When riding on the footpath should I.....

Gubbins

Esteemed Pedelecer
1) ride facing oncoming traffic.
2) ride with oncoming traffic.
Today around 8.30am I had a walk into town and was looking up at a house fire rebuild in progress so not really taking note of where I was going.
As I aproach a street light that narrowed the path I was unaware of a cyclist heading straight for me expecting me to move out of her way, which of course I didn't so her options were to slip on to the road into on comming school traffic or run me down! Still lookin up and oblivouse to the danger I continued on and lucky for me she chose a middle ground and ran into the lamppost. She glared at me and I smirked back and we continued on our separate ways.
A few yards further on I caught up with two enormously overweight smartphone zombies and was planning an impossible overtake due to dangerous school traffic when another bike zipped past me from behind at high speed! This rider didn't bother about me or the traffic and just barrelled in among the cars causing absolute chaos with the school mum 4x4's and taxis having to take evasive action before they drop off their precious cargo, also with total disregard for other road users and causing even more chaos, but fortunately for me, one of the zombies, who hadn't noticed the carnage in progress, stopped to correct a spelling mistake and with a sudden burst of speed I slipped through. I was going to offer a cheery good morning but they were were both feeding their ears via cables so didn't bother.
I managed the rest of my walk without issue but have to wonder.. what is happening with people?
 
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flecc

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Oct 25, 2006
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Of course one shouldn't cycle on a footpath. On shared use footpaths it depends on the width and provision, most are quite narrow so it's best then to always ride with the traffic flow alongside since that is what pedestrians will most expect.

As for what is happening to people now, I believe it has two related parts. Life and what we have and deal with in life has become far more complicated and two things follow from that. First is that many have difficulty in coping with it all, second is that in trying to cope they have no time for others welfare.

My attitude is that others come first, coping with the rest comes second.
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Danidl

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Sep 29, 2016
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Of course one shouldn't cycle on a footpath. On shared use footpaths it depends on the width and provision, most are quite narrow so it's best then to always ride with the traffic flow alongside since that is what pedestrians will most expect.

As for what is happening to people now, I believe it has two related parts. Life and what we have and deal with in life has become far more complicated and two things follow from that. First is that many have difficulty in coping with it all, second is that in trying to cope they have no time for others welfare.

My attitude is that others come first, coping with the rest comes second.
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I live in a quasi rural and village area seperated by 6km from a town. When in the village i will always use the road, when going to the town always the footpath. The road is narrow and there would not be sufficent space for cars to give the 1metre clearance . If i meet foot traffic, an irregular occurance. Usually a power walker or a pram i slow down and ensure they get right of way.
 

anotherkiwi

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Jan 26, 2015
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Another couple of km of shared path are about to go into service in the coming days here. I will use them during the tourist season because it is a section where trafic is at a standstill most of the day. On the other hand out of season I will use the road going south because I am not far off car speed on the trike, maybe a little fast to mix with pedestrians...

A much better 1 km is also going into service in Irun on a tricky section of road where pedestrians and bikes are separated by a painted line.
 

KirstinS

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Apr 5, 2011
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A find a nice loud but cheery bell and a solid smiley "thank you" usually suffices

And the local forums are full of cyclists this and pedestrians that when discussing shared use pathways. We have miles of them

I have almost never had any issues. Imiss. my bell, smile, slow down more for the young, old or dogs . It ain't hard. It's just courtesy and behaving like a gentleman

There are sections of the South Downs where I may behave like a hooligan but then there is usually no one for miles !


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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Gubbins

Esteemed Pedelecer
Perhaps i should clarify.. this is the footpath on a busy main road and is not a shared path at all so an Adult cyclist should not be riding on it and if they were they should be prepared to stop and give way to pedestrians.
And the question was a bit toung in cheek from the point of view of a helmeted adult cyclist riding against traffic on the roadside footway that is barely wide enough for two people to walk side by side when a gormless old man not looking where is going gets in her way. She can't drop off the kerb into the road because of the heavy traffic coming towards her and doesn't really want to run the old dodderer over so is forced to collide with a street lamp!
 
