Pavements Are for People

I would like to see byelaws introduced making it a civil offence to either 1) park a vehicle or 2) ride a bicycle (or skateboard, etc) on any pavement or walkway (unless appropriately dedicated). 

Why the contribution is important

Pavements are for people to walk on (or use wheelchairs, etc). They are often obstructed by pavement parking, and pedestrians run a constant risk of being skittled out of the way, or injured, by cyclists. It might be a challenge to enforce, but clear signeage, and an appropriate level of  fines would go a long way to making our pavements safer, and encourage more people to walk on them

by user251846 on November 28, 2013 at 10:42AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 2.3
Based on: 22 votes


  • Posted by user734334 November 28, 2013 at 16:09

    I totally understand your frustration but people often park half on the pavement so as to not obstruct traffic flow and cyclists often cycle on the pavement to ensure they don't get killed. But we definitely need a solution a quite few of these are being offered by people on this site.
  • Posted by user284173 November 28, 2013 at 20:41

    I think this is quite impractical. Many of Bristol's roads are narrow and people need to park on pavements in order to park (though I agree care should be taken to leave room for wheelchairs to be able to pass). In addition, shared use pavements are great if you're a cyclist and will encourage people to cycle more which is good for the city and for their health. Arguably, where people are cycling on pavements the problem is that they don't feel safe on the roads or have safe alternatives to cycling on the pavement such as cycle only paths, and it is these problems that need to be addressed. Finally, I have on many occasions had pedestrians walking on a cycle only path, so it happens both ways.
  • Posted by user162427 November 28, 2013 at 21:12

    Completely agree
  • Posted by user780791 December 02, 2013 at 12:51

    People should just be more conscientious when cycling on the pavement - one thing we certainly don't need in this country/city are more laws or by-laws enforcing common sense - look where you're going, and, if you're cycling on the pavement because the road is too dangerous, do so slowly, making your presence known to pedestrians.
  • Posted by user515911 December 02, 2013 at 15:39

    I can't agree with RachelH that people `need to park on pavements'---they can presumably go elsewhere? Shared use pavements may be good for cyclists, but I find them very problematic for pedestrians, particularly when I'm with elderly and/or deaf relatives. If cyclists feel endangered on roads, surely the answer is to get something done about the other road users (and not a moment too soon), rather than transferring the danger to the beleaguered pedestrian?
  • Posted by user690930 December 14, 2013 at 16:44

    Best idea on this site
    Pavements are for Pedestrians

    Carriageways are for Cyclists

    Its just bad manners and a selfish attitude when SOME cyclists chose to endanger pedestrians instead of seeking to sort out THEIR CARRIAGEWAYS
  • Posted by user261867 January 03, 2014 at 22:06

    I am not sure a by-law will stop people - human nature being what it is and tend to agree with other comments that more laws aren't the answer.
    However, I have a great deal of sympathy for the comments about pavement parking - but I don't live in an area with really narrow streets.
    In terms of cyclists on pavements, I don't agree that shared use pavements are good for cyclists - as even the most considerate cyclist who uses the Bath Road from Temple Meads to Three Lamps will testify. Pedestrians wander across the narrow pedestrian and cycle "lane" because they can't see/hear me "creeping" up on them and don't consider the "poor cyclist" who is trying to get along without falling into the road or crashing into the back of pedestrian.
    In terms of cycling on pavements, the real problem is inconsiderate cyclists rather than all cycling on pavements.
  • Posted by user515911 January 06, 2014 at 20:59

    Perhaps the reduction to 20mph will make cyclists confident enough to keep on the road. I certainly hope so.
  • Posted by user166992 January 08, 2014 at 16:13

    Cevans: bad manners, you say? Kindly compare the number of pedestrians killed by bikes each year (zero) with the number of cyclists crushed by selfish, negligent motorists (lots). Cycling on the pavement is a necessity at times, especially for children attempting to negotiate an inner-city designed around the car.
  • Posted by user515911 January 10, 2014 at 19:47

    I don't think many people object to toddlers cycling on the pavement; surely nobody would expect them to be on a busy road. But I'm reading (above) cyclists complaining about pedestrians wandering in front of them on shared-use pavements; as far as I can establish, the pedestrians are behaving entirely legally (if not very kindly or sensibly), in that the bike part just indicates where bikes are (unusually) allowed into a pedestrian zone---there is no legal requirement for the pedestrians to keep out of these areas. And please can we have some consideration for the vast number of hearing-impaired/deaf people who may well not hear a bicycle bell on a shared-use path. Finally, while it is clear that there are many more cyclists killed and injured by motorists (a reprehensible state of affairs) than pedestrians killed and injured by cyclists, this does not in any way excuse the latter.
  • Posted by user411811 January 14, 2014 at 11:07

    are there any statistics as to how many pedestrians are hurt by cyclists?
    I'm not sure if that's just one of those arguments drummed up by some people to inspire distrust and anger against those on bikes. Sure there are the ever present minority who are selfish and don't care whether they annoy/ endanger others, but they thankfully are a very small minority.
    Shared pavements certainly can work. In Barcelona, where the streets are even more narrow, cars/ bike/ people all seem to get along with no sense of aggression or frustration on any side. I'm sure there are plenty more places where this is true, and my experience of Bristol streets is one of co-operation and respect (compared to London/ Luton/ Manchester where I have also lived)
  • Posted by user515911 January 15, 2014 at 12:06

    In response to Keeno: It seems from the ctc website (I've no idea how authoritative this is) that, in 2001-2010, 22 pedestrians were killed in the UK by cycles. As regards cyclists on pavements, the only figures that they seem to give are for 1998--2007 in London: no pedestrians killed on the pavement by bikes in those years, but 23 seriously injured. [Presumably, most people who (like me) have been only mildly injured do not report it to the police.] (I found the above info out in response to another comment in the dialogue.) A quick search brought to light a toddler and an older lady injured by pavement cyclists in Bristol recently. A Bristol older persons' group is currently campaigning to get the police to do more about illegal pavement cycling, and this regularly comes up at Neighbourhood Partnership meetings, so I really don't think that this is a `non-problem'.
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