By Kirsty Topping
CYCLISTS will be allowed to ride on pavements, under moves being considered by a Scottish Council.
As part of a campaign to get more people to choose two wheels over four, Edinburgh City council is looking to allow pavement cycling in several parts of the city, including the busy A8 Glasgow road.
“Lycra louts’ have been subject to numerous complaints over the years relating to the standard of their cycling but the council plans mean that cyclists in the designated areas will not be breaking the law.
They hope to begin statutory procedures to allow the practice, which is currently banned in the UK under the Highways Act.
It’s likely to anger those who feel that cyclists have little regard for the law.
Hugh Bladon, a spokesman for the Association of British Drivers, said that cyclist already used the pavements regardless of it being illegal.
“They already do it, so this isn’t going to make a big difference.
“They all do it, so why not just make it legal?’We might as well just give up and let them do it. Make it legal but make sure the onus is on the cyclist to act responsibly and avoid injures to pedestrians. “
Gary Bell, a spokesman for the Better Way to Work campaign, which aims to get commuters to use their bikes to travel to work, welcomed the measures.
“Just as there are inconsiderate drivers who talk on their mobiles and flout red lights, there are some bad cyclists who cycle on the pavements.
“The focus should be on responsible cycling and there are areas of the city where cyclist and pedestrians manage along together just fine.
“There is a perception that roads are dangerous for cyclists, so the opportunity to cycle off-road is idea.
“But as people get more confidence, hopefully they will accept the challenge and cycle on the roads as well. “
Most of the sections of pavements proposed under the scheme are wide enough to permit cyclists and pedestrians, however some will need to be widened.
Councillor Gordon Mackenzie, the city’s transport boss, said:
“Where there are relatively low levels of pedestrian use, then shared paths are a cost-effective way of creating routes for cyclists.
“In most places the paths are already wide enough but we’ll be widening some sections and looking at extra signs to make sure they can be safely used by both groups. “
The move is part of an imitative to create a
“family network’ of cycle routes.
Edinburgh signed up to the Charter of Brussels, which aims to have 15 percent of all journeys made by bikes by 2020. It is the only UK city to have done so.