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flecc

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this is the footpath on a busy main road and is not a shared path at all so an Adult cyclist should not be riding on it and if they were they should be prepared to stop and give way to pedestrians.
That sums it up, A adult can ride cycle on a pavement if there is a genuine fear of traffic as there might well be on that main road. But the legal ruling is that they must always ride with care and give pedestrians priority. If they don't, an offence is committed.
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Fat Rat

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That sums it up, A adult can ride cycle on a pavement if there is a genuine fear of traffic as there might well be on that main road. But the legal ruling is that they must always ride with care and give pedestrians priority. If they don't, an offence is committed.
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This is straight from the Highway Code


Something that confuses many cyclists is whether or not they are allowed to cycle on the pavement. According to Laws HA 1835 section 72 & RSA 1984, section 129, cyclists must not cycle on the pavement.
 

oyster

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cyclists must not cycle on the pavement.
Fine - in general I'd go along with that. But it isn't always easy to know whether a particular stretch is pavement or shared use. Some of the shared use has clear indication but not all - there is some very near here which is very unclear.

(And I have to admit that there is about 50 metres of very wide pavement in this town which I have been known to cycle along. The road is one way otherwise I'd simply ride on the road. The other reason being the alternative legal cycling route is the best part of a mile out of my way. Up a very steep hill for part. OK, I should get off and push and I would if it made any difference but rarely more than one or two people easily avoided.)
 

Gubbins

Esteemed Pedelecer
Fine - in general I'd go along with that. But it isn't always easy to know whether a particular stretch is pavement or shared use. Some of the shared use has clear indication but not all - there is some very near here which is very unclear.

(And I have to admit that there is about 50 metres of very wide pavement in this town which I have been known to cycle along. The road is one way otherwise I'd simply ride on the road. The other reason being the alternative legal cycling route is the best part of a mile out of my way. Up a very steep hill for part. OK, I should get off and push and I would if it made any difference but rarely more than one or two people easily avoided.)
Ooooo! Hold on, stay there! I am calling the pavement police....
 
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flecc

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This is straight from the Highway Code
Something that confuses many cyclists is whether or not they are allowed to cycle on the pavement. According to Laws HA 1835 section 72 & RSA 1984, section 129, cyclists must not cycle on the pavement.
It's necessary to know the law before quoting it as an absolute. The Highway Code isn't law and that excludes the whole story. Cyclists can ride on the pavement in the circumstances I described, details quoted below. Read right through to the end, showing this still applies:

"On 1st August 1999, new legislation came into force to allow a fixed penalty notice to be served on anyone who is guilty of cycling on a footway. However the Home Office issued guidance on how the new legislation should be applied, indicating that they should only be used where a cyclist is riding in a manner that may endanger others. The then Home Office Minister Paul Boateng issued a letter stating that:

“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.”

Almost identical advice has since been issued by the Home Office with regards the use of fixed penalty notices by ‘Community Support Officers’ and wardens.

“CSOs and accredited persons will be accountable in the same way as police officers. They will be under the direction and control of the chief officer, supervised on a daily basis by the local community beat officer and will be subject to the same police complaints system. The Government have included provision in the Anti Social Behaviour Bill to enable CSOs and accredited persons to stop those cycling irresponsibly on the pavement in order to issue a fixed penalty notice.

I should stress that the issue is about inconsiderate cycling on the pavements. The new provisions are not aimed at responsible cyclists who sometimes feel obliged to use the pavement out of fear of the traffic, and who show consideration to other road users when doing so. Chief officers recognise that the fixed penalty needs to be used with a considerable degree of discretion and it cannot be issued to anyone under the age of 16. (Letter to Mr H. Peel from John Crozier of The Home Office, reference T5080/4, 23 February 2004)

In a January 2014 letter to Donnachadh McCarthy of the pressure group Stop Killing Cyclists, roads minister Robert Goodwill said Boeteng’s advice was still valid.

