Who is it telling cyclists to ride on pavements?
O N September 17 2010 you printed a letter of thanks to the three police officers who stood at the end of Quay Street and gave out fixed penalty tickets to a dozen or so cyclists riding on the pavement.
The letter was headlined "Police operation was welcome and necessary".
It seems now that the police officers may have been in error in giving out these tickets, and the cyclists may now be able to claim their fine money back, as clear pavement/road markings are now in place at the end of St Stephen's Street directing cyclists on to the pavement in the area the officers were giving the tickets out. So who is correct in this matter? I have noticed in the letters page recently an increasing number of your readers accepting the idea that as long as a bit of white paint or paving stone with a bike on it is put onto or into the pavement it is then a 'shared' pavement between pedestrians and cyclists.
This cannot possibly be legal no matter how much paint is put down to favour 'shared' cycling on the pavement. Under Section 72 of the Highways Act 1835, as amended by Section 85 (1) of the Local Government Act 1988, cycling on the pavement was made a fixed penalty offence on the 1 July 1999.
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A pavement or pedestrian zone being an area exclusively for pedestrians, with no allowance at all in law for 'sharing' with cyclists or any other road vehicle, no matter how much paint, little paving slabs, lights, bells and whistles to favour cyclists onto the pavement are put into place.
So who or what organisation is putting in the paving slabs and paint etc to illegally direct cyclists on to the pavement? I have seen no planning applications to do so.
I would be fairly sure that whoever allocated the £11.5million to the cycling lobby in Bristol had in mind road improvements for cyclists and not the continuing illegal squeezing onto the pavement of hundreds of cyclists to the clear danger of the pedestrian public. I am sure that Bristol City Council and police will give the same support to a Bristol Pedestrians' Association that they give to the cycling lobby, in the name of fairness and the law, and police and council signed up to and are obliged to keep and enforce.
D F Cooper