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Is cycling on a footpath a trespass??

kiniookinioo Posts: 776
edited December 2015 in MTB general
What is your knowledge on this ??

Is it legal or illegal ??

Do we have a right to cycle on footpaths ??

Chris
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Posts

  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown

  • Interesting article! I'm sure I was not alone in thinking - well of course it isn't allowed - but that article suggests that while it's not specifically permitted, it's not specifically banned either.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    Trespass is not illegal.

    As long as you're riding on a footpath and not a pavement it's not illegal. Riding on a pavement is illegal.

    It may be trespass, in which case if the landowner complains, get off and walk.

    Tell any annoying walkers, if they complain, to fark off and mind their own business.

    That's my reading anyway.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • Chunkers1980Chunkers1980 Posts: 8,035
    And a pavement is different to a footpath. A pavement runs along the side of a road and footpath generally goes across any land.
  • kiniookinioo Posts: 776
    Trespass is not illegal.

    As long as you're riding on a footpath and not a pavement it's not illegal. Riding on a pavement is illegal.

    It may be trespass, in which case if the landowner complains, get off and walk.

    Tell any annoying walkers, if they complain, to fark off and mind their own business.

    That's my reading anyway.

    Fair enough!
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    and that is because there is not definative answer other than it is not unless it is. see local bylaws.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • But then there is the matter of civil law, which it may or may not be against but then even if the landowner could prove you've caused them damage they'd have to sue you, but then they'd have to know who you are first, and you're not required to identify yourself!

    It does give me some heart, there's a very useful cut through road which is a private road but designated as a footpath, although there are signs up saying no cycling!
  • plugp7plugp7 Posts: 351
    One hopes the Welsh Assembly gets the Access Laws passed next year as Scotland did in 2003 (Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003) . There then should be no logical reason Westminster should not do the same for England. Blood stupid archaic situation we have now.
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    Whether it's legal or not I would avoid riding on them and any short sections I do ride I keep it slow.
    I get p1ssed off when walkers are on marked mtb trails when I'm blasting down them so it works both ways. There's plenty of places to ride without using footpaths.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    I regularly encounter situations where bridleways change to footpaths and then revert back-again a while later - I find most walkers obliging except the times I encounter large throngs of the bobble-hat brigade (often on bridleways) who walk three-abreast on double-track and refuse to get out of the way. Best option is to ride further than 800m from a car-park, most people won't walk that far
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  • BigAlBigAl Posts: 3,122
    Whether it's legal or not I would avoid riding on them and any short sections I do ride I keep it slow.
    I get p1ssed off when walkers are on marked mtb trails when I'm blasting down them so it works both ways. There's plenty of places to ride without using footpaths.
    This.

    It's all about respect for other users so it cuts both ways.

    I'm not a 'rambler' but I do use the footpaths in the countryside around me. I would expect any bikers using footpaths to be travelling slowly and treat walkers with respect.

    TBH I find the whole walkers vs bikers vs horse riders a complete nonsense. I very very rarely encounter any problems whether walking or riding my bike (I don't have a horse!). There's enough out there for everyone to enjoy
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    I often ride on local footpaths, the farmers don't mind as long as you stick to the paths, I go quickly when there is an open siteline and at a speed I can stop from in the vision distance available when it gets tighter. If there are walkers I slow to about walking speed to pass or dismount depending on the situation/space, never had one complain, most (possibly all - can't remember any who didn't) respond in kind to a cheery hello.

    As noted, cycling on footpaths (rights of way) is not illegal but can be a trespass, all an aggrieved party can claim for is losses they suffer, which in most cases is none at all of course! Cycling on a bridleway is perfectly legal.

    Cycling on the footway next to a road (both are paved, so both are pavement in the strict sense of the word) is illegal, as is cycling on a local authority footpath that is not next to a road where there is a byelaw in place prohibiting it, if there is no byelaw then it's perfectly OK. Finding out if there is a byelaw (or not) can be a pain in the 'arris as it could be under the parish council, borough council or county council (in non metropolitan areas).

    I use a local authority footpath almost daily that cuts out about 1/2 of road on my commute, there is a 'no cycling' sign one end but none the other, after about 3 months of work I got confirmations from all three layers of council that none were aware of any byelaw prohibiting cycling, so I use it, but at about 5mph (it's only 100 yards long, so going fast saves no real time).
  • I use a local authority footpath almost daily that cuts out about 1/2 of road on my commute, there is a 'no cycling' sign one end but none the other...
    I have the same near me - a path with a no-cycling sign at one end but not the other. Why not place signs at both ends? First time I cycled through it in genuine ignorance.
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    One way cycling allowed?
  • brianbeebrianbee Posts: 330
    I often ride on local footpaths, the farmers don't mind as long as you stick to the paths, I go quickly when there is an open siteline and at a speed I can stop from in the vision distance available when it gets tighter. If there are walkers I slow to about walking speed to pass or dismount depending on the situation/space, never had one complain, most (possibly all - can't remember any who didn't) respond in kind to a cheery hello.

