Cycling and the law

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  • Richmond Park and the 20mph limit... I asked a lawyer about this a while ago and in response to the 60 London Dynamo riders on a Saturday morning this was his view:

    Just off the top of my head, as I don't have immediate access to an updated version of the Road Traffic Act 1988, I'd call your attention to section 29:

    [quote=HMSO]If a person rides a cycle on a road without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road, he is guilty of an offence. In this section "road" includes a bridleway.

    It's arguable that a group of 60 or more cyclists cycling together would be failing to have reasonable consideration for other persons using the road. If it were Scotland, you'd face a host of common law offences too, from breach of the peace to mobbing. I can't comment on what the English equivalents would be though. You could also have section 163(2) and (3): a person riding a cycle on a road must stop if required to do so by a constable in uniform, and commits an offence if he does not do so.

    More interestingly, I thought there might be Park byelaws but it transpires that Richmond Park is a Royal Park and so it's regulated by secondary legislation instead, which is helpful as it means HMSO publishes the Regulations: The Royal Parks and Other Open Spaces Regulations 1997. They were amended in 2004 to reduce the speed limit in Richmond Park to 20 mph.

    I call your attention to Regulation 3 (acts prohibited in the park), in particular:

    • Reg. 3(1) (intentionally or recklessly interfering with the safety, comfort or convenience of any person using a Park in accordance with these Regulations)
    • Reg. 3(9) (failing to comply with any direction for the regulation or control of... (a) horses or pedal cycles... given by a constable or by a notice exhibited by order of the Secretary of State)
    • Reg. 3(10) (using any pedal cycle... in any manner that endangers or is likely to endanger any person)
    • Reg. 3(16) (failing to comply with a reasonable direction given by a constable to leave a Park or any part thereof)

    Regulation 3(9) is a constable's authority under the law to give directions for the regulation or control of pedal cycles. Compare this with regulation 3(16) which has to be a reasonable direction. Interestingly, the Regulations only give power to demand your name and address (reg. 5), so the police must presumably be intending to rely on sections 29 and 163 of the Road Traffic Act which allow arrest if you fail to supply that information, if I remember correctly.

    On balance, I'd say the facts you described give rise to potential breaches of section 29 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, as well as the general regulation 3(1) and the more specific regulations 3(9) and (10) of the The Royal Parks and Other Open Spaces Regulations 1997, with potentially regulation 3(16) thrown in for good measure.

    Breach of the RTA are punished under the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988: Schedule 1 lays out the maxima, but the relevant ones are section 29 offences (level 1 i.e. £200) and section 163 offences (level 3 i.e. £1,000). I was struggling to find out how breaches of the Royal Parks Regulations were punished, but it's done under the Parks Regulation Act 1872 and the Parks Regulation (Amendment) Act 1926, section 2(1) of which provides that contravening the Regulations is an offence against the 1872 Act and is punishable by a level 1 (£200) fine.

    I thought they'd moved the fines levels up, but I can't see anything to show this. Anyway, have fun...! The 'just off the top of my head' bit is now wrong, as I had to log in to various things to pull up the pre-1987 legislation.
    [/quote]

    Basically you can be done for speeding in a Royal Park, and if you're stopped by a policeman it would be an offence to not do anything reasonable asked by him (i.e. slow down, or leave the park).

    On consuming alcohol and cycling, I'd asserted that you couldn't be done as you weren't in charge of a motorised vehicle, but the correct answer was:

    RTA 1988 s. 30(1) covers cycling while under the influence of drink or drugs. It provides that:

    [quote]A person who, when riding a cycle on a road or other public place, is unfit to ride through drink or drugs (that is to say, is under the influence of drink or a drug to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of the cycle) is guilty of an offence.
    which is a rather less stringent test than motorists having to have less than a certain proportion of alcohol in blood. There's always still the general offences of dangerous cycling and careless and inconsiderate cycling (ss. 28 and 29) too. I've not been able to find any reported cases of prosecutions for cycling while under the influence, but the odds are that they wouldn't make it into the law reports anyway.[/quote]

    Which basically means you can drink providing you have retained control of your bicycle and aren't doing a murtle (as it's known).

    Any other legal clarifications that we know to these kind of assumptions/questions?

  • Now all we need is a bye law to stop those London Dynamo locusts from eating all the good cakes from the cafe at the top of Box Hill.

  • Hello,
    is anybody know what could be the fine for "cycling without due care and attention" offence, in a Park path,if you are proved guilty? (section 29 of the Road Traffic Act 1988)
    (no alcohol involved)

  • royal park or non-royal park?

  • I quite like the drinking laws for cycling. They're quite reasonable. As long as you're able to control the bike you're fine. I cycle home after a few pints regularly and it's good to know that it's legal. Riding drunk is always entertaining but not something I like to do if I can help it.

  • Any other legal clarifications that we know to these kind of assumptions/questions?

    Yeah, the fine is £300 now (and not the £200 set in 1988) - the money (the fine) goes directly to the coffers of the Queen - plus you will need to pay the court costs if (when) you lose.

    The royal family are, of course, cunts and should, in the nature of their remit, give the parks over to the tide of need of the day.

  • One other royal park thing . . . .

    The Boardwalk in Regents is open to cyclists (as from August last year/08) until early 2010.

