Who has right of way on the pavement?

This post is in no way at all a dig at cyclists! I totally understand why people ride on the pavement and especially school children.

Photo by Aswathy N on Unsplash

That being said, on Tuesday, I had a horrible experience with a Year7/8 school child who had a go at ME for being in HIS way!  

I was walking my 8-year old to his primary school.  The pavement is wide enough for me, my son and a passing person/school child on a bicycle.  Two senior school children came towards us, one cycled passed my son against the wall and the other, rather than following behind his friend, decided to come at me! 

I didn’t move, what the hell was I meant to do? Jackie Chan super jump over him? Walk my son into the road and into oncoming traffic? Push my son into the other bike so this kid had room?

I stopped in the hope that he’d just cycle around us, which he did after I moved then he shouted: “You could have bloody moved out the way”. What!  I stopped, turned around and told him that HE should give way, he then said I should and made that horrid 'nah nah nah' noise as I went to speak!

Oh yes, that’s going to convince me, isn't it! When I asked him what school he went to, he shouted at me "not telling" and cycled off.  Dude – you’re in your school uniform I was trying to make a point that you are representing your school!

Should I give way to two bikes coming at me? What message is that telling my child who actually rides on the road? I started doubting myself so I looked it up!

I wanted to know if the rules had changed since I was a kid.  Each year I'm sure more and more people are riding on the pavements, and I get it, the roads are so busy and dangerous I get why people ride on the pavement, and because so many people now ride on the pavement I thought the rules/laws had changed.

They haven't!

The above is a snippet from the Highway code: Cyclist must not cycle on the pavement.

And to cover the Laws HA 1835 Section 72...

So whilst this isn't going to stop (some) teenagers thinking it's their God-given right to cycle on the pavement and expect others to jump out of their way.  It means I can at least steer my child in the right direction as to what is actually right and wrong!

There is also a great little article piece from Cyclelaw on the above rules.

So whilst this kid really upset me today, I've turned it on its head and made it a positive.  We now know exactly what the rules are, and even though there are far more bicycles on the pavement than when I was a kid, the rules have not changed.  


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