Public Footpaths - cycling?

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 49442
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby Mick F » 19 Jul 2020, 6:05pm

Been walking the doggie every day or so for the past year. He's 18 months old now.

He doesn't like roads and traffic, so we tend to use the public footpaths hereabouts. Along the river bank and up and down through the Cornish side of the Tamar Valley. Four or five miles today.

One thing I've noticed, is that's there's cyclists about. I've spoken - and told off - to some if not all - and they have no idea whatsoever that it's against the law. I've tried to get them to get online and look it up, but I doubt any of them would, and I get the impression that they think I'm just a crank.

Only this afternoon, two chaps - maybe in their late 20s - came hurtling along from the Gunnislake Bridge end heading southwest on the Cornish bank and I let fly at them for being on a public footpath. They had to have come past the sign, and when I remonstrated with them, they said they hadn't seen it.

Me and doggie were walking the opposite direction and I could see their fresh tyre-tracks in the soft earth etc and saw them right out to the main road.

Me and doggie crossed over the main road and carried on along the river and woodland paths, and sure enough, the very same fresh tyre-tracks were there, all the way, then later as we climbed out into Chilsworthy they were there too.

Public Footpaths, and are well labelled as such.

Why don't cyclists understand?
Do they think that footpaths are cycle tracks as well?

This is the route. All public footpath.
Screen Shot 2020-07-19 at 18.01.13.png
Mick F. Cornwall

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 15822
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby mjr » 19 Jul 2020, 6:08pm

It's civil trespass. Unless you're the landowner, it's not a legal offence against you.

Far too many things are classed as footpaths when they should be bridleways.

Also, I can't see the map markings for that route because you've drawn a fat red line on it!
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 49442
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby Mick F » 19 Jul 2020, 6:17pm

Sorry.
Here is is without my red line! :wink:

It's public footpath and long-distance route.
Screen Shot 2020-07-19 at 18.16.03.png
Mick F. Cornwall

PRL
Posts: 606
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 9:14pm
Location: Richmond upon Thames

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby PRL » 19 Jul 2020, 6:20pm

Parts of the Wandle Trail - which is definitely a cycle route - are labelled "public footpath".
You have the RIGHT to cycle on a bridlepath (even if physically impossible) but the landowner could stop you cycling on a public footpath if he/she had a mind to do so.

PRL
Posts: 606
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 9:14pm
Location: Richmond upon Thames

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby PRL » 19 Jul 2020, 6:23pm

The red diamonds indicate National Trail " the exact nature of the rights may be checked with the local highways authority"

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 15822
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby mjr » 19 Jul 2020, 6:28pm

PRL wrote:The red diamonds indicate National Trail " the exact nature of the rights may be checked with the local highways authority"

And curiously, parts of it seem to be black dashed on the map, so not even footpath?
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 49442
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby Mick F » 19 Jul 2020, 6:31pm

Still illegal to cycling on a footpath though. Can be argued you're not permitted to even push a bicycle on a footpath.
You, as a walker have the right to pass and re-pass on a footpath, but not actually stop (strangely enough).
You can take with you a normal accompaniment for walking - dog, pram, wheelchair etc ................ but not a vehicle or animal ......... including horse, ass, sheep, goat .......................

We actually want our bikes to be vehicles.
Unless they are vehicles, we aren't allowed on the highways with any rights ........... and we don't want that! :shock:

We can't have it all ways.

Footpaths are for FEET.
Roads are for vehicles.
Bridleways are for animals ................ and bicycles are permitted too, but not motor vehicles.
Mick F. Cornwall

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 49442
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby Mick F » 19 Jul 2020, 6:37pm

Here's a streetview of one end, and the other end by the bridge.

............... no there's not! :lol:
Google Streetview is out of date.

At one end and the other end, there's Public Footpath signs now.
Mick F. Cornwall

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 49442
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby Mick F » 19 Jul 2020, 6:43pm

Mick F. Cornwall

PH
Posts: 9186
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby PH » 19 Jul 2020, 6:47pm

Mick F wrote:Still illegal to cycling on a footpath though.

Show us the law!
it's already been answered in the first post frpm mjr.
There are in some instances I think local bylaws the prohibit cycling on certain land, but that is nothing like you assertion that it's always illegal.

Pete Owens
Posts: 1825
Joined: 7 Jul 2008, 12:52am

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby Pete Owens » 19 Jul 2020, 6:57pm

Mick F wrote:Still illegal to cycling on a footpath though.


No it isn't.

You do not have a right to cycle on footpaths, but the absence of a right does not mean a prohibition. Of course the landowner may legally choose to prohibit cycles and may erect signs or obstructions to prevent their passage - so long as the passage of pedestrians is not obstructed. But the act of cycling on a footpath is not illegal in the way it is illegal on a footway (ie part of a highway set aside for pedestrians - or "pavement" in general useage).

thirdcrank
Posts: 29081
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby thirdcrank » 19 Jul 2020, 7:17pm

Mick F wrote:... I've tried to get them to get online and look it up, ...


Did you give them any links or even pointers to where they should research this?

pwa
Posts: 12488
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby pwa » 19 Jul 2020, 7:19pm

Pete Owens wrote:
Mick F wrote:Still illegal to cycling on a footpath though.


No it isn't.

You do not have a right to cycle on footpaths, but the absence of a right does not mean a prohibition. Of course the landowner may legally choose to prohibit cycles and may erect signs or obstructions to prevent their passage - so long as the passage of pedestrians is not obstructed. But the act of cycling on a footpath is not illegal in the way it is illegal on a footway (ie part of a highway set aside for pedestrians - or "pavement" in general useage).


The bottom line is, if it is designated as a Public Footpath and you are cycling on it without the consent of the landowner you have no right to do so, just as you don't have a right to drive a car or a motorcycle down it. But if the landowner doesn't try to enforce it, it is enforced only by social pressure, i.e. people like Mick expressing how peeved they are. I do the same.

thirdcrank
Posts: 29081
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby thirdcrank » 19 Jul 2020, 7:27pm

pwa wrote: The bottom line is, if it is designated as a Public Footpath and you are cycling on it without the consent of the landowner you have no right to do so, just as you don't have a right to drive a car or a motorcycle down it.


Subject to exceptions, this is a criminal offence for the driver of a motor vehicle s 34 RTA 1988

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/52/section/34

There's no similar provision for the rider of a pedal cycle.

User avatar
Navara
Posts: 77
Joined: 29 Jun 2020, 11:38pm

Re: Public Footpaths - cycling?

Postby Navara » 19 Jul 2020, 7:34pm

I don't.Never have.
I did 90% of my Mountain biking in our National Parks and always stuck to Bridleways.I noticed the trend for Mountain Bikers to ride foot paths get more common in the last 10 years or so.I was called a "footpath Nazi" for not doing so and condemning those who did.I/we still got hassle from Ramblers telling us we shouldn't be there when perfectly legal to do so.Whilst not technically illegal why go out of your way to cause friction?
Many cyclists on various Forums are quick to shout up if they see other groups not sticking to the "law" but then see no wrong in fellow cyclists bending the rules to suit.