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Cycling on the path ….. here’s why I think it’s not that bad!

by Cllr Darren Fower on 15 May, 2017

What’s this about?

Over the last few years, there’s a been a number of leading people at the Town Hall who have complained about cyclists who ride on footpaths in the city.

One stretch that has received a lot of attention of course is Bridge Street, outside the Town Hall, in the City Centre.

Q: Would this be illegal??

The legal standpoint of cycling on a footpath is fairly loose, Rule 64 of the Highway Code states, “You MUST NOT cycle on a pavement. Laws HA 1835 sect 72 & R(S)A 1984, sect 129”.

The Highway Code is not, in itself, law although the Highway Code may be used in court under the Road Traffic Act to establish liability.

Although, you might like to know that earlier this year, Police in Camden said they would not punish cyclists who ride on the pavement, Sergeant Nick Clarke, “Riding on the pavement is technically illegal, just like being drunk in a pub is technically illegal, but we don’t enforce it unless we have good reason. It’s about using common sense and discretion.”

What does Darren think?

I think we need to keep a perspective on this type of issue. I think 99% of cyclists in our city are responsible, mindful of others and a real asset to Peterborough’s reputation.

There are plenty of times when people use the footpaths for perfectly viable reasons, maybe the cyclist is 5 years old, maybe the cyclist’s lights are broken, maybe the traffic is so dangerous the cyclist does not feel safe?

When it comes to the detrimental impact of cars on our city, the aspect of the occasional cyclist using a footpath really isn’t that bad…. in my opinion.

What about elsewhere in the world?

When talking about improving cycling provision in our city, you’ll often hear those opposed saying “You can’t do that” or “There’s not enough space” or “It costs too much” etc

Hence, why on occasions its important to look beyond our own city walls and see what others in the world are doing!

What do others say?

Cycling UK believes that it is acceptable for cyclists to use footpaths, provided they do so in a manner which respects the safety of other path users…..” – Source

…we need to embrace active travel even more. The key to this is to invest more in cycling infrastructure and make cycling safer.” – Source

The city is poor for cycling ….I believe needs for cyclists is usually an afterthought.” – Source

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