Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 42 total)
  • Wheeling your bike on a footpath
  • Premier Icon akysurf
    Free Member

    I felt compelled to respond to a recent article published in our local village circular:

    Balsham Review June issue 2011 – Parish Council Section: [Information from Cambridgeshire County Council]:
    “A public footpath allows people to walk on foot, this does not include the right to cycle or to wheel cycles with them. This may be allowed by a particular landowner, but they are within their rights not to welcome cyclists on a Public Footpath. Technically, cycling on a footpath is a trespass against the landowner. A pushchair or mobility aid is not included in this trespass as this would merely be the person or child’s way of getting around due to walking difficulties.”

    As stated “or to wheel cycles with them[/b]” leaves little doubt about the Councils’ position. However, there seems to be a slight disparity with the statement on CCC’s website, with a slight subtlety in the wording leading to a question of interpretation (ie. CCC’s understanding) of the law:
    http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/environment/countrysideandrights/public/
    “Footpaths for walkers are normally marked with a yellow arrow. You have the right to walk along a footpath with a normal accompaniment (e.g. a dog, a pram or a wheelchair). It is our understanding of the current law that you may not, however, wheel a bicycle along a footpath. You do not have the right to ride a bicycle, ride or lead a horse, or take a horse-drawn carriage  along a footpath (this is a ‘trespass’ against the landowner). It is a criminal offence to drive a motor vehicle along a public footpath unless you have specific lawful authority”

    I would respectfully request that the Parish Council (along with Cambridgeshire County Council) clarify whether – wheeling a bicycle along a footpath – is – a ‘trespass’ against the landowner –. If so, please provide the legal basis (with case references) and also a clarification of the nature of the offence and any likely penalty.

    It seems a shame that we’re too easily seeded with the fear of becoming law breakers for merely wishing to cycle (and now even wheel a bicycle) to work/school/wherever slowly and safely along our quite village footpaths, obviously not every footpath is suitable for either cycling or wheeling a bicycle and hopefully commonsense usually prevails (countryside code, livestock, walkers etc.). A legal alternative is of course risking our necks on the road, I’m not sure I fancy that option looking at the stats:
    Balsham Review June issue 2011 – Local Police Activity:
    “26April: Linton Road: 12.5% speeding; Balsham Road: 37% speeding; High St, West Wratting: 12% speeding.”
    “06May: Linton Road: 13% speeding; Balsham Road: 21% speeding.”

    For a balanced discussion on this subject, other references:

    The CTC (UK’s national cyclists’ organisation):
    http://www.ctc.org.uk/resources/Campaigns/10_Public-footpaths__brf.pdf “There is good evidence, although no direct case law, to support the view that pushing a cycle on a footpath is not illegal”.

    http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=4495[i]“Footpath: open to walkers only, although you may push a bicycle along one.” 
    “Bridleway: open to walkers, horse-riders and cyclists, although cyclists must give way to other users.”
    “Byway Open To All Traffic (BOAT): open to walkers, horse-riders, cyclists, carriage-drivers and motorised vehicles (which must be fully licensed for on-road use).”
    “Permissive Route: depends on what the land owner has given permission for. “[/i]

    Premier Icon TheBrick
    Free Member

    IT’s complete bollocks isn’t?

    Parish Council having busy body shocker.

    Premier Icon glenh
    Free Member

    Just carry it. I don’t see any restrictions there on what you can carry on a footpath.

    Premier Icon compositepro
    Free Member

    Didn’t some judge say that it was legal to push your bike on a footway….something along the lines of it makes no difference if you were pushing a bike or not.

    Wasnt recent 1980 I think in the appeal court

    Premier Icon bruneep
    Full Member

    Thank **** I live in scotch land

    Premier Icon z1ppy
    Free Member

    Compositepro +1, no idea where you’d find the info though.

    Premier Icon Oxboy
    Free Member

    Do the police actually take this kind of ‘crime’ seriously?
    I mean has anyone ever been arrested for riding on a footpath?

