Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Cycling? Then get off the pavement.

You will notice I didn't say please, but I don't see why I need to since it is against the law.

When I was younger (cue Hovis music, if you don;t know what I mean I must be older than I thought) the rule was that if the wheel of your bike was over a certain size then you were not allowed to ride on the pavement - I think it was 13 inches but I could be wrong.

These days, the official Government website (www.gov.uk) has this to say

You MUST NOT cycle on a pavement, Laws HA 1835 sect 72 & R(S)A 1984, sect 129

Yet people either ignore this fact, or are completely ignorant, and as we know, ignorance is no defence.

I do not move out of the way of cyclists on the pavement, I make them move out of my way, I do. however, slow down so that they have to wait if the pavement is not wide enough for them to pass me.  This is probably the only time that being nearly six feet tall and sixteen stones works in my favour.

I haven't come to blows with anyone yet but I am guessing it won't be long, I have no problem with the Police being called to any altercation if it should occur, however they seem to be as ignorant of the laws as the cyclists themselves ignoring any cyclists passing on the pavement.

I did have abuse shouted at me as I did not automatically give way to a cyclist on the pavement one evening, but as he was pedalling furiously away whilst he was doing it it somehow reduced the threat.

The other morning I was walking to the bus stop and a cyclist was coming towards me, there was only a narrow gap to get through due to a car being parked on the pavement (I will come back to that shortly), he speeded up to try and get through the gap before I reached it and failed miserably and so had to stop and squeeze himself against the railings as I just carried on walking.  I had to smile to myself.

I would suggest that we reintroduce the Cycling Proficiency Test so that people are aware of the rules, and if you are not confident enough to ride on the road, then you do not ride at all, but we all know that neither of these things will happen.

Cars on the pavement, the same Government website has this to say

You MUST NOT park partially or wholly on the paveme4nt in London, and should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it..... Law GL(GPA) sect 15

I would like to think that that everyone who drives has a licence, and that everyone that has a licence has sat a test and therefore should be familiar with the Highway Code but I know I am wrong, or again it could just be that people don't care about others and as long as they are not inconvenienced then why should they worry about whether they are breaking the law or not?

Similarly, the road where I catch the bus has double yellow lines on it as it is leading off a roundabout.  They might as well not be there for all the notice taken of them.  Also the crossing place (identified by the break in the barriers, the dropped kerb and centre island) is generally blocked off by someone parking there so that they can get to the hairdressers, takeaway or betting shop.  And the Police just drive past, completely blinkered.

Is there any point in having laws?

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