Footpaths – legal advice please
STW has some of the answers.. some of the time
It sounds like the landowner was right. In the eyes of the law you were trespassing as a bike is not seen as a natural accompaniment and he has the right to ask you to leave.
the criminal offense of assault will always be taken more seriously than the civil offense of trespass..
Sounds like a path to be missed out as its just to much hassle..Posted 5 years ago
So what happened? I had a bloke try every tactic in the book to basically get me to lamp him. Edging me close to falling over a ledge on the path, pushing me, in my face etc. He knew that I was bigger/stronger etc and was basically hoping with an assault he’d ‘win his path’ next to his home/force the Police into backing him.
Personally I’d report him even though it was a ‘non-event’ for you. I reported the bloke above to the Police and also spoke to the council/peeps (can’t remember the name) with his description etc and what he was trying to do……as someone would actually react and lamp (reasonable) as his level of provocation was over what was acceptable..Posted 5 years ago
He rang the police while I was there – at my urging, I might add – and I subsequently had a longer conversation with them. The police officer I spoke to seemed very clear that I’d committed no infraction of the law in wheeling a bike along the path, but looking that these older threads makes me think that perhaps the landowner was correct, galling though that might be.
I’ll have a chat to the the Herts right of way officer when I get some time.Posted 5 years ago
Weird. Why would he call the Police? An attempt at intimidating you or had he been assaulted previously and was nervous?
He/it doesn’t make sense- seemed OTT?
I don’t know all the history, but it appears he’s been abused and assaulted before (no idea by whom); given his attitude, I can understand why. He was foaming at the mouth – literally – though what drives this hatred is not clear.
Anyway, he blocked my access to the path. I made to push past him, and he stated that do get past I’d need to assault him, at which time he’d call the police, and I’d get a criminal record. I then pushed past him, and requested him to call the police. He was reluctant – I found out subsequently that he’s had much contact with a weary-sounding PCSO, and I presume that he’s cried wolf rather too often – but when he got on the phone he alleged that there was “about to be a breach of the peace”, that he was scared, and that I’d threatened him.
All nonsense, but designed to get the police to come out, which they didn’t do. He had to admit that I’d not actually threatened him, just that he thought I might.
To my mind, it’s simple; either I’m in the wrong, was trespassing, and should have left, or he was in the wrong, and in blocking my path was committing an offence himself. It has to be one or the other, surely?Posted 5 years agoBruceWeeMember
Slightly off topic. Is it just me or is there an increase in people claiming they were assaulted when they weren’t?
I’m thinking about the ninja lady from last week and that thing in bath where the guy filmed a couple blocking a road and then she followed him threatening to go to the police and tell them he assaulted her.Posted 5 years ago
How I see it- Saying you are being assaulted is designed to scare and make the other party back down. Or….. designed callously to get the other party arrested thus ‘winning’ the argument.
Imagine the distress that would cause ‘hi honey, I’ve been arrested for alleged assaulting someone’.
Shows the twisted mindset of the person you are facing.Posted 5 years ago
This topic has come up on the past, but I couldn’t find a precise answer using search, so advice please, if you have any.
I was out riding at the weekend, and needed to use a public footpath that cuts across some private land. Mindful of the fact that the landowner has a reputation for being somewhat difficult, Mrs NickF and I pushed out bikes along the path. All was going well until the landowner came rushing out, telling us that it was against the law to take bicycles along a footpath, and that we were trespassing. he then blocked the path, and called the police, alleging that I was about assault him.
So aside from his silly reaction, and his lies to the police, do his claims have any basis in fact? Is it illegal to push a bicycle along a footpath, or is he mistaken? Furthermore, if he is mistaken, and he’s blocking a path I’m legally allowed to use, does this mean that he’s the one committing the offence?Posted 5 years agoTrimixMember
Even if your not allowed to push your bike along the path – that sounds completely bonkers and irrational.
I would be surprised if anyone who gave it some thought would say you were doing some harm and were in the wrong.
Personally Id ignor him and continue on as you were. Why dont you pop down to the local cop shop and ask them what they think. Afterall you dont want to waste their time or commit an offence.
You did better than me, Id have ridden it and been too fast for him to get me 🙂Posted 5 years ago
Looks like I was in the wrong!
