Cycling on Footpaths

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
thirdcrank
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Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Cycling on Footpaths

Postby thirdcrank » 12 Oct 2018, 11:44am

mjr

I don't want to make a big deal about this - which is why I didn't quote this bit before - but I thought it might be confusing:

If you're prosecuted and a CUK member, I'd expect CUK to help.


While that's right in a general sense, in the context of public footpaths, the implication that "Trespassers will be prosecuted" is incorrect. As I've posted, they might be the subject of some sort of civil action. If that had significant implications for cyclists in general, then CyclingUK or the Cyclists' Defence Fund should indeed offer help. IIRC, it was a civil case which prompted Kevin Mayne to set the CDF.

pete75
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Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: Cycling on Footpaths

Postby pete75 » 12 Oct 2018, 11:47am

mjr wrote:
Stmedia wrote:It is a Public Footpath a well known walking Route. So is a Bicycle a “vehicle”? Mind you part of the Teesdale Way links directly to a Cycle Path I was on which is how I found it and then it becomes a disused road.

Normally, a bicycle is a vehicle and a carriage. However, it's not a motor vehicle or mechanically-propelled vehicle. I think the closest similar vehicle in law is a horse-drawn carriage.


Not sure about that. I think it's closer to horse and rider. Both riders and cyclists have right of way on a bridleway but a carriage does not.

tatanab
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Joined: 8 Feb 2007, 12:37pm

Re: Cycling on Footpaths

Postby tatanab » 12 Oct 2018, 12:12pm

pete75 wrote:
mjr wrote:Normally, a bicycle is a vehicle and a carriage. However, it's not a motor vehicle or mechanically-propelled vehicle. I think the closest similar vehicle in law is a horse-drawn carriage.

Not sure about that. I think it's closer to horse and rider. Both riders and cyclists have right of way on a bridleway but a carriage does not.

Only since 1968/9 before which cyclist were confined to the carriageway since they were defined as a carriage in 1880 something due to action of then cycling clubs.

pete75
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Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: Cycling on Footpaths

Postby pete75 » 12 Oct 2018, 12:42pm

tatanab wrote:
pete75 wrote:
mjr wrote:Normally, a bicycle is a vehicle and a carriage. However, it's not a motor vehicle or mechanically-propelled vehicle. I think the closest similar vehicle in law is a horse-drawn carriage.

Not sure about that. I think it's closer to horse and rider. Both riders and cyclists have right of way on a bridleway but a carriage does not.

Only since 1968/9 before which cyclist were confined to the carriageway since they were defined as a carriage in 1880 something due to action of then cycling clubs.


50 years is long enough for it to have become established don't you think.

thirdcrank
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Re: Cycling on Footpaths

Postby thirdcrank » 12 Oct 2018, 12:51pm

FWIW, it's OK to use a bicycle on a bridleway but by implication not other types of pedal cycle
viewtopic.php?p=1240777#p1240777

tatanab
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Re: Cycling on Footpaths

Postby tatanab » 12 Oct 2018, 12:57pm

pete75 wrote:50 years is long enough for it to have become established don't you think.
Yes. My point was that cyclists use bridleways as a specific exception to other types of carriage.

pete75
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Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: Cycling on Footpaths

Postby pete75 » 12 Oct 2018, 1:12pm

tatanab wrote:
pete75 wrote:50 years is long enough for it to have become established don't you think.
Yes. My point was that cyclists use bridleways as a specific exception to other types of carriage.


Whatever.

thirdcrank
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Re: Cycling on Footpaths

Postby thirdcrank » 12 Oct 2018, 2:45pm

Stmedia wrote: .... What are the protocols of cycling on a footpath. ...


If this thread tells you nothing else, the law covering footpaths is complicated. Nevertheless, everybody "knows" that cycling on a footpath is illegal. As an example of the problems this can cause, when David Blunkett was Home Secretary, the first power he gave to his then new Police Community Support Officers was to be able to issue fixed penalties for people cycling on roadside pavements, known nowadays as "footways." He presumably thought this would be something simple for them to start on but he was mistaken.

Because everybody "knows" it's illegal, whether it is or not at a specific location, there's a tendency to angry reactions no matter how couteously and carefully a rider may be, and some ride inconsiderately anyway. People who are sanguine about really bad driving may become agitated about cycling on footpaths. There seems to be a tendency for some groups of people to be particularly angry about this.

Be aware that if it's somewhere that attracts a lot of cyclists - legally or otherwise - then there may be some history. eg A concerned landowner may erect signs or build obstructions to discourage cycling. If there's anything like that, I'd recommend caution. Otherwise, be sensible when meeting pedestrians, and even more so when approaching them from behind. There's a debate about bells and other means of letting people know you are there so be alert to the fact that one of the most attractive things about cycling - quietness - may still surprise others.

andrew_s
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Location: Gloucestershire

Re: Cycling on Footpaths

Postby andrew_s » 12 Oct 2018, 3:00pm

My understanding is that there is no right of way for a cyclist on a footpath, so you are in the same position when cycling along a footpath across a field as you are when cycling across a field with no footpath.

That means you are trespassing, and can be required to leave by the landowner or his representative (not necessarily by the route you would prefer), and can be prosecuted for any damage done.

thirdcrank
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Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Cycling on Footpaths

Postby thirdcrank » 12 Oct 2018, 3:18pm

andrew_s wrote:My understanding is that there is no right of way for a cyclist on a footpath, so you are in the same position when cycling along a footpath across a field as you are when cycling across a field with no footpath.

That means you are trespassing, and can be required to leave by the landowner or his representative (not necessarily by the route you would prefer), and can be prosecuted for any damage done.


I think that's a succinct explanation although I think "sued" (for compensation) is a better word than "prosecuted." Of course that depends on the way the damage was caused but I doubt that cycling on a footpath would, in itself, prove the criminal intent or mens rea necessary for a prosecution. The fact of the path already being there suggests that if you stuck to it you would not be damaging things like crops.