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Mutual respect needed on shared use paths

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Published: 22 July 2013
Report: British Cycling


British Cycling has given its support to Sustrans’ push to remind cyclists of the need to be respectful of pedestrians on shared-use, traffic-free paths after reports that some routes are being inappropriately recommended for racing.

The sports governing body has also reaffirmed its support for a code of conduct that Sustrans produced for cyclists on traffic-free paths.

The charity has said that evidence shows that conflict between cyclists and pedestrians on walking and cycling routes is rare, but irresponsible behaviour by a small minority can be unsettling.

Malcolm Shepherd, Sustrans’ Chief Executive, said:

“As we continue campaigning for greater respect on our roads, its vital those of us using bikes give respect to everyone, and slow down on walking and cycling paths. Traffic-free walking and cycling paths cater to a variety of users by providing a safe, non-threatening environment to travel in.”

"Everyone should obey traffic laws whether they're on a bike or a pedestrian and that includes being respectful of other users on shared use paths."

British Cycling’s Campaigns Manager, Martin Key

British Cycling’s Campaigns Manager, Martin Key, said:

“Everyone should obey traffic laws whether they're on a bike or a pedestrian and that includes being respectful of other users on shared use paths. As Sustrans has said, this is only an issue among a small minority of cyclists, but we don’t want to see a situation where action is taken that would impact the many thousands of cyclists who enjoy using the paths every day.

“British Cycling is a registered Instructor Training Organisations and delivers Bikeability training to thousands of cyclists every year. Learning to share space is a core component of the training.”

British Cycling today shared its top tips for sharing space, taking from its level one Bikeability training:

  • If you approach a pedestrian or cyclist while riding, you must slow down.
  • Always communicate your intentions to those around you.
  • When approaching a pedestrian or cyclist from behind, alert them to your presence.
  • Don’t pass too close to a pedestrian or cyclist and only pass them if there is sufficient space.
  • Be aware of possible hesitation, stopping or a sudden change of course by other pedestrians or cyclists.