    As noted, cycling on footpaths (rights of way) is not illegal but can be a trespass, all an aggrieved party can claim for is losses they suffer, which in most cases is none at all of course! Cycling on a bridleway is perfectly legal.

    Cycling on the footway next to a road (both are paved, so both are pavement in the strict sense of the word) is illegal, as is cycling on a local authority footpath that is not next to a road where there is a byelaw in place prohibiting it, if there is no byelaw then it's perfectly OK. Finding out if there is a byelaw (or not) can be a pain in the 'arris as it could be under the parish council, borough council or county council (in non metropolitan areas).

    I use a local authority footpath almost daily that cuts out about 1/2 of road on my commute, there is a 'no cycling' sign one end but none the other, after about 3 months of work I got confirmations from all three layers of council that none were aware of any byelaw prohibiting cycling, so I use it, but at about 5mph (it's only 100 yards long, so going fast saves no real time).

    I agree entirely with your summation of the law, with the exception of a technical revision of the final paragraph.

    The term ''footpath'' has its own legal definition which is some what more exacting than a path used by people on foot. The definition is contained in the Wild Life and Countryside Act Its requires ''footpaths to be entered on a register of footpaths AND also be shown on an OS map as being such by the use of the appropriate footpath symbol.

    If your faced with the same issue again, just consulting an OS map will quickly establish if it is a footpath or not. If the ''path is not a footpath then its most probably a ( byway), in which case its covered under the Highways Act(s), if there are restrictions in place, then signs should be position to inform you of the fact.
  • batmobatmo Posts: 277
    just consulting an OS map will quickly establish if it is a footpath or not.
    Alas, an OS map only covers changes to a certain date given in the legend. This also explains that, as the name suggests, the Definitive Map held by the Local Authority is the authoritative source.
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  • brianbeebrianbee Posts: 330
    just consulting an OS map will quickly establish if it is a footpath or not.
    Alas, an OS map only covers changes to a certain date given in the legend. This also explains that, as the name suggests, the Definitive Map held by the Local Authority is the authoritative source.

    but unfortunately that is what the law states, clearly if the designation as a footpath is very new, it may not appear till the next edition,
  • FishFishFishFish Posts: 2,238
    And I think that the map in question is the 1:25k scale as I seem to recall the 1:50k scale disclaims paths shown as rights of way.
    ...take your pickelf on your holibobs.... :D

    jeez :roll:
  • bungle73bungle73 Posts: 740
    just consulting an OS map will quickly establish if it is a footpath or not.
    Alas, an OS map only covers changes to a certain date given in the legend. This also explains that, as the name suggests, the Definitive Map held by the Local Authority is the authoritative source.
    It should all be the same though, given that any PRoW would had probably been there for centuries, and it is very unlikely that a PRoW designated as a bridleway or above would have been downgraded to a footpath. The only change that is likely it is a re-routing for one reason or another, and that should be clearly marked on the ground.
    And I think that the map in question is the 1:25k scale as I seem to recall the 1:50k scale disclaims paths shown as rights of way.
    Not sure what you mean? PRoWs are clearly marked as such on 1:25k and 1:50k OS maps.
  • Trespass is not illegal.
  • brianbeebrianbee Posts: 330
    Trespass is not illegal.
    Aggravated trespass is
  • Cycling on a footpath is not illegal per se.

    The home office advice that came out with the 2000 legislation said;

    “The introduction of the fixed penalty is not aimed at responsible cyclists who sometimes feel obliged to use the pavement out of fear of the traffic, and who show consideration to other pavement users.
    "Chief police officers, who are responsible for enforcement, acknowledge that many cyclists, particularly children and young people, are afraid to cycle on the road, sensitivity and careful use of police discretion is required.”

    I sometimes hop up on the pavement on a more narrow road if a big lorry can't get past me, and there are no peds on the pavement, for example.
  • brianbeebrianbee Posts: 330
    Cycling on a footpath is not illegal per se.

    The home office advice that came out with the 2000 legislation said;

    “The introduction of the fixed penalty is not aimed at responsible cyclists who sometimes feel obliged to use the pavement out of fear of the traffic, and who show consideration to other pavement users.
    "Chief police officers, who are responsible for enforcement, acknowledge that many cyclists, particularly children and young people, are afraid to cycle on the road, sensitivity and careful use of police discretion is required.”

