There’s no argument - you CAN’T cycle on the pavement

The endless acrimony between motorists and cyclists has entered its latest chapter with major changes to the Highway Code.

Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 5:07 pm

The gist is that from January 29, after years of cyclist lobbying, motorists must now look out for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.

Motoring groups have responded by saying that at no point have they been able to mow down anyone from those three groups with anything like impunity.

However, drivers, motorcyclists, horse riders and cyclists should now know: “At a junction you should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross a road into which or from which you are turning.”

The sign is clear enough. So is rule 64 of the Highway Code.

Sounds reasonable. Yet other new rules don’t seem as necessary and are surely already covered by umbrella laws of “dangerous driving.”

From Saturday, pedestrians rule. Motorists and cyclists can continue squabbling. This column is heroically sitting on the fence in their argument.

There are plenty of bad and inconsiderate drivers. But they’re a minority. Cyclists are far better for the environment and less dangerous to pedestrians. Yet we’ve all seen them ignoring red lights and leaving roads to mount pavements when it suits them.

Motorists are obliged to obey the new laws. Cyclists must adhere to the existing ones, and I’m thinking of one in particular.

While I was sashaying along a pavement recently, a cyclist rang his bell at me to move. I ignored him and will admit to childish gratification in doing so (having wisely checked to ensure that he was smaller than me).

I pointed out that he shouldn’t be cycling on the pavement, to which he forcibly responded that he could jolly well cycle where he pleased; although “jolly well” might not be verbatim.

He wasn’t happy. He was also wrong, wrong and furthermore, wrong. Despite arguments you may have heard on the subject, there really is no argument.

Rule 64 of the Highway Code has just seven, wholly unambiguous words: “You MUST NOT cycle on a pavement.”

Moans about bad roads, no or inadequate cycle paths are not the problem of the pedestrian. At least they shouldn’t be. It’s easy. No bikes on the pavement. The end.

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