Should cycling be allowed on pavements?By Jennifer Scott
- 20 January 2017
- From the section UK
Police in one London borough have said they will not prosecute cyclists who ride on the pavement, but is the decision a good move for safety and will it be adopted in other parts of the country?
Officers who work in Camden say they will not enforce the law “without good reason” and instead want to look at why riders are taking to paths instead of using the road.
Inspired by a similar operation launched by West Midlands Police, officers will talk to cyclists they see using pavements in the Primrose Hill area of the city, as well as stopping and warning drivers who overtake cyclists with a gap of less than 1.5m.
They hope to identify the most dangerous spots where riders “feel forced” onto the path
But the decision to stop fining cyclists has polarised opinion.
Thomas Newton, who lives and works in London, said: “It’s a vehicle, it belongs on the road, end of story.
“I’ve had several near misses with riders jumping red lights and not stopping at zebra crossings. I appreciate that there are many conscientious cyclists, but it’s not those guys who are the problem.”
Jonathan Morris, from Hatfield, said he feels more at risk from cyclists than cars and would not like to see the police dropping fines.
“Cyclists are everywhere, can ride very fast and cause injuries because they dart all over the place and seem to show a disregard to pedestrians,” he said.
“Cars and other motorised vehicles stay in the road and are mostly predicable – even when it comes to rushing through amber traffic lights.”
‘Use common sense’
But Dan Jestico, who cycles with his two young children, disagrees.
“It is entirely possible to ride sensibly on the pavement,” he said. “No one is suggesting that cyclists should ride like idiots anywhere, be it pavement or road.
“I cycle my two small kids to nursery on the pavement. It would be ludicrous for us to ride on the road.”
Emma Richardson, from Nottingham, says it is all a matter of context.
“I don’t think it would be appropriate for a cyclist to try and weave through a busy street as they risk injuring pedestrians,” she said.
“But if the pavement is very empty, then no problem really. Just use common sense.”