Pavement cycling again

This article was published in 1999, in Newsletter 27.

The CTC has produced an excellent briefing paper on the changes in law enforcement which took place at the start of August, allowing police to issue £20 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) to cyclists riding illegally on pavements.

It states that:

  • It is not clear whether all pavements are covered. The Highways Act 1835, Section 72, created the offence of cycling on the pavement. It specifies that the offence applies to ‘any footpath or causeway by the side of the road.’ It is not applicable within pedestrianised areas: those cycling within such areas may be guilty of contravening a Traffic Regulation Order, but they have not offended the 1835 Act and therefore cannot be issued with an FPN.
  • Police cannot issue FPNs to anyone under the age of 16.
  • It is not an ‘an the spot’ fine. The notice can be issued immediately by a police officer, but payment must be made by post within a specified period.
  • Anyone issued with an FPN must respond within the specified period. Failure to do so removes the right to dispute the notice, and the fine will increase.

The Home Office Minister at the time of the changes, Paul Boateng, told Ben Bradshaw, MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Cycle Group:

‘The introduction of the fixed penalty is not aimed at responsible cyclists who sometimes feel obliged to use the pavement out of fear of the traffic, and who show consideration to other pavement users when doing so. Chief police officers, who are responsible for enforcement, acknowledge that many cyclists, particularly children and young people, are afraid to cycle in the road… sensitivity and careful use of police discretion is required’.

The CTC can be contacted at:

Cotterell House, 69 Meadrow, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 3HS
(01483) 417217

Clare Macrae