    Little advertised, many won't know.

  • One other royal park thing . . . .

    The Boardwalk in Regents is open to cyclists (as from August last year/08) until early 2010.

    Little advertised, many won't know.

    What happens at the end of early 2010 then ?

  • What happens at the end of early 2010 then ?

    One of two things.

    Either the Broadwalk is established as a permanent cycle route for the people of London or it reverts to an enormously wide and generally empty footpath where cyclists will be aggressively prosecuted by the police and legal system earning the owner of the park (the majestic and royal mammal known as the 'Queen') additional revenue for her family's pornographically luxurious and parasitical lifestyle.

  • tynan. if i was loaded i'd hire you to write my biography.

  • He's already writing* mine so you'll have to wait.

    *collating my posts from various online fora, forai, forumski, foralumni

  • Yeah, the fine is £300 now (and not the £200 set in 1988) - the money (the fine) goes directly to the coffers of the Queen - plus you will need to pay the court costs if (when) you lose.

    The royal family are, of course, cunts and should, in the nature of their remit, give the parks over to the tide of need of the day.

    I have layed many a long and satisfying shit in RP, it cheers me to think that it is the queen's property, that is all

  • Your a funny man Festerban.

  • could you commit an offence, say sppeding, but get off it if you explained that you are rich and famous and were in a hurry to get to the royal bogs to loiter with your trousers round your ankles whilst taking copious amounts of drugs. you could edge your bets even further if said 'trousers' were part of a nazi uniform.
    worth a try?

  • One other royal park thing . . . .

    The Boardwalk in Regents is open to cyclists (as from August last year/08) until early 2010.

    Little advertised, many won't know.

    Unless I'm turning into a mental, they only stopped that from being a cycle path last year? The sign they put up was so poorly visible (in the hedge) that the rozzers let me off a couple of times.

  • it was in a Royal Park
    As the pedestrian got injured, if the court decided to give a Level 1 or 2 fine, could I have other fees (damage) that I have to pay to the "victim" (if he convicted the Court I was guilty of course!) (no alcohol involved her)

  • I was under the impression there isn't a speed limit for cyclists unless it is specifically mentioned. a blanket 20mph is only motorised vehicles no?

    I only thought that cyclists could get done for 'furious cycling' in regards to general speed limits

  • I was under the impression there isn't a speed limit for cyclists unless it is specifically mentioned. a blanket 20mph is only motorised vehicles no?

    Speed limits apply to 'mechanically propelled vehicles'. That refers to the power source, not the mechanism, so pedal cycles are excluded.

    I only thought that cyclists could get done for 'furious cycling' in regards to general speed limits

    Not with regard to general speed limits. This page (which I'm sure has been posted in this thread before) explains (scroll quite far down):

    bikeforall.net/content/cyclin­g_and_the_law.php

    The offence is more with regard to how you comport yourself in traffic given.

  • One other royal park thing . . . .

    The Boardwalk in Regents is open to cyclists (as from August last year/08) until early 2010.

    Little advertised, many won't know.

    BMMF has a funny story about dropping a cycle-copper on the boardwalk.

    That is all.

  • Does anyone know which part of the RTRA or RTA (or even Highway Code) refers to giving way / priority to pedestrians?

    Specifically, is there anything that relates to giving way on a piece of road that has no crossing, and is not a turning?

    Pedestrians have priority at zebra crossings, at light controlled crossings if they began crossing during a green phase and at road junctions when they are going in the direction of the major road.
    If you hit or almost hit a pedestrian while cycling on a road you could be prosecuted for dangerous or reckless cycling, or manslaughter. Under common law pedestrians have the right to use the queen's highway except where there is a prohibition (Motorways, tunnels etc). It is always a good idea not to run into pedestrians, especially the deaf/blind ones who are texting while plugged into an ipod while crossing the road.


    In the Royal Parks the 20mph speed limits apply to cyclists, soon they will have the power to issue fixed penalty notices, that means you are more likely to be done but you will have a lower fine and will not have to pay court costs.

  • I read in the LCC magazine last night that traffic wardens will now be able to get the police to remove bikes looked up to street furnitre. Is this correct? Seeing as there are far more cyclists in London than provided places to look them up this seems a bit rediculous.

  • Thanks for that. Am I right in thinking that there is not general requirement to give way, other than where specified?

    If you cause an accident which you could have avoided i.e by giving way you are at fault.

  • I read in the LCC magazine last night that traffic wardens will now be able to get the police to remove bikes looked up to street furnitre. Is this correct?
    No, it's not going to happen. We had a great victory in the House of Lords committee. They threw out 20% of the whole bill thanks to the work of some volunteer legal experts. Story here:
    lcc.org.uk/index.asp?PageID=1­299
    Picture shows Lucy's new Veloheld from Velorution.

  • No, it's not going to happen. We had a great victory in the House of Lords committee. They threw out 20% of the whole bill thanks to the work of some volunteer legal experts. Story here:
    lcc.org.uk/index.asp?PageID=1­299
    Picture shows Lucy's new Veloheld from Velorution.

    Fantastic. Well done.

  • BMMF has a funny story about dropping a cycle-copper on the boardwalk.

    That is all.

    We need to hear it.

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Cycling and the law

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