Cycling on pavements - our response

Current guidance on Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) for cycling on footways states that discretion should be exercised by police officers when issuing FPNs. This guidance has been reiterated by the Minister for Cycling, Robert Goodwill.

Children in particular should not to be issued with FPNs for cycling on the pavement if carriageway conditions are hazardous, and provided they are cycling with care and consideration for pedestrians.

However, the Cycling Embassy would like to stress that this pragmatic policy should not be taken as a wider endorsement of cycling on the pavement in the longer term. Pavement cycling is a symptom of a failure to create safe and attractive space for cycling, away from pedestrians.

The safety and comfort of people walking should not be sacrificed. Nor, indeed, should cycling be treated like walking. They are two different modes of transport, with different requirements. No one would choose to cycle among pedestrians, and on infrastructure designed for walking, if a proper alternative was provided. 

Cycling on the pavement is unattractive and inconvenient by comparison. A last resort should not be endorsed as a solution; cycling should be designed for in its own right.

Embassy Chair Mark Treasure said

It is important not to lose sight of the root cause of this problem. Pavement cycling is a natural consequence of a failure to provide an environment in which anyone, from the very young to the very old - feels comfortable cycling.

In countries like the Netherlands - where cycling is taken seriously as a mode of transport - the phenomenon of pavement cycling is non-existent. We would urge anyone who has an interest in eliminating pavement cycling to join with us in calling for attractive, dedicated space for cycling, suitable for all.

The Embassy has previously set out its objections to pushing walking and cycling into the same, inadequate space. We also have a detailed wiki article on the issue of pavement cycling.