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.