclists they must be above a certain with. I am not sure of the width but it is somewhere about 2 meters. 

 

As I remember it that stretch of pavement along Whitecross road is particularly wide and so would lend itself to dual purpose and provide safe access to Plough lane.

 

As a pedestrian and cyclist I am in sympathy with Twowheelsgood. When walking I always make a point of keeping to the left of the path when sharing with cyclists (not sure as it should really be the right as walking along an unpaved road) but unless I concentrate find myself meandering to the center. I think people do not naturally walk in a straight line but do meander which clearly does cause a problem for cyclists. 


Edited by Ken Baynham , 19 August 2017 .

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#15 Maggie May

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Posted 19 August 2017

All bikes should have a bell on them.  I use mine when coming from behind to warn people there is a cyclist approaching, if I am on a shared use path. Most people are fine about this but some seem cross when I have rung it, as if I was trying to frighten them. It is just to warn them not to meander in front of a relatively slow moving bike they wont have seen and which is effectively silent. 

I did have a dilemma when the children were young as I didn't like my children under the age of 8 cycling on the road if it was a busy. I would try and choose quiet routes, but sometimes we would be on a short stretch of busy road and then I would encourage them to cycle on the pavement for safety but to get off there bikes if there were pedestrians. I think there needs to be more respect for all people travelling, and from car drivers in particular towards cyclists. Some car drivers seem to think cyclists have no right to be there.

One long stretch of wide pavement which you rarely see people walking on is the A49 from Asda aroundabout up to the Victoria Street subway. This would be ideal for shared space, but no one seems to have done this section of pavement. Any one know why not?


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#16 Colin James

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Posted 19 August 2017

All bikes should have a bell on them.  I use mine when coming from behind to warn people there is a cyclist approaching, if I am on a shared use path. Most people are fine about this but some seem cross when I have rung it, as if I was trying to frighten them. It is just to warn them not to meander in front of a relatively slow moving bike they wont have seen and which is effectively silent. 

I did have a dilemma when the children were young as I didn't like my children under the age of 8 cycling on the road if it was a busy. I would try and choose quiet routes, but sometimes we would be on a short stretch of busy road and then I would encourage them to cycle on the pavement for safety but to get off there bikes if there were pedestrians. I think there needs to be more respect for all people travelling, and from car drivers in particular towards cyclists. Some car drivers seem to think cyclists have no right to be there.

One long stretch of wide pavement which you rarely see people walking on is the A49 from Asda aroundabout up to the Victoria Street subway. This would be ideal for shared space, but no one seems to have done this section of pavement. Any one know why not?

 

Maggie I have much respect for all other road users, however in my experience cyclists are even worse in some cases! Particularly in London, they all try to be clever now by wearing head cameras (I understand the reasons why) and a lot will go out of their way to provoke motorists, believe me, I have seen it all. Many also expect the motorist to abide by the highway code, yet when it suits they will go the wrong way around small junctions and bollards, often they will mount the pavement to avoid red lights and once the other side will come back down onto the road, they will often ride 2 or 3 side by side, so it is virtually impossible to pass them in a vehicle. I see guys riding no handed while texting and this is on the pavements. They will often shout abuse too, so they are not as squeaky clean as people may think. 


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#17 Maggie May

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Posted 19 August 2017

Maggie I have much respect for all other road users, however in my experience cyclists are even worse in some cases! Particularly in London, they all try to be clever now by wearing head cameras (I understand the reasons why) and a lot will go out of their way to provoke motorists, believe me, I have seen it all. Many also expect the motorist to abide by the highway code, yet when it suits they will go the wrong way around small junctions and bollards, often they will mount the pavement to avoid red lights and once the other side will come back down onto the road, they will often ride 2 or 3 side by side, so it is virtually impossible to pass them in a vehicle. I see guys riding no handed while texting and this is on the pavements. They will often shout abuse too, so they are not as squeaky clean as people may think. 

 Colin there are often bad cyclists as there are bad motorists. I have seen the behaviour of bad cyclists in London but this is not the majority of cyclists and certainly doesn't apply to many biking around Hereford.

In the last few months cars and vans have been used as terrorist weapons to kill and maim people but I do not claim that all car drivers are terrorists! However, a bad motorist will do more damage than a bad cyclist. 

Cyclists are not permitted to ride on non designated pavements. Likewise, cars aren't permitted to drive on pavements and yet how many times have pedestrians tried to get passed cars blocking pavements around Hereford. It is not unusual, especially outside schools to see parents having to steer pushchairs into traffic because cars are blocking pavements.  As I said we should all respect each other, and to do this we should all respect Highway rules. I understand that The Highway code actually permits cyclists to cycle 2 a breast as car drivers should view all cyclists as if it were another vehicle and give them 1.5M clearance when passing. 


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#18 Colin James

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Posted 19 August 2017

 Colin there are often bad cyclists as there are bad motorists. I have seen the behaviour of bad cyclists in London but this is not the majority of cyclists and certainly doesn't apply to many biking around Hereford.

In the last few months cars and vans have been used as terrorist weapons to kill and maim people but I do not claim that all car drivers are terrorists! However, a bad motorist will do more damage than a bad cyclist. 

Cyclists are not permitted to ride on non designated pavements. Likewise, cars aren't permitted to drive on pavements and yet how many times have pedestrians tried to get passed cars blocking pavements around Hereford. It is not unusual, especially outside schools to see parents having to steer pushchairs into traffic because cars are blocking pavements.  As I said we should all respect each other, and to do this we should all respect Highway rules. I understand that The Highway code actually permits cyclists to cycle 2 a breast as car drivers should view all cyclists as if it were another vehicle and give them 1.5M clearance when passing. 

 

I agree it is not the majority of cyclists and I thought that I made that point clear but I do not agree that a bad motorist will do more damage than a bad cyclist because that has to come down to the individual circumstances of any incident, but I have witnessed a 3 car pile up in central London only 2 years ago, which was down to a bad cyclist, who was not insured either! I can remember at the time some the people complaining to the police (who attended) about damages and that the cyclist had said that he was not insured which is something else that should be a legal requirement in my view.

 

I agree that cars should NOT park on the pavements and I will be running an article covering that very subject in the next week or so. I have some rather interesting photographs. 


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#19 Frank Smith

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Posted 23 August 2017

 Colin there are often bad cyclists as there are bad motorists. I have seen the behaviour of bad cyclists in London but this is not the majority of cyclists and certainly doesn't apply to many biking around Hereford.

In the last few months cars and vans have been used as terrorist weapons to kill and maim people but I do not claim that all car drivers are terrorists! However, a bad motorist will do more damage than a bad cyclist. 

Cyclists are not permitted to ride on non designated pavements. Likewise, cars aren't permitted to drive on pavements and yet how many times have pedestrians tried to get passed cars blocking pavements around Hereford. It is not unusual, especially outside schools to see parents having to steer pushchairs into traffic because cars are blocking pavements.  As I said we should all respect each other, and to do this we should all respect Highway rules. I understand that The Highway code actually permits cyclists to cycle 2 a breast as car drivers should view all cyclists as if it were another vehicle and give them 1.5M clearance when passing. 

 

The Highway Code says the cyclists should ride single file, especially on narrow roads, see screenshot:

 

Highway Code.png


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