Thanks to reader Peter (comment from White Van Driver) , for this link to some DFT guidelines for using cycle paths.
From Dept of Transport: Annex D: Code of Conduct Notice for Cyclists using shared lane paths.
The following key messages are suggested as the basis for a code of conduct notice for cyclists. The code could be posted at points of entry and at intervals along the route. This will be especially useful when the facility is new.
- * If a feature segregating cyclists from pedestrians is present, keep to the cyclist’s side. This will be indicated on blue and white road signs and by cycle logos on the surface.
- * Ride on the left hand side of the area available to you. If you need to overtake another cyclist, give a gentle ring on your bell or say ‘Excuse me’.
- * When coming up behind pedestrians, always pass them at a safe distance, and slowly enough so that you could avoid them if they made a sudden change in direction.
- * Remember that some pedestrians may be hard of hearing or visually impaired and hence might not be aware of you. If in doubt, give a gentle ring on your bell or say ‘Excuse me’.
- * Always respect pedestrians even if they stray onto the cycling side (if there is one); they are entitled to do so. Always thank people who move out of your way.
- * Ride at a sensible speed for the situation and ensure you can stop in time. As a general rule, if you want to cycle quickly, say in excess of 18 mph/30 kph, then you should be riding on the road.
- * Use lights at night.
- * In pedestrianised areas, only ride your cycle if there aren’t too many pedestrians about; otherwise dismount and push it. When visiting shops etc, park your cycle so that people will not trip over it; use formal cycle parking if available.
I particularly like the section, that if you intend to ride quickly, it is advisable to use the road. Personally, I think rather than 18mph, I would suggest 13-14mph. If you are riding 17mph, you don’t want to be sharing the cycle path with pedestrians and their dogs!
I also agree with their advice about offering courtesy to pedestrians, even if they stray into the designated cycle lane.
Nothing will change my view that pavements are primarily for pedestrians, and as a cyclist I want to cycle on road. However, if appropriate, cyclists should be allowed to use pavements, but, only at slow speeds.