Thursday, 26 November 2009

Pavement cycling and cars on pavements

There is a constant number of complaints here in the UK about pavement cycling and it seems to feature in papers and even in parliament. It is illegal to cycle on the pavement and can lead to an instant £30 fine. if the pavement is designated as a "shared use" then it is OK to cycle on it.
Cars appear. however to be able to drive across pavements, and indeed along them, with. impunity.
The integration of pedestrians and cyclists seems much more tolerated in Europe and I have not been aware of many difficulties whilst cycling in Europe. Perhaps cyclists are better behaved over there, or is it a cultural thing?
My attention has been drawn to an article in City cycling - - where it is reported that a group of students at Imperial College in London where fined £30 each for cycling over the pavement to reach the cycle racks, which were as is normal in the UK sited at the rear of the pavement.
What made it even more worrying is that there was a dropped kerb to allow cars to pas over the pavement.
it appears that the law is different for bikes and cars.

Sue Rider there "legal eagle" makes the following observations - "The rules governing cycling on the pavement are slightly different from those concerning cars. If we look at motorised traffic first, it is clear from the Road Traffic Act 1988, s.34(2) where it states that: "It is not an offence under this section to drive a motor vehicle on any land within fifteen yards of a road, being a road on which a motor vehicle may lawfully be driven, for the purpose only of parking the vehicle on that land"
that in order to access parking cars are explicitly allowed to cross a pavement.

Cycles, however, are covered by the Highways Act 1835, s.72, which is a little more severe. There is no specific mention of accessing parking, since it probably wasn't even considered at the time of drafting. Instead I expected to see mention that cyclists could not proceed 'along' a pavement on their bicycle. But I was wrong. There is a basic prohibition which can be seen in the clause: "If any person shall wilfully rideupon any footpath or causeway by the side of any road made or set apart for the use or accommodation of foot passengers..."

Simply being 'on' the pavement is an offence. Which brings out a bit of an anomaly. Were I to arrive back at my abode at the same time as the beloved, if he were to drive into the driveway (for he deludedly drives to work) then he does so perfectly legally. I follow on two wheels, and immediately commit an offence. the law is actually quite clear on this matter, despite the illogical nature."

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