    Premier Icon TheBrick
    Free Member

    footway!=footpath

    Premier Icon TheBrick
    Free Member

    I mean has anyone ever been arrested for riding on a footpath? No it’s civil not a criminal matter.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Full Member

    cambridge always did seem to have a higher than normal amount of busy bodyness

    at the end of the day is any copper actually gonna stop you for it?

    Premier Icon compositepro
    Free Member

    dunno if a footway is the same as a footpath?Maybe the same rules would apply if the council did try to bring action

    Premier Icon snaps
    Free Member

    Push it, if challenged carry it, then suddenly get back pain & threaten to claim against them for personal injury – should get ’em worried.

    Premier Icon rp16v
    Free Member

    walk in the middle of the road with it when a copper comes to ask you to move to the footpath/way then say i cant and point them in the right direction that should get some backs up

    Premier Icon Oxboy
    Free Member

    If its just civil I wouldnt worry about it, just get on with it. If anyone challenges you . . . . ride away! 😆

    Premier Icon jonb
    Free Member

    If you are talking about footpaths rather than pavements then the police won’t have any interest. It’s a civil (not criminal offence). IIRC all that can happen is the landowner or his representative can ask you to leave and make a civil claim against you for damages. If the person approachin you is not the land owner or represnetitive just ignore them. As you are unlikely to have caused any damage then a civil suit will be pointless.

    Premier Icon allthepies
    Free Member

    Oxboy + 1

    Premier Icon akysurf
    Free Member

    Thanks jonb – that seems to be inline with other opinions I’ve seen. It’ll be interesting to see how the councils’ respond to my letter, if I recieve a response I’ll post it

    Premier Icon Junkyard
    Free Member

    If the person approachin you is not the land owner or represnetitive just ignore them.

    iirc they need to be able to prove they are the landlord or the landlords agent at the time as well. That means telling you their name for example if they refuse *[ they always do when i have asked for this] just ignore them repeat prove it and offer 10 p for the damage.
    * They often ask for your name then do I why should i tell you mine if you wont tell me your game. I always say I am simon f barnes google me at that point

    Premier Icon rickmeister
    Full Member

    Pushing a Dandyhorse on a footway.. are they crazy… ! Think of the children/kittens faces…..

    Jonb +1 and again, thank heavens for common sense in Scotchland….

    Premier Icon aracer
    Free Member

    I’m really not sure why you’re bothering, akysurf. A village circular has no legal standing whatsoever and nothing you write to them is likely to make them change their position in the slightest. If anything you’re just likely to wind them up. Just ignore it and keep on pushing your bike along the footpaths – the law is at least grey enough that nobody will ever take you to court over it (I’m not even aware of anybody being taken to court for riding on a footpath).

    Premier Icon akysurf
    Free Member

    It seems to me that the council are potraying their ‘understanding of the law’ – as the law, which only leads to misinformation and confusion. If the law is a grey area then that’s what the councils’ need to say.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    I’m behind the OP on this. They’ve politely challenged a ruling that’s been made on assumption.

    It’s the sort of thing where councils might look to other councils’ policies for guidance, and once it becomes a majority ruling then even though it might not actually be “law” then it may as well be.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    (“they” being “the OP”)

    Premier Icon compositepro
    Free Member

    Councils can’t just make laws can they?..

    Premier Icon schnor
    Free Member

    Balsham parish council don’t appear to have any relevant power as a Highways authority so have acted entirely beyond their remit.

    If I was feeling mean I’d go far as considering it unlawful guidance and perhaps even acting without lawful authority. Perhaps CCC would like to know they have parish councils issuing their own guidelines as they see fit, if ever you need an ace up your sleeve 😛

    My day-to-day position is how CTC interprets it. The police won’t get involved and CCC staff (like all PROW officers) have a tonne of things more important to deal with.

    Premier Icon schnor
    Free Member

    Councils can’t just make laws can they?..

