Cycling to school

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
thirdcrank
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Re: Cycling to school

Postby thirdcrank » 21 Apr 2017, 9:30am

foxyrider

Your 20" post certainly implied to me that you were quoting a statutory provision which I don't think exists. I'm always happy to be proved wrong if it increases my knowledge, so if you have a link, please post it.

I think drossall has it completely right.

The problems arise because the legislation is archaic - just about the oldest bit of traffic legislation still on the statute book - and D Blunkett didn't bother with any revision when he extended the fixed penalty system to cover this offence and used it as a work-creation scheme for his then newly-introduced PCSO's, without ensuring they were fully trained in this "anybody can enforce it" legislation. While I'm on, I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the urban myth that they can't touch you for it.

What's obvious to me is that a responsible forum member is trying to get it right, to avoid the possible hassle.

thirdcrank
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Re: Cycling to school

Postby thirdcrank » 21 Apr 2017, 9:33am

foxyrider

Your 20" post certainly implied to me that you were quoting a statutory provision which I don't think exists. I'm always happy to be proved wrong if it increases my knowledge, so if you have a link, please post it.

I think drossall has it completely right.

The problems arise because the legislation is archaic - just about the oldest bit of traffic legislation still on the statute book - and D Blunkett didn't bother with any revision when he extended the fixed penalty system to cover this offence and used it as a work-creation scheme for his then newly-introduced PCSO's, without ensuring they were fully trained in this "anybody can enforce it" legislation. While I'm on, I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the urban myth that they can't touch you for it.

What's obvious to me is that a responsible forum member is trying to get it right, to avoid the possible hassle.

karlt
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Re: Cycling to school

Postby karlt » 21 Apr 2017, 12:33pm

foxyrider wrote:Nice that she wants to ride.

My gut feeling is ride on the path but that does have issues - legally whilst your daughter can ride quite legally there if her bike has 20" or smaller wheels you can't.


Don't know where this "20" wheel" thing comes from; I've heard it before, but it has no basis in law that I know of. A bike is a bike and legally must be on the road.

thirdcrank
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Re: Cycling to school

Postby thirdcrank » 21 Apr 2017, 12:58pm

honesty

If you want to convince the highway authority - or anybody else - why you are reluctant to cycle with a child here, this is a streetview of what looks like the skid of an out-of-control motor vehicle leaving the carriageway. It's just a couple of frames from your original link and looks as though it dates from last year.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.02726 ... 312!8i6656

Sadly, rather than improve cycling conditions, they'll be threatening you with social services. A sad state of affairs.

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honesty
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Re: Cycling to school

Postby honesty » 21 Apr 2017, 1:29pm

That was a works lorry that was leaking oil. I remember when it happened unfortunately.

Tinnishill
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Re: Cycling to school

Postby Tinnishill » 21 Apr 2017, 5:23pm

Our kids went from a bike-trailer to a good quality trailer-bike. The adult still has control of the steering and braking; the kid learns some road skills. When the kid is ready for a solo bike on the road is an evaluation which changes for case to case, depending on the kids temperament and local road conditions.

Regarding the cycling on pavements thing, my ear bashing from the local constabulary told me that it is illegal for everyone, but a kid under the legal age of responsibility can expect a ticking off at worst, and less of a lecture then the parent can expect.

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foxyrider
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Re: Cycling to school

Postby foxyrider » 21 Apr 2017, 9:37pm

karlt wrote:
foxyrider wrote:Nice that she wants to ride.

My gut feeling is ride on the path but that does have issues - legally whilst your daughter can ride quite legally there if her bike has 20" or smaller wheels you can't.


Don't know where this "20" wheel" thing comes from; I've heard it before, but it has no basis in law that I know of. A bike is a bike and legally must be on the road.

Having been in the trade for over 20 years ago I can assure you that a bike is only a bike if it's not a toy. And as far as i'm aware toys are permitted to be on the path but not the road.
Convention? what's that then?

Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

stork
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Re: Cycling to school

Postby stork » 21 Apr 2017, 10:16pm

karlt wrote:
foxyrider wrote:Nice that she wants to ride.

My gut feeling is ride on the path but that does have issues - legally whilst your daughter can ride quite legally there if her bike has 20" or smaller wheels you can't.


Don't know where this "20" wheel" thing comes from; I've heard it before, but it has no basis in law that I know of. A bike is a bike and legally must be on the road.


Probably based in a misunderstanding of the legislation; I've not heard that one before, though.

Bicycles are exempt from toy safety legislation if their maximum seat height (from the ground) is more than 435mm. Smaller bikes are caught by the legislation if they meet the other criteria to define them as a toy (i.e. designed or intended for use in play by children under 14).

Bike safety legislation covers bikes with pedals, with a maximum seat height 635mm and above.

However, these bits of legislation simply govern the sale of toys/bicycles, and they have nothing to say about their use on the road. For use on the road, you have to look at the definition applicable to the offence in question. For example, in the Road Traffic Act, the offence of dangerous cycling can be committed on any cycle (including bikes, trikes, and presumably including children's bicycles -- whether or not a toy). In the same act, the offence of carrying a passenger on a bike which is not adapted for the purpose can only be committed on a bicycle, not a trike. In other road traffic legislation, the offence is committed by using a vehicle (which includes cycles) in an illegal manner.