    I sometimes hop up on the pavement on a more narrow road if a big lorry can't get past me, and there are no peds on the pavement, for example.

    Two problems 1) what you are referring too is pavement ( footway) not a foot path and this thread is about footpaths AND 2) cycling a foot-way(pavement is most certainly illegal and has been so since 1870 something
  • Cycling on a footpath is not illegal per se.

    The home office advice that came out with the 2000 legislation said;

    “The introduction of the fixed penalty is not aimed at responsible cyclists who sometimes feel obliged to use the pavement out of fear of the traffic, and who show consideration to other pavement users.
    "Chief police officers, who are responsible for enforcement, acknowledge that many cyclists, particularly children and young people, are afraid to cycle on the road, sensitivity and careful use of police discretion is required.”

    I sometimes hop up on the pavement on a more narrow road if a big lorry can't get past me, and there are no peds on the pavement, for example.

    Two problems 1) what you are referring too is pavement ( footway) not a foot path and this thread is about footpaths AND 2) cycling a foot-way(pavement is most certainly illegal and has been so since 1870 something


    You must be fun at parties.

    Mary :Hi David. How are you doing?
    David :good thanks. Long day at the office but glad it's the weekend.
    David :how about you?
    Mary :I'm really good tha...
    Brian: hang on, hang on! This conversation's about how David's doing.
    Brian : no one wants to hear about how you're doing Mary.
  • brianbeebrianbee Posts: 330
    Cycling on a footpath is not illegal per se.

    The home office advice that came out with the 2000 legislation said;

    “The introduction of the fixed penalty is not aimed at responsible cyclists who sometimes feel obliged to use the pavement out of fear of the traffic, and who show consideration to other pavement users.
    "Chief police officers, who are responsible for enforcement, acknowledge that many cyclists, particularly children and young people, are afraid to cycle on the road, sensitivity and careful use of police discretion is required.”

    I sometimes hop up on the pavement on a more narrow road if a big lorry can't get past me, and there are no peds on the pavement, for example.

    Two problems 1) what you are referring too is pavement ( footway) not a foot path and this thread is about footpaths AND 2) cycling a foot-way(pavement is most certainly illegal and has been so since 1870 something


    You must be fun at parties.

    Mary :Hi David. How are you doing?
    David :good thanks. Long day at the office but glad it's the weekend.
    David :how about you?
    Mary :I'm really good tha...
    Brian: hang on, hang on! This conversation's about how David's doing.
    Brian : no one wants to hear about how you're doing Mary.

    Not sure why your getting sarky ? you made a statement which was a) about the wrong topic, and b) if it had been on the correct topic, was wrong !

    Mary, ''can you tell me were the nearest petrol station is''

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    '
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    Agreed, you can't make a statement that neither applies to the question asked nor is factually correct without expecting it to be picked up on, especially as your wording was such that it was vague as to its application.

    The 2000 legislation related to introducing fixed penalties for an offence that had long existed instead of court being the only option, it in no way changed the law.

    Incitement to commit an offence is of course an offence.......
  • booldawgbooldawg Posts: 290
    There are some decent, rideable footpaths out there and also some awfully kept bridleways.

    I'll use a footpath but armed with the knowledge I'm not permitted to ride on it; if the path is narrow and there are walkers, I'll dismount to let them pass or if I need to pass will do so courteously.

    Not all areas are blessed with miles upon miles of rideable bridleways all linked up to form perfect rides, sometimes its inevitable a footpath will have to be used. It is round here anyway.

    Like someone else put on here, if you're more than 800 yards from a car park you have it pretty much to yourself anyway.
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  • brianbeebrianbee Posts: 330
    There are some decent, rideable footpaths out there and also some awfully kept bridleways.

    I'll use a footpath but armed with the knowledge I'm not permitted to ride on it; if the path is narrow and there are walkers, I'll dismount to let them pass or if I need to pass will do so courteously.

    Not all areas are blessed with miles upon miles of rideable bridleways all linked up to form perfect rides, sometimes its inevitable a footpath will have to be used. It is round here anyway.

    Like someone else put on here, if you're more than 800 yards from a car park you have it pretty much to yourself anyway.

    Im not sure you have followed the thread ?

    There is NO general restriction on riding a bike on a footpath, so I am not sure why you think its not permitted, Not permitted by whom ?
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    It would be a trespass, that sounds like a general restriction to me BB? All explained in this thread you've suggested HE hasn't read as well?
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