From the hertsdirect website
“The route of a footpath is shown by waymarks with yellow arrows
You have the right to walk together with any ‘normal accompaniment’ (e.g. a dog, pram, wheelchair).
You do not have the right to use a bicycle, or even to wheel a bicycle along them. This is not a criminal offence, but a trespass against the landowner.
It is a criminal offence to drive a motor vehicle along a public footpath (unless you have a private right).
You do not have the right to ride or lead a horse or take a horse-drawn vehicle along a footpath, although it is not a criminal offence.”Posted 5 years agomartinhutchSubscriber
Why dont you pop down to the local cop shop and ask them what they think. Afterall you dont want to waste their time or commit an offence.
They’d cheerfully tell you it is a civil matter. There’s no ‘offence’. They only get involved when you start fisticuffing with the landowner.Posted 5 years agowwaswasSubscriber
It’s not been established in law is my understanding, see here;
Can a landowner legally ban walkers from pushing or even carrying a bicycle along a public footpath? I thought the law allows having with you a ‘natural accompaniment’? Benjamin Gosling
Amy Cook: Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer in law to this question. By cycling along a footpath, an act of trespass is being committed against the landowner – unless of course the landowner has given permission. But a court has yet to rule whether a cyclist can push or carry their bicycle along a footpath. The term ‘natural accompaniment’ is still open to interpretation. The phrase is taken to mean dogs, pushchairs and mobility scooters, but could conceivably also include shopping trolleys and bicycles. Some argue that a bicycle is not a
‘natural accompaniment’ for the user of a footpath, so pushing or carrying one along the footpath could therefore be construed as trespass against the landholder, even if no byelaw or traffic order is infringed. It’s a grey area, I’m afraid!
If you really wanted to push it I’d contact the CTC and see if they’ll allow their legal team to back you if there was a case raised by the landowner?Posted 5 years ago
They’d cheerfully tell you it is a civil matter. There’s no ‘offence’. They only get involved when you start fisticuffing with the landowner.
We had this last week:
Or if you keep doing it, then he can get an injunction against you, and a breach of this is a criminal offence which can carry jail time.
Basically, its his land; so ride around it if you can, either that or do a TJ and blame the Normans!
Posted 5 years agobutcherMember
If you can’t push a bike along a footpath are you allowed to carry it? Can the wheels of your bike touch the footpath as long as your bike is stationary?
Going by the quote above from Herts Council, it would only be wrong to wheel a bicycle along the footpath. I’d assume carrying it is OK.
And unless they have any actual bylaws in place I suspect they can’t really back any of it up.Posted 5 years agowwaswasSubscriber
Pushing a bike is not riding. Its pushing.
see above, it’s currently seen in the same way as getting off a horse and leading it by the reins, not like a pushchair.
Out of interest how does someone serve an injuction on a rider who refuses to give any details to the landowner? Police won’t turn out for a civil matter.Posted 5 years ago
Out of interest how does someone serve an injuction on a rider who refuses to give any details to the landowner? Police won’t turn out for a civil matter.
Photograph you or follow you to you car, I guess. Or say you were threatened, or felt threatended, accuse criminal damge (to gates, fences etc?) and the Police are supposed to do something about it.
Farmer behind my house, just corners any cyclist with his work crew (he is in his sixties, so mainly supervises) and mentions if he sees them again that their threatening behaviour will not be tolerated, as he finds cyclists intimidating
Oh, and if he knows where you live, you get a free trailer of cowshit parked outside your house for a few weeks, and the road you live in used to store various farm equipment……
Mind you he is known to be a little difficult……Posted 5 years agoantigeeMember
i think must mean north of the border
i can think of a bridleway near me that becomes a footpath for 50yds before connecting to Trans Pennine Trail and the guy in the adjacent house will come out and spout the law at you
sad that a law that was supposed to preserve the rights of the public is now used as a de facto maximum rightPosted 5 years agophilfiveMember
Has there been a case in court were a cyclist has been prosecuted for pushing a bike on a footpath? a good tactic is to carry a copy of any court case and just hand it to the person doing the moaning. if it is a grey area then he cant really enforce it and having something for him to read might sway him.
I had this very same issue with a farmer last year, i had no idea it was a footpath i was on as it was a farm track but i just truned around and left to save the agro.Posted 5 years ago
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