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Lborobrewer | 15:11 Mon 25th Jul 2016 | Road rules
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On a shared cycleway/footpath what speed is reasonable for the cycles to be travelling at? If a cycle travelling at speed hit a pedestrian who would be liable? Should cyclists slow down when passing pedestrians? Is ringing a bell or shouting excuse me adequate warning when they travelling at speed? Do pedestrians have to give way to the cyclists?
The other situation is a designated cycle path that it is adjacent to the footpath on one side and a busy main road on the other (which may have a light controlled crossing or not), if a pedestrian is waiting to cross the road where do they stand on the footpath or on the cycle path? Conversely, if a pedestrian has crossed the road, say at a PELICAN crossing and then has to cross the cycle path, which is being used do they stand on the road until there is safe passage across the cycle path or should the cyclists give way as well?


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The problem is that there are NO laws relating to how fast a cycle can be ridden. There is NO requirement for a cyclist to have any training whatsoever. There is NO law requiring a cycle to be registered to an owner. There is NO law requiring a cyclist / cycle to have even the most basic insurance.
Cyclists are a law unto themselves. You should try driving through 'Cycle City' (aka Cambridge) in the rush hour it's a real eye opener.
I was actually told by a Cambridge police officer that in any accident between a cycle and a powered vehicle the driver ALWAYS has to pay no matter what the facts of the case. This was he told me, because as a cycle never has insurance they can never pay so they ALWAYS go after the car/van/lorry driver for compensation.

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Eddie, Cambridge has got nothing on the London maniacs.
^^ Prepared to believe that Hopkirk, luckily I very rarely need to drive in London where Cambridge is the nearest big town / city. I am in Cambridge several times a month.
Glad I live oop north! I love visiting London and surrounding area but I wouldn't want to live there.
As a former London cyclist, who did it for a living, for a while, I can say only two things for certain.

i) Pedestrians cannot hear you*.
ii) Cars cannot see you, unless you're obstructing their forward progress.

* In the countryside, I can hear rolling bike tyres over 50 metres behind me and I prefer to stop and turn to face them. A stationary obstacle is easier for them to negotiate. In the city, the ambient noise easily drowns out bike tyre noise and it takes an approaching bus/taxi to inhibit Oxford Street shoppers from emerging suddenly from the throng, straight into the road, eyes fixed on a shop, opposite.

In Hyde Park, there was a shared path, easily as wide as a main road, divided by a 6-inch wide white line and marked for cycles and pedestrians on either side. I noticed how groups of 5 or more pedestrians would rather spread out into straggling side-by-side ranks and straddle the dividing line than bunch up and stick to the (plenty of room) area allocated to them. I thought they were doing this purposely to annoy cyclists, so I buzzed a few of them at full speed.

The trouble with any speed limit is that you are imposing the retrofitting of speedometer equipment on millions of cyclists. What's your cut of that?

A cyclist should never assume that the pedestrian has full hearing, good sight and quick reflexes. It is nerve wracking for a deaf person when a cyclist whizzes past.
As most bicycles don't have speedos it is more common for them to prosecuted for 'cycling furiously'.
Just because an injured person can sue the cyclist responsible doesn't mean they'll get anything even if they win the case and the injured person certainly won't get any help from 'no win no fee' lawyers. Cyclists don't have to be insured and you can't get blood from a stone.
Cyclists are liable under law. A friend of mine on a bike was once charged with being drunk in charge of a wheeled vehicle, or something like that.
Of course you should slow down and look for pedestrians. You have a dangerous hunk of metal between your legs which can badly hurt people. Why even think of taking the legal/moral high ground? Just give way and nobody gets hurt. If cyclist want to be the next Bradley Wiggins, take it to the velodrome. It's no better than boy racer behaviour in cars IMO.

Good point, as a general point but there was only a slim chance of me ever buzzing a deaf person as, knowing themselves to be vulnerable, they wouldn't stray across the white line, onto the part if the road marked as a cycle route. I only ever buzzed gaggles of laughing, joking, clearly not hearing impaired youths who *gave the appearance* of not caring to stick to the part of the road allocated to them.


Had any actual collision occurred it would be me who loses the case, due to witnesses siding with fellow trespassers but at least I'd go away knowing I was in the right, riding in my appropriate lane.


As the video clip of the pushbike at the mini roundabout proved, legal right of way is all very well but the not-stopping milk tanker will squish you, if you assert yourself, rather than take life-saving evasive action.

Likewise, at the time, Volvos were built like tanks and their owners drove accordingly. Motorbikers advised me to give them a wide berth, on roundabouts which is probably why I'm still alive. (Footnote: modern cars are designed with more skull-friendly body panels, to save lives in pedestrian impacts. For cyclists, it's pot luck where the point of contact is and it's kerbs and road furniture which you have to protect against being punted into).

Anyway, as the Dutch suburb road design style has proved, when you deliberately remove the demarkation lines between road and pavement and allow pedestrians to cross the non-road wherever they like rather than at light-controlled fixed positions, it dissolves the drivers' sense of "right of way", they slow down, pay more attention because pedestrian choices are less predictable and, having lost the urgency to reach point B, even stop to let pedestrians cross in safety.

On cycle tracks which are not rigidly partitioned by a dividing line I have no sense of "owning" a particular lane any more and take it easy when passing pedestrians.

Footnote2: I'm already seeing an Advert for cycle insurance cover, in the panel below. Oh the wonders of t'internet.

p.s. R.I.P. Bradley Wiggins' mum. Brave road cyclist to the last.
These days a walker is likely to be using headphones and texting on a mobile phone while walking and can not even hear a car horn let alone a cycle bell.
I am now seeing cyclists listening to headphones while riding, not seen a cyclist texting while riding yet though. Perhaps you know better.
What does a cyclist have to do to be charged with 'furious cycling' I have not heard of anyone being charged for it?
The only good point I have seen recently, is that in Cambridge the police are now stopping cyclists who are riding without lights at night and taking their names. They then have 2 weeks to report to the police station and prove they have got proper lights for the bike or be fined. A step forward, hopefully the chance of meeting an unlit bike coming the wrong way down a one way street at night is a bit less now.
Eddie, why should the police have to wait 2 weeks to decide to prosecute? they should be booked "end of" if that was a motorist there would be no 2 weeks, I've come close a few times with Cyclist, there must be some sort of device to signal the presence of a Cyclist to car / HGV as I've said previously, the introduction of a reversing bleeper comes to mind, the detector should be fitted in the cyclist's helmet the same way a Camera is fitted, or even in the camera, a tax should also be introduced as these bikes now have Cycle lanes, I can hear the anti cyclist's moaning that the motorist's have a vendetta against cyclist! I do not think they have, the stunts that "Some Cyclist's" do is just stupid, I've had these clowns using my trailer to pull them along in an area I could not possibly see them.
^^ That's what they do TWR they get a warning that they will be prosecuted if they do not have lights in 2 weeks time.
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Of course there is Rule 60 of the highway code that states that cyclists should slow down and be prepared to stop.

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