27/01/2012 - Permalink

Warning issued to cyclists who ride on pavements

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Cyclists are being reminded that it is a criminal offence to ride on pavements, following some near-misses between pedestrians and cyclists in Shropshire.

The warning comes after the issue was raised at the Wem and Shawbury Local Joint Committee (LJC), when Shropshire Councillor Pauline Dee said she had seen several incidents of cyclists riding on pavements in Wem.

Shropshire Council’s road safety education team is now highlighting the dangers to pedestrians, especially if cyclists are going fast and cannot stop quickly, as well as the risks to the cyclists themselves.  Drivers reversing onto the road do not expect to see, and find it difficult to see, cyclists illegally using pavements, especially if they are going at a fast speed.

Cycle lanes and cycle tracks should be used whenever possible, and when these are shared with pedestrians, cyclists should always keep to their specified side, as indicated on the blue and white road signs and cycle logos on the surface.

Councillor Simon Jones, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member responsible for transport, said:

“It’s a criminal offence to ride a bike on a pavement, and the minority that ride dangerously in this way spoil it for the majority of responsible cyclists out there.  The Highway Code clearly states that cyclists should not ride on a pavement, and it has been illegal since 1835.  It’s in the interests of the safety of pedestrians and cyclists themselves to abide by the law.”

Councillor Pauline Dee, Shropshire Councillor for Wem, added:

“I have only just missed being knocked over by cyclists on pavements on a number of occasions, and it is becoming a concern not just to myself, but to other residents.  The pavements in Wem are seen by some people riding bikes to be cycle lanes when they are not, and I have remonstrated with several people, of various ages, to explain that riding on the pavement is not allowed.  It is not only in my town that there is a problem – I have seen cyclists on the pavement in Castle Street, Shrewsbury and again on Whitchurch pavements.”

The council’s road safety bikeability teams are currently offering bikeability training courses at Shropshire schools for Year Six children, free of charge.  For further details, contact the team on 01743 254960.