Friday, October 23, 2009

Target pavement cyclists, say MPs


There is a lot of legalese and moral talk here:

Of course it is illegal for cyclists to ride on the road. It puts pedestrians in danger. Some, I know ride on pavements because they are afraid to ride on roads because of the volume of traffic and speeding and inconsiderate motorists.

I do it very occasionally myself. When one considers that round here, the council's idea of cycle paths is a white line drawn down the middle of the pavement, it is not too surprising that cyclists stay on the pavement or assume pavement cycling is o.k. When one considers that pedestrians rarely accommodate cyclists by keeping to the pedestrian side of these paths one can see a cyclist's frustration at being targeted as anti-social.

On the rare instances I do ride on the pavement, I go slowly, slow down to walking pace when passing a pedestrian from either direction and resume road riding as soon as practical. I also ensure my bike is roadworthy- another legal requirement rarely enforced.

I think I have a solution to this. Reintroduce the cycling proficiency test. Make it a requirement for cyclists to ride a bike. Charge a small fee, which could be waived should genuine hardship be shown. And then enforce the laws we already have and prosecute those that refuse to obey them.



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