    Definitely not, however if the law is sufficiently grey (as is the case here) they can be interpreted depending on the authority. We get given monthly/quarterly guidance on the latest case studies, so there is no reason for authorities not to know what the relevant case law is.

    For me, the issue here is not with wheeling a bike on a Pubic Footpath, the parish council here doesn’t even have the authority to issue guidance in the first place. It’s a bit like being given a ‘parking ticket’ in a supermarket.

    Premier Icon akysurf
    Free Member

    It will be interesting to see if the councils’ manage to trawl-up any relevant case law.

    Premier Icon highclimber
    Free Member

    Good on the OP for retorting to what can only be described as total and utter bollox. I’ll bet it was written by some octogenarian bible-basher with nothing better to do than pick on the defenceless dandyhorsist.

    Premier Icon Zulu-Eleven
    Free Member

    Gentlemen – I offer you a useful piece of law on the issue:

    http://www.commonlii.org/int/cases/EngR/1861/97.pdf

    A detailed discussion on the nature of carriages, wheeled perambulators, and the subject of nuisance – ultimately, there is no case law on the issue, other than a direction that each case must turn on its own facts, conveniently fitting in with the concept of reasonableness in DPP vs Jones, which is a leading judgement on permissible uses of rights of way.

    😀

    Premier Icon akysurf
    Free Member

    Thanks, Zulu-Eleven

    Premier Icon oliverd1981
    Free Member

    you have a pretty strong right to just ride away unless you’re flying along the pavement in a town or village like a fool.

    I think that’s what it should say in the police handbook anyway.

    Premier Icon amodicumofgnar
    Full Member

    So pushing back the quickest route after a mechanical is unreasonable, its a funny old world.

    Premier Icon jamiep
    Free Member

    it’s allowed on pavements so surely it’s allowed on footpaths. the civil stuff is a red herring imho

    Anyone pushing a bicycle is a “foot-passenger” (Crank v Brooks [1980] RTR 441) and is not “riding” it (Selby). In his judgment in the Court of Appeal in Crank v Brooks, Waller LJ said: “In my judgment a person who is walking across a pedestrian crossing pushing a bicycle, having started on the pavement on one side on her feet and not on the bicycle, and going across pushing the bicycle with both feet on the ground so to speak is clearly a ‘foot passenger’. If for example she had been using it as a scooter by having one foot on the pedal and pushing herself along, she would not have been a ‘foot passenger’. But the fact that she had the bicycle in her hand and was walking does not create any difference from a case where she is walking without a bicycle in her hand.

    Premier Icon bikebouy
    Free Member

    Good thread, great info and source detail data.

    Cleared a few things up for me, thanks guys.

    Premier Icon stumpyjon
    Full Member

    To summarise, foot paths and footways are different so case law that is applicable to one is not applicable to the other.

    The law is poorly worded and ambiguous. It all comes down to whether a bicylce is a reasonable accompaniment or not.

    Premier Icon Scienceofficer
    Free Member

    Its a question of interpretation.

    I think its fair to say that a bike is not a ‘normal accompaniment’ to walking, even if wheeled, so personally, I think they’re correct.

    I’d not worry about it though.

    http://www.cheekytrails.co.uk

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    “Normal” is relative, by definition.

    A bike is a far more ‘normal accompaniment’ to walking for me than a dog or a small child would be (and has a considerably smaller impact on those around me too). I’ve about as likely to perambulating along a footpath with a baby in a pram as I am with Jesus leading a unicorn.

    Premier Icon antigee
    Full Member

    akysurf – Member
    I felt compelled to respond to a recent article published in our local village circular:

    Balsham Review June issue 2011 – Parish Council Section: [Information from Cambridgeshire County Council]:
    “A public footpath allows people to walk on foot, this does not include the right to cycle or to wheel cycles with them. This may be allowed by a particular landowner,

    so you’ve asked them to confirm they’ll be identifying footpaths suitable for use by cyclists and contacting the landowners to confirm that they are happy with cyclist using them and will then signpost this?

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