[Forum] Concern over cyclists riding on footpaths

Sign for a shared use route for pedestrians and cyclists.

I am writing with grave concern for pedestrians who walk dogs, people with prams and people who use walking aids on footpaths in the Bradley Stoke area, as I feel that someone is going to get hurt or injured by cyclists who ride their bikes on the footpaths.

I know some places have a dividing line for pedestrians and cyclists, but these are not found everywhere – and cyclists ride bikes on footpaths where there is no such line.

A lot of cyclists don’t wear cycle helmets, don’t have bells on their bikes and carry no lights.

On several occasions, I have been out walking and had a cyclist nearly run into me. It seems they expect you to move out of the way, as they own the pavement, not the pedestrians.

Also, in places where the path is divided, you sometimes have to step onto part of the cycling section because there are overhanging bushes where pedestrians are expected to walk. Now the darker nights are here and cyclists have no lights or bells on their bikes, pedestrians do not know there is a cyclist anywhere near them until they nearly run into you with their bikes.

If you say anything to the cyclist, they become verbal to you and you’re made to feel as though you should not be on the footpaths walking, so I really think this matter needs dealing with before it’s too late and a cyclist does cause injury to a pedestrian.


Photo: Stock image of a sign indicating a shared use route for pedestrians and cyclists. [Credit: London Cyclist; link: http://bit.ly/1tWZ01e; licence: CC BY 2.0]

Ed: “Unsafe shared cycle/footpath on Bradley Stoke Way between Aldi and Tesco roundabouts” was identified as a priority issue at the last meeting of the Bradley Stoke Safer and Stronger Group. An update will be given at the next meeting on Thursday 30th October at Baileys Court Activity Centre (7pm start). This is a public meeting that is open to all.

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  1. I am profoundly deaf in one ear and partial hearing in the other, this causes me not to be able to hear anything happening behind me, such as approaching cyclists. I always try to walk on the one side, but this is not always possible. Plus you get cyclists on pavements without paths. And now I have a small child, I worry that one of us will get injured by a passing bike.

  2. As commuting cyclist I use this stretch of path every day and have done for well over a year. I use a bell and have lights. I encounter lots of dog walkers and runners and have never had an issue. This path helps cyclists avoid a dangerous stretch of road, all it needs to continue to work is some simple respect from both cyclists and pedestrians. Perhaps a white line division here would help keep both groups of users separated and safe.

  3. agreed that this need to review as am deaf myself I was injured myself when cyclist pass me which is very close slave I was jumping and lost balance I fell on the ground I did shout back but cyclist ignored. Please can you paint the white line as soon as possible I could not able to identity to claim my injury.

  4. Why not complain to the council about overhanging bushes rather than blame cyclists for it? If you are walking in a cycle lane then its hardly the cyclists fault is it?

    You’re pointing the finger at all cyclists based on some yobs on bikes. A bit like blaming all motorists for an uninsured teenager in a Nova. Idiots sometimes ride bikes. They sometimes drive cars. I lose count of the number of motorists using mobile phones while driving. A far more serious problem that is actually life threatening.

    If someone hits me with a bike they get charged with assault. Simple.

  5. Considering that for many years I’ve cycled around Bradley Stoke and always been very courteous, cycled slowly around built up pedestrian areas where dog walkers pass and am polite by always thanking anyone who might let me pass, I can’t help but feel a little insulted by this generalisation that all cyclists are dangerous. Where would you like to put us? There has been heavy opposition towards new bus lanes, and traffic has already been slowed in areas where cars have caused major accidents. Cyclists have to deal with abusive and rude pedestrians too you know…

    Best advice would be to contact the council to ask for better support in cycle routes, which will probably be laughed at since Bradley Stoke has some of the most cycle lanes I’ve seen in all of Bristol.

    The only route I have difficulty with is the shortcut from Concorde Road through to Ellicks Close, this area has a very slim pavement and is heavily used. I often stop my bike and walk round the bends, else wait for pedestrians to reach the end of the path before I continue on in fear of hitting a dog. You may have had problems with one or two kids on bikes but there are thousands of cyclists who actually have a conscience and fear causing any grief or injury to someone. This kind of complaint only makes me feel like said care and attention has been wasted.

