School child knocked by cyclist this morning - reopened

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Thursday 20 September 2012 10.38am
James Hatts wrote (11 September)-
"The cycling-on-pavements debate has been well aired here on many occasions and we are unlikely to reach any happier conclusions by continuing this thread." The thread was then closed.

Sorry, James, but there's more to this particular case than meets the eye. As someone who is returning to cycling after more than 40 years off the road, I'm still exploring quiet routes, and haven't tackled the Bricklayers Arms roundabout, so I thought I'd have a look (on foot) at the scene of this accident, where a cyclist riding on the pavement knocked over a schoolchild who was running for a bus.

There are several stretches of pavement around the Bricklayers Arms junction that are marked as SHARED by pedestrians and cyclists - what the Highway Code calls 'unsegregated' cycle tracks. Look for the blue disc signs on the lamp-posts, showing a cycle and a mother-and-child figure.

If the accident happened at west-bound bus-stop BS, this is on a long stretch of 'unsegregated' pavement (leading eventually to the 'segregated' cycle track on the inner edge of the south pavement of the New Kent Road as far as the Elephant). If it was here, then the cyclist had a perfect right to be cycling on the pavement - indeed, is advised to cycle on the 'unsegregated' pavement rather than the road.

If it was bus-stop BQ (Darwin Street) the situation is less clear, since this is the point that the cycle LANE marked on the roadway of the Old Kent Road comes to an abrupt end and cyclists are expected to move onto the 'unsegregated' pavement route. I couldn't make out where exactly they are expected to mount the pavement.

These unsegregated stretches of pavement are dangerous for both pedestrians and cyclists - particularly if the pedestrians don't realise they have to share the right of way with cyclists. (I've walked along the pavement there and never noticed the blue cycle track signs before.) There seems to be nothing in the Highway Code to suggest pedestrians have priority - rule 62 (for cyclists) says 'Take care when passing pedestrians, especially children...' etc; but rule 13 (for pedestrians) says 'Take extra care...' on unsegregated routes.

The moral is, complain about cyclists riding on the pavement by all means (I do, loudly and often) - but don't assume they are 'breaking the law'. There are instances like this where cycling on the pavement is not only legal but encouraged - and the cyclist may know their Highway Code better than you do!
Thursday 20 September 2012 11.03am
I think the key part is the 'take care' bit, for both parties. Sadly too many on both sides of the fence don't do this and either ride to fast in what is an obviously risky area, or walk aimlessly without awareness of their surroundings.
Thursday 20 September 2012 3.35pm
I thought the same thing when I read the original thread, John C. I decided not to say as much for the reasons James gave; it would be easier to bring peace to the middle east than get both sides of the cycling debate in se1 forums to agree!
Thursday 20 September 2012 4.04pm
[quote John C]

If it was bus-stop BQ (Darwin Street) the situation is less clear, since this is the point that the cycle LANE marked on the roadway of the Old Kent Road comes to an abrupt end and cyclists are expected to move onto the 'unsegregated' pavement route. I couldn't make out where exactly they are expected to mount the pavement.[quote]

The accident happened at the junction of Darwin Street. The cyclist rode inside of the bus stop where pedestrians stand to wait for a bus. The child had the right to run on the section of footpath, not the cyclist riding her bike. She could have knocked any one standing at that stop not just the child running.
Thursday 20 September 2012 4.05pm
I found this highway code cycling supplement on searching the web (http://www.kirklees.gov.uk/transport/cyclesigns.pdf)it has useful information for cyclists, motorists and pedestrians. It does say good cycling code is to "Give way to pedestrians" which I hope is common sense on a shared pathway where one person is attached to a sharp metal object perhaps traveling at speed silently and the other is not.
Zoe
Thursday 20 September 2012 4.20pm
Neil wrote:
I thought the same thing when I read the original thread, John C. I decided not to say as much for the reasons James gave; it would be easier to bring peace to the middle east than get both sides of the cycling debate in se1 forums to agree!


Are you suggesting that James might have been a better special envoy for the Middle Eastern quartet than Tony Blair?
Thursday 20 September 2012 5.39pm
Nah, I'm not going to say anything.
Thursday 20 September 2012 6.02pm
Pops wrote
"The accident happened at the junction of Darwin Street."

Thanks - that answers my question So we agree the cyclist shouldn't have been on the pavement. Perhaps we can close the thread again!

(Of course, there's an 'unsegregated cycle track' sign just at the corner of Darwin Street - I don't know what part of the pavement it refers to. Is it TfL or Southwark Council who defines these tracks and erects the signs?)
Thursday 20 September 2012 6.19pm
In shared use areas, surely the faster traffic should give way to the slower.
It's not a question of "entitlement"

...if you press it, they will come.
Friday 28 September 2012 2.16am
I hope the child was ok. Does anyone know?

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