Pavement cyclists given amber light

Posted On 09 Mar 2016 at 2:28 pm

Pavement cyclists are unlikely to be fined unless they are riding dangerously after the rules were changed by the Government to discourage fines being handed out.

A cyclist riding on the pavement near Brighton Marina by John Keogh on Flckr

A cyclist riding on the pavement near Brighton Marina by John Keogh on Flckr

Whereas police used to be able to hand out fines on the spot, officers now have to fill out a form and send it off to the ticketing office to decide whether a fine or warning is more appropriate.

As a result, pavement cyclists are now more likely to be stopped and warned about the possible dangers. If there is a particular problem in a specific area, a day of action can be considered – but no areas currently qualify for this.

The change of heart came to light at a recent meeting of the London Road Local Action Team, which was sent a written answer to a query about pavement cycling by PCSO Sharon Birt.

She said: ““Cycling on the pavement is an offence but the government aren’t keen to hand out fines for this, unless people are cycling in a dangerous manner.

“Most people appreciate how dangerous the roads can be for cyclists and most are careful on the pavement. I generally find that people pushing wheelchairs and prams more often run into people than cyclists, albeit at a slower speed.

“The pavement is a shared space for all sorts of moving people/obstacles and we need to be mindful of each other. They are pushing councils to provide more cycle lanes which is a long and expensive process.

“The facility to hand out a fine was removed a while back, and so now a form is filled in and sent off to the ticketing office. They then make the decision if the cyclist should get a fine or a warning, so it’s not a guaranteed fine anymore.

“We only set days of action for areas that have a high number of accidents and calls. There are currently no areas that reach this.

“Generally there are rarely calls of cyclists coming into contact with pedestrians, so the need to spend time and resources on it isn’t there. This could be that people just aren’t reporting it, but as is always the case, if the calls aren’t coming in then it’s deemed there isn’t a problem.”

Inspector Brian McCarthy said: “Officers may stop cyclists and advise them about the dangers of cycling on pavements. We believe education is better than enforcement.

“Where we identify a particular problem we can consider days of action, but these need to be assessed on risk, threat and harm.”

PCSO Birt also said that policing cyclists going through red lights is nearly impossible, as they cycle away too quickly, and sending a response car after them would be a waste of public resources.

  1. malcolm marshall Reply

    so lets all cycle on the pavement! it clear this government does not give a s*** about any body.

  2. Phil Smith Reply

    So as long as you cycle away quickly, feel free to break the law.

  3. HRH C Lucas Reply

    Amber light? Be nice if they had any bloody lights on.

    • Thor Reply

      nailed it haha

  4. Alex Reply

    Lots of people cycle on pavements around schools in this city (parents with little ones on the back of the bike) because it is NOT safe cycling on the roads in this city, especially with a 5-year old on the back. Look at New Church Road, Eaton Road around school times – bikes quite a popular form of transport for getting the younger ones to school. Can’t blame people for using pavements when they are not safe on the road. Not a cycle-aware or cycle-friendly city. Let’s see what happens when the “Boris Bikes” arrive.

  5. Nick Packham Reply

    It’s about time that the fixed penalty was removed. It probably costs more to process than the actual £30 ticket and considerably more if the recipient chooses to have a court hearing.

    In any case, the offence of cycling on the footpath was brought it at a time when there was less traffic on the road and drivers weren’t as distracted as they are now.

  6. Thor Reply

    it’s high time we get some uniformed and plain clothes police on bikes as well. Take a example of Netherlands. Running a red light as a cyclist is punishable by a fixed penalty fine of 90 Euros (about 70 pounds) and police are often found on bikes to chase whoever breaks the law.
    In case they can’t follow (for example a car) they will radio a vehicle to take over pursuit. It’s not difficult and no high cost involved to get this done. Would be nice to see cyclist running the red light caught before some of them will inevitably end up underneath someone’s car/lorry/bus

    • Thor Reply

      o and cycling on the side walk/ pedestrian zone…..45 euros fixed penalty fine (about 35 pounds)

  7. May, H Reply

    In the Netherlands and Denmark there is an excellent, comprehensive cycling network giving priority to cyclists and ensuring that they remain separated and hence safe from car drivers. There is no reason there for a cyclist to jump lights in order to avoid being overtaken on all sides by faster-accelerating vehicles or being cursed at for causing an obstruction. Cyclists are respected and treated with care. Consequently breaking cycling rules is very much frowned upon by the (enormous) biking population there. Comparing simply the difference in legislation between the UK and more enlightened countries is therefore not a valid exercise, but one to which my Friend J Clarkson would doubtlessly subscribe

  8. J Rowe Reply

    The pavement is wide and generally fairly empty on Marine Parade, for instance, (& it’s crying out for a bike path there!). It might also stop some of the maniac cyclists who think it’s acceptable to speed down St James’s St in the wrong direction. Now THAT’S dangerous.

  9. Valerie Paynter Reply

    Why is it not possible for legislation to be brought in requiring bicycles be licenced. Revenue and accountability when looking at the licence plate numbers on them. Improves behaviour no end too.

  10. Michael Williams Reply

    I was nearly knocked down this evening in new church road Hove east sussex, he was riding like a bat out of hell it was only by the grace of God I wasn’t hit and badly hurt. He came flying up behind me about ten minutes later I witnessed a gentleman actually being knocked down by anot her idiot riding on the pavement when will something be done about this otherwise someone will be killed it’s an absolute disgrace that this behaviour is allowed to go on please police do something.

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