In ‘Rules for Cyclists’ in the Highway Code, No.64 reads ‘You must not cycle on the pavement’.
After cycling quite a bit this year around Town, the County and then John O’Groats to Land’s End, I’ve made quite a few observations where it’s the Council’s who seem to ‘change the rule through proper sources for the safety of their Public’.
It seems to me that a Town has a cycling policy and most have made a genuine effort in making the place a better, safer and more environmentally friendly place by making space for Cyclists on busy roads where space permits, new Housing Estates usually having good Cycle Paths and making paths going accross Parks into shared space networks etc.
A fine example of ‘exception to the rule’ is the photo above. About 100 meters back from the photo and 300 meters ahead of it are proper Cycle Paths running alongside the busy Road.
It appears that when the Council found out they didn’t have sufficient space for this stretch, they simply put a Cyclists sign up for you to ride along the Pavement – certainly looks good on the Map, one continuous Path for about 3 miles.
Now, call me old fashioned, can you see the concealed driveways along this stretch, surely this makes it completely unsafe and a danger to any children who are feeling secure in the fact they are somewhere out of harms way.
For a car to get out of a driveway, the Driver has to edge onto the pavement to see what’s coming. If this happens just as little Joey or Susie are having a Sunday cycle ride with Mum and Dad, it put’s them in a very unsafe position.
Likewise, someone could be walking out their House and get run over by little Joey or Susie.
Local Councils are very keen and fall over themselves to show off a good caring environmental policy and in the main they are doing quite well considering the old infrastructure of our roads, but maybe they should also read the Highway Code before they simply send some chap around putting Cyclist signs up which could have some quite serious consequences.
I don’t like the old saying ‘We’ll have to have a Meeting about this’, but before some of these policies are put into action, maybe it’s worth asking a few keener Cyclists along to review the situation and give some feedback.
The ironic thing is that I’ve been ticked off for cycling on an almost empty pavement which was about 15 feet wide, yet I can cycle down the above pavement within the law and it’s about 4 feet wide!
Cycling has increased four fold over the last 15 or so years, so let’s make sure the roads are as safe as safe can be.