The offence under discussion here is the offence under the old Highway Act, which makes no reference to bikes at all. The term which is used in that Act is a 'carriage', and it is settled case law that a bike is a carriage for the purposes of the Act. I'm not aware of any case law which excludes any form of cycle from being a carriage -- and indeed other equipment (e.g. a scooter) might also fall within the definition.

That leaves the fact that the child is below the age of criminal responsibility (but the parent who procures the offence is not), and the old Home Office guidance to the effect that the police should use discretion in the enforcement of the legislation -- not to penalise considerate cyclists who have genuine concerns about their safety on the road (which, given the universally poor and dangerous standards of driving to be seen on the roads, and the widespread lack of enforcement of road legislation, may authorise just about anyone to cycle considerately on any pavement -- although this may be a moot point given that pavements are now generally acknowledged to exist for the sole purpose of parking motor vehicles).

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Revolution
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Re: Cycling to school

Postby Revolution » 22 Apr 2017, 12:20am

No one in their right mind would have a problem with a cyclist following a 6 year old riding on a pavement surely? As an experienced cyclist It may feel a little odd but you are encouraging your child to cycle! : Until she / you feel confident enough for her to use the road then use the pavement and don't feel bad about it. In the mean time - Chapeau to her!!! :D :D :D :D

martinn
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Re: Cycling to school

Postby martinn » 22 Apr 2017, 6:36am

Hi Honesty.
My Daughter is now 8, and we have been riding to school for about two years.
Initially, the route was about 3/4 mile, and on 30 limit roads.
The route we do now is around 1 1/4 miles with a small section of 40 limit, which we have to do a right turn on.
My strategy has been to ride behind and always either in primary or halfway between primary and secondary, I also look round at the approaching cars and give them my best "mama bear" look if I think they will do something stupid. This seems to work.
The roads are not that busy, and mostly carry school traffic, but we do pass an industrial estate.
I now also take her younger sister, 5, she can ride but she either goes on the back of a tandem or gets towed using a "follow me" similar in concept to a trailgator but much more stable (IMHO).
The difficulty is always around how busy the roads are, what your daughter is like on the bike, and how she follows commands! I think if the route was busier/ longer then I am not sure I would feel as comfortable with my daughter riding on the road. The school does do bikability but not until next year. The school is also quite proactive with encouraging non driving methods of getting your children to school. There is regularly a PCSO around to ensure the parking rules are adhered to outside the school.
The first time is the most challenging, as you don't have an established routine.
The choice is always a balance, and I think you just need to be comfortable with whatever choice you make, but great for encouraging her to ride.
I recently rode to and from the start of the strawberry line in Yatton on unclassified roads with my daughter, roughly 5 miles each way.

Martin

thirdcrank
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Re: Cycling to school

Postby thirdcrank » 24 Apr 2017, 12:20pm

With the recent launch of the latest cycling policy, I looked to see if there was anything in it for you or honesty jnr. I thought that being able to point to a recent policy document might help with your approaches to officialdom :?

Nothing particularly specific about children cycling to school, but there is this target for 2020:

increase the percentage of children aged 5 to 10 that usually walk to school


By 2025, when H jnr will presumably be secondary school age, a target is:

We will increase the percentage of children aged 5 to 10 that usually walk to school from 49% in 2014 to 55% in 2025.


It seems carefully worded to avoid any direct reference to reducing the number of schoolchildren getting there by car. :(

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... rategy.pdf

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honesty
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Re: Cycling to school

Postby honesty » 24 Apr 2017, 12:39pm

Thanks for looking TC.

I think we're just going to go for it and deal with the fallout. For the first 2/3rds where there's a large grass verge I'm going to ride on the path/grass and for the last bit I'm in the road next to her on the pavement. Just got to work out what is the best way to cross over at the end. Ta.

Bmblbzzz
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Re: Cycling to school

Postby Bmblbzzz » 24 Apr 2017, 2:08pm

I really wouldn't worry about the legal aspect. Even if it's not actually legal for a 6 yo. to ride on the pavement, most people think it is and most, including police, will expect a child that young to be on the path not the road. As a parent accompanying her, I'm pretty sure most people will turn a blind eye to you being there too (subject to usual provisions of not riding like a [rude word removed], of course, which it seems extremely unlikely you would!). There's always the possibility of riding on the road alongside her if the pavement is particularly narrow.

blackbike
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Re: Cycling to school

Postby blackbike » 24 Apr 2017, 2:28pm

When I was at junior school in the late 60s we had talks from a policeman on road safety.

He told us not to ride our bikes on the pavement.

Has the law changed since then?

He also used to give our bikes a quick check, and if any faults were found he gave a note to the child to inform the parents of it.

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Re: Cycling to school

Postby Vorpal » 24 Apr 2017, 2:54pm

blackbike wrote:When I was at junior school in the late 60s we had talks from a policeman on road safety.

He told us not to ride our bikes on the pavement.

Has the law changed since then?


No, but perceptions have.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom


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