Goodwill said: “Thank you for bringing the issue of cycling on the pavement around dangerous junctions…to my attention. I agree that the police should be using discretion in enforcing this law and would support Paul Boateng’s original guidance.”

The Association of Chief Police Officers then circulated this reiteration of the 1999 advice to all local police forces. ACPO’s National Policing Lead for Cycling Assistant Chief Constable Mark Milsom 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.”
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anotherkiwi

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We have a nice cycle path from town to high school just outside, along the river, lovely scenery, etc.. So what can you do when you are a town hall employee to improve that cycle path? Well hey! Authorise a guy to park his pizza truck on it and force the bikes onto the road to avoid the people waiting for their pizza to cook... :mad:
 
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georgehenry

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Nov 7, 2015
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That is interesting flecc. I have used footpaths and pedestrian underpasses with care when riding away from Guildford railway station to avoid a particularly nasty roundabout that is quite hard to negotiate in a car let alone a bicycle.

The key to riding on a pavement is to ride slowly and with great care for pedestrians and ready to stop if necessary, using my tring tring bell and definitely armed with a large smile and ready greeting.

Riding in this way the vast 99% response is positive.
 
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oyster

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pedestrian underpasses
We have just one underpass - and it is officially for use by cyclists as well as pedestrians, despite being quite narrow.

But about the only place I ride where not allowed is at a roundabout on the way home from work. Usually, you can't pass the queue of traffic to enter the roundabout (lane too narrow and on a bend). But creeping forward is not much fun in the fumes. So I skip onto the pavement, round to the next junction, then across the traffic queuing on the roundabout - because my junction is effectively "turn right" and most vehicles are "straight across".
 
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Benjahmin

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Nov 10, 2014
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WARNING RANT ALERT!

What a typically fudged mess. It may be fine to quote Paul Boetang when hauled up in court, but noboddy's told the irate citizen pedestrian what he's said. So they go ahead and harangue you or physically impede/assault you as they believe they are are in the right.
Also, once again, it shows a total lack of understanding of what it's like to cycle as a means of transport. Try telling a car or van driver that they have to slow down or stop, in a considerate manner, every time they happen upon a pedestrian or phone zombie. Along with the endless, 'cyclists dismount here' signs on paths, it makes cycling continuity impossible.
We need to build a growing vocal lobby to demand proper cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, not just paint on the road and fudgey (is that even a word) shared use paths. Government after government has put this off only paying lip service to 'green transport alternatives', when in fact they've done/allowed bog all. In this context the current climate demonstrations are not at all surprising.
Here's a thought. How about ring fencing the current vogue for 'congestion charges' for just such projects.
Yeh, not going to happen is it? You can practically hear various treasuries rubbing their hand at the extra income.
:mad:
 
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Zlatan

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Nov 26, 2016
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WARNING RANT ALERT!

What a typically fudged mess. It may be fine to quote Paul Boetang when hauled up in court, but noboddy's told the irate citizen pedestrian what he's said. So they go ahead and harangue you or physically impede/assault you as they believe they are are in the right.
Also, once again, it shows a total lack of understanding of what it's like to cycle as a means of transport. Try telling a car or van driver that they have to slow down or stop, in a considerate manner, every time they happen upon a pedestrian or phone zombie. Along with the endless, 'cyclists dismount here' signs on paths, it makes cycling continuity impossible.
We need to build a growing vocal lobby to demand proper cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, not just paint on the road and fudgey (is that even a word) shared use paths. Government after government has put this off only paying lip service to 'green transport alternatives', when in fact they've done/allowed bog all. In this context the current climate demonstrations are not at all surprising.
Here's a thought. How about ring fencing the current vogue for 'congestion charges' for just such projects.
Yeh, not going to happen is it? You can practically hear various treasuries rubbing their hand at the extra income.
:mad:
Couldnt agree more. In our authority everybody got a letter saying there was to be cycle paths/ lanes into town from major places around us. What they actually did was send a bloke out with a paint brush and pinched 3ft off nearly all roads, but then they even stop every now and again. Its made no difference at all. Tick box politics. Yes, we have cycle lanes. Like **** we do.
 

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