  6. I am a cyclist with 2 children, one primary age and one profoundly deaf. I insist that they both ride on the pavement as the road is far too dangerous even for me with the lorries and double decker buses that go hurtling along Bradley Stoke Way. I have brought them up to respect the pedestrian. They wear helmets, hi-viz, have bells and lights. They give notice by ringing the bell on approach. If the pedestrian is unaware because of listening to music of what ever, we slow down or overtake on the grass. My children never abuse pedestrians and I feel saddened that we are all tarnished with the same brush. There is enough room certainly between Tesco and Aldi for the White line divide and I’m sure the council can do something more further down south Bradley Stoke. I have complained about overhanging trees as there is no room in some places to pass especially between Tesco and the herbs. The amount of times I’ve been hit by branches, eventually being cut back at the end of the summer. Please don’t penalise all of us cyclists who worry about the safety of ourselves and our children along one of the busiest roads in Bradley Stoke. The majority are considerate and use bicycles in a conscious effort to reduce traffic congestion whilst considering a healthier lifestyle.

  7. As a cyclist (who has lights and a bell) I usually avoid dual use paths because pedestrians seem to have no awareness of what’s around them. They zig zag down the path and can move from one side to the other without warning. I’ve even been told to get on the road when I was on a shared use path.

    None of it is worth the hassle in my opinion so I just use the road although even that can cause problems as pedestrians often just step out into the road without looking.

  8. I cycle everyday as part of my training around Bradley stoke and never use the paths or shared paths as they are not really safe ,
    As someone said before there are over hanging trees forcing pedestrians out wide and they can’t hear you coming up behind them even with a bell due to the high traffic noise ,
    Plus the part between basically Aztec west and as far as it goes towards parkway station you have people travelling on the path in both directions on
    Everything from bikes to people with push chairs and dog walkers all travelling at different speeds so I just stick to the road ,
    I’m very we’ll it up on the bike so feel safer on the road which is wrong really but that’s the reality of it .
    It would of been much better to have a cycle lane in the road all the way down and the path was for pedestrians only

  9. Cyclists should not be on the pavement. However, I once complained to the council about car parking on cycle lanes. They came back to inform me that the type cycle lane in bradley stoke permits this. When I stated the dangers this caused they couldn’t care less. All they care about is packing in the houses to boost their income. If cyclists feel unsafe they will use the payments ( I did on occasion) , unfortunately poor pedestrians will now suffer.

  10. I am a cyclist with lights and a bell and I slow right down when I’m around pedestrians. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been shouted at by someone, usually a grumpy old man, and told to use the road. Appreciate deaf people have a problem hearing us coming but so do people wearing headphones with the music cranked right up. They wander aimlessly or walk right in the middle of the path and you have to second guess their next move.

    There are some real idiots out there, dressed in black wearing no hi-viz clothing and I don’t just mean cyclists! Pedestrians are just as difficult to see in the dark.

    Some respect for each other and a shared understanding of everyone’s issues is needed here. I’m also a pedestrian so I’m not taking sides!

  11. Roads, footpaths, cycle lanes – whatever its a shared space and we should be courteous to other people. Simple.

    Introducing further divisions, e.g. white markings, is just adding another excuse allowing us to hide behind the misguided belief that we don’t have to consider others.

    No one group is worse than another. I’ve seen inconsiderate motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, mobility scooters, children running loose, the lot. My personal frustration these last few weeks is with dog walkers using long leads that completely cross a path. I’ve almost cycled into their near invisible leads twice now. But its a shared space and we must accept the foibles of others.

    I vote for world peace!

  12. As a regular runner along Bradley Stoke Way, I would like to point out that it is not the cyclists who cause a danger to others, but rather ‘dog walkers’ who don’t think to shorten their extending dog leads. Surely leaping over dog leads is more likely to cause injury!!

  13. I do a lot of walking and some cycling round the Bradley Stoke area. I’ve been knocked off my bike by a group of runners in broad daylight on one occasion on the shared foot/cycle path along Bradley Stoke Way, even though I was going slowly and carefully; despite them coming towards me, they were too busy talking to each other and barged into me. The bruises and cuts left me limping for days.

    Getting angry isn’t going to help, as soon as you yell at someone they go on the defensive and won’t listen to your point of view.

    Walkers who weave across the entire path randomly or let their dogs roam on a very long leash can be a real nuisance no matter how slowly you go. The shared paths can be pretty dangerous from that point of view, but we all need to be alert to those dangers and give others some space and respect.

    It would be brilliant if the pedestrians and cyclists could be segregated by more than just a white line, even better if both had space and were away from the noise and traffic fumes, but then again, everyone’s moaning about not wanting to pay taxes either, you can’t have it both ways!