Pavement cyclists targeted by police in Canton, Cardiff

Transport campaigners Sustrans say the Welsh capital does not fare well in its provisions for cyclists

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Police have begun a "zero tolerance" crackdown on cyclists using pavements in parts of Cardiff.

But transport campaign group Sustrans Cymru says Cardiff is "significantly worse" than many cities for bikes, and says cyclists often find roads hostile.

The seven-week operation, which will run one day a week in Canton until 31 August, could see cyclists receive £30 fixed penalty notices if caught.

South Wales Police say they share local concerns about potential injuries.

It is an offence under the Highways Act to ride on a pavement in the UK.

Lee Waters, national director of Sustrans Cymru, said the statistic comparing the Welsh capital with other cities was revealed in a major survey which looks into travel behaviour.

It is part of the Welsh government's personalised travel planning project, which is a partnership between Sustrans and SocialData.

Start Quote

They may find it safer to go on the pavements. If they feel unsafe they may withdraw from the situation”

End Quote Lee Waters Director, Sustrans

"In Cardiff, it's significantly worse than most British cities," said Mr Waters.

"We know that there's great potential in Cardiff. The conditions are ripe but there's evidence to show we've got a long way to go to make it attractive to most who don't walk or cycle."

Cardiff council has a cycle network called Enfys, and he acknowledged a lot of good work was being done to making cycling better.

But he said that as more people took up cycling they could find conditions "frightening, hostile and unwelcoming".


"That may go some way to explaining why they use the pavements," said Mr Waters. "They may find it safer to go on the pavements.

"If they feel unsafe they may withdraw from the situation.

"But people shouldn't cycle on pavements and that should be enforced along with parking on cycle lanes, driver behaviour and bike thefts.

"I would hope the police take an equally vigilant attitude to these."

Cyclist on a pavement in Canton, Cardiff People caught cycling on pavements could face a £30 fine

Acting Sgt Gerallt Hughes from the Canton neighbourhood policing team said residents and councillors in the area have raised concerns about cyclists on the pavement.

"Residents said they have encountered cyclists using the public footpaths on a daily basis particularly on Cowbridge Road East which is clearly a very busy commercial street, congested with pedestrians.

"We share their concerns that somebody could get hurt soon and in response to these concerns we have began an awareness and enforcement campaign."

There were 118 cyclist fatalities and serious casualties along with 403 more slightly injured on the roads in Wales last year, according to figures released by the Welsh government.

Last month, about 100 cyclists took part in the fifth nine-mile Cardiff World Naked Bike Ride as part of organised protests over the dangers cyclists face on the road.

We asked if you had experience of cyclists on a pavement in Cardiff or elsewhere in Wales.

More cycle paths, i.e. split the pavements. Roads are a nightmare. I am police cyclist in Wales and unless someone is absolute dangerous or in a busy shopping centre would never ticket for riding on the pavement . Why not a cycle path through the main shopping centre this works in every other country and it works fine why not here? All it would cost is white paint and a line


As a pedestrian (and as a driver) I have had several very near misses where cyclists ignore traffic lights and pedestrian crossing signals. Some cyclists also go on to the pavement at red lights to avoid having to stop and then go back on the road shortly after. Let's hope that this type of behaviour is also included in the crackdown.

Leigh, Llantrisant,

Well done for ensuring the safety of pedestrians in Canton. Perhaps at the same time you can start ensuring that the ridiculous token cycle lanes are kept clear of vehicles too. Where are the wardens and Police? The root of the problