Riding on the pavement

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gllewellyn
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Riding on the pavement

Postby gllewellyn » Mon Nov 28, 2011 18:06 pm

Bit of a contentious issue here but... What are peoples experiences with riding on the pavement with their kids - in particular with the Boys in blue?

The reason that I ask, is that I really want to get my kids (aged 5 & 7) cycling to school, and they are keen as well, however the roads for the route to school are bad at the best of times, at commuting time they are a nightmare for all road users. I see loads of older kids cycling on the pavement, and if my kids were to cycle then it would have to be on the pavement, with me cycling with them (there is always loads of parked cars and stop-go traffic making cycling on the road alongside them impossible).

I've done the journey on the road with 1 child before on a tag-along - and whilst most other road users gave as much space as possible, it still wasn't great - the worst was being shoved into the pavement by an NHS van of all things!

So what does everyone think?
1: Cycle on the pavements (even though the law says not to) OR
2: Stay in the car
(option 3 of braving the roads isn't an option for the kids)

thelawnet
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Re: Riding on the pavement

Postby thelawnet » Mon Nov 28, 2011 23:47 pm

It's a nightmare tbh, I hate riding on the pavements, my solution is to take two kids on my one bike. It's just not much fun having to manage a small child's safe riding in crazy traffic as well as your own.

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Tom Butcher
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Re: Riding on the pavement

Postby Tom Butcher » Wed Nov 30, 2011 00:25 am

Mine cycle a short way on the pavement on the way to school, most or all of that I cycle next to them on the road. Difficult one if the whole route is impossible to do that. I think I'd end up walking or driving to be honest - maybe occasionally take them on bikes and ride on the pavement. I wouldn't object to other people riding on the pavement in those circumstances but I would feel uncomfortable doing it myself - not because of the police particularly just because I'd feel pedestrians might take offence.
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merkin
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Re: Riding on the pavement

Postby merkin » Thu Dec 01, 2011 17:33 pm

Cycle on the pavement and teach the kids to give way to pedestrians and get them to thank anyone who moves over to let them pass. In my experience most people smile and say hello whenever I have been out and about on pavements with the kids. I usually ride alongside on the roads but that is not always practical. Let us know how you get on if you do cycle and good luck.

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natrix
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Re: Riding on the pavement

Postby natrix » Fri Dec 02, 2011 16:24 pm

Cycle on the pavement :D I cycled on the pavement with my son, past two police officers this weekend and they didn't bat an eyelid. If it had been a busy pavement, they might have had a word though.........

johnboy183
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Re: Riding on the pavement

Postby johnboy183 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 22:08 pm

I'm in agreement about riding on the pavements too. Roads too busy and many idiot (parents) drivers about. Sadly although my kids schools are encouraging less use of the car on school run, there is nowhere at present to safely and securely lock the bike. Hey ho once they get a shelter or similar then we can do it.

fnegroni
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Re: Riding on the pavement

Postby fnegroni » Mon Dec 05, 2011 22:35 pm

We are lucky enough the half mile ride to school is not so busy. But on occasions it does make you wonder if the pavement would be a safer option.
It's a diffcult choice to make and best left to the parent's own judgement. And I am glad the 'boys in blue' do not try and interfere with that judgement.
Kids on pavements sometimes are a bit of a nuisance especially if they were not taught to ride by a cycle-aware parent (but even when they have keen cyclists parents, they are after all kids and will no matter what cause or get themselves into situation they can't foresee).
On our ride to school the risk of being run over by a distracted motorist is negligible, if we cycle on the road, compared to what could potentially happen if we were to share the narrow pavements with some stressed parent with tired kids wobbling all over the place causing us to having to dismount abrubtely or worse being pushed onto the road (it has happened even on very wide pavements). Even worse, the hedges to the side of drive ways do not help a child being seen or the child being able to take an evasive manouvre.
We opt for the road but every single case is an individual one and I am glad the law agrees with that.
I would still ride on the road though, even if my son was to ride on the pavement. Just because my role as the parent is to anticipate trouble and need the extra visibility from traffic and on to traffic.

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baudman
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Re: Riding on the pavement

Postby baudman » Tue Dec 06, 2011 04:29 am

fnegroni wrote:Kids on pavements sometimes are a bit of a nuisance especially if they were not taught to ride by a cycle-aware parent (but even when they have keen cyclists parents, they are after all kids and will no matter what cause or get themselves into situation they can't foresee).


Here in Melbourne, the only time it is legal to ride on the pavement is when you are accompanying a child under 12. That doesn't stop plenty of ppl doing it, mind you. ;)

But I agree with the above - the lack of basic etiquette of what to do on a pavement is rife. My daughter knows to stay on the left, and to ride predictably and smoothly wherever possible. She rings her bell a good 20 metres prior to, and then if they don't acknowledge, again closer to when passing a person. She thanks them afterwards.

It's a bit hard when other riders, or indeed walkers, do stupid things. (I'm not for 'policing' pedestrian pavement use mind you - it's just the whole common sense/unwritten rule aspects).
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velohutts
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Re: Riding on the pavement

Postby velohutts » Wed Dec 14, 2011 20:46 pm

I think the general consensus would be from most people that kids riding on the pavement is ok , the issue is when the path is busy , rightly pedestrians take precedent.
I will always give way to kids on bikes when I am walking , most decent people generally do and a smile with a big thank you goes a long way , (adults could take some heed from this).
Every circumstance will be different and would be judged as such , I would consider contacting your local police officer who in theory sould be supporting road safety and promoting it.
As long as the kids give way , don't treat it like a full tilt training ride or have a cavendishesque finish into school I personally don't see a problem , a good bell and a helmet and you may get a number of parent's thinking it's a good idea - let's not forget we all started somewhere , my first full 'off' was trying to mount a kerb on a trike aged 2-3 - result broken arm , nearly 40 yr's later still riding and enjoying it !!!
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adamedwardsteather
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Re: Riding on the pavement

Postby adamedwardsteather » Mon Dec 19, 2011 14:10 pm

Government advice to the police is not to prosecute responsible cyclist on the pavement and my experience is parents with kids would count, see:
http://www.bikehub.co.uk/featured-articles/cycling-and-the-law/

This quotes this guidance:

“CSOs and accredited persons will be accountable in the same way as police officers. They will be under the direction and control of the chief officer, supervised on a daily basis by the local community beat officer and will be subject to the same police complaints system. The Government have included provision in the Anti Social Behaviour Bill to enable CSOs and accredited persons to stop those cycling irresponsibly on the pavement in order to issue a fixed penalty notice.

I should stress that the issue is about inconsiderate cycling on the pavements. The new provisions are 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 road users when doing so. Chief officers recognise that the fixed penalty needs to be used with a considerable degree of discretion and it cannot be issued to anyone under the age of 16. (Letter to Mr H. Peel from John Crozier of The Home Office, reference T5080/4, 23 February 2004)

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Richj
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Re: Riding on the pavement

Postby Richj » Tue Dec 20, 2011 21:33 pm

Interesting points, I live in a town with very poor cycle facilities. It's either the path (next to the road), pathways (linking roads but not next to the road) or busy roads. On quiet Sunday afternoons I let my 5 year old ride on the roads but at any other times it's just not possible. I don't like riding on the road when out I'm with him as I'm looking out for him more than myself as although he's pretty good he wouldn't spot a hazard ahead, I also hate riding at such a slow speed on the roads as I feel in the way if a car pulls up behind me.

The other day though when out with both my sons (youngest is 4) all cycling on the pavement and there were a couple of older chaps walking towards us, I told my lads who were a few meters ahead of me to slow down and stop for them. As the gentleman passed me they just stared at me and in a very aggressive way right in my face shouted "IT'S A FOOTPATH, YOU KNOW, FOR FEET, DON'T YOU KNOW THE HIGHWAY CODE". I didn't respond as I was just in utter shock, I was with a 5 and 4 year old who had stopped and move out their way and this was the response we get. I hate riding on the path but don't feel there's any other safe option in our area. And in fairness to the gentlemen they had a point, the Highway code does say riding on the path is forbidden. The only response that came to head (that I was going to say in front of my sons) was "yeah I know, but I'm with kids" and that sounded so lame I didn't say a word.

The whole incident had me wondering what the boys in blue would have done if they were there.

zebra67
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Re: Riding on the pavement

Postby zebra67 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 20:47 pm

We are lucky, the roads are quiet enough I can do the school run all on road. There is a voluntary one-way system at the school and we always go in same direction with that, even though it adds an extra eighth mile (?or more?) to our journey going in. But it's so much safer to move with the traffic, especially on the narrowest road right in front of school entrance.

I am upset that most of the cycling kids don't bother, though, they seem to think it's reasonable to approach the school squeezing between loads of parked cars and facing a single lane (only wide enough for a single lane) of opposing traffic (stressed out parents chucking kids out at the gate & squeezing off). There are occasionally close calls because of this (at least one child knocked off, too). Why don't the parents & kids think the one-way system should apply to them, too? I just do not get it. Cycling on pavement at this point would be even dodgier, too thick with pedestrians.

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tomilinski1
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Re: Riding on the pavement

Postby tomilinski1 » Wed Dec 28, 2011 09:42 am

I ride to school with my 4 and 5 year olds - I end up going on and off the pavement depending on conditions.
As others have said, most of the time you are ok as long as you are courteous to others!

I have found that it is a lot easier when going to the breakfast club that starts at eight, as the roads and pavements are much quieter.

I recently got told off for riding on the pavement for the first time ever (without kids) by a PCSO, even though I was going slow and I do it everyday with no problem (avoiding a long way round on a one-way system)!

It would be a little easier if the boys in blue did something about footway parking as well!
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denzzz28
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Re: Riding on the pavement

Postby denzzz28 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 19:18 pm

Richj wrote:Interesting points, I live in a town with very poor cycle facilities. It's either the path (next to the road), pathways (linking roads but not next to the road) or busy roads. On quiet Sunday afternoons I let my 5 year old ride on the roads but at any other times it's just not possible. I don't like riding on the road when out I'm with him as I'm looking out for him more than myself as although he's pretty good he wouldn't spot a hazard ahead, I also hate riding at such a slow speed on the roads as I feel in the way if a car pulls up behind me.

The other day though when out with both my sons (youngest is 4) all cycling on the pavement and there were a couple of older chaps walking towards us, I told my lads who were a few meters ahead of me to slow down and stop for them. As the gentleman passed me they just stared at me and in a very aggressive way right in my face shouted "IT'S A FOOTPATH, YOU KNOW, FOR FEET, DON'T YOU KNOW THE HIGHWAY CODE". I didn't respond as I was just in utter shock, I was with a 5 and 4 year old who had stopped and move out their way and this was the response we get. I hate riding on the path but don't feel there's any other safe option in our area. And in fairness to the gentlemen they had a point, the Highway code does say riding on the path is forbidden. The only response that came to head (that I was going to say in front of my sons) was "yeah I know, but I'm with kids" and that sounded so lame I didn't say a word.

The whole incident had me wondering what the boys in blue would have done if they were there.



This is a very difficult situation. balancing child cycling safety and avoiding pedestrian aggression. Where I live (London), I would never allow my children on the roads, especially 4-5 year old. its just not safe at all even with cycle lanes. I always use the pavement and I dont give a S _ _ T! if people give me a scary look or shout at me i just ignore them. my childrens safety is more important than eveything else. my children are very well behave when they are cycling on pavements, they slow down when a pedestrian is coming and they stop if they have to and say thank you.

so until my children are big enough to ride on the road they will stay on the pavement regardless.

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Daz555
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Re: Riding on the pavement

Postby Daz555 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 15:03 pm

I'll be moving my son from a trailer to his own bike for his school commute from Sept - he'll be a little over 5 by then. I will have no concerns at all about him riding on the pavement - it is widely accepted I feel that young children should cycle on the pavement. I will generally stick the road myself as it allows me to shield him should he have a wobble and also avoids any grey area about me being on the pavement myself. Thankfully a large portion of the route is cycle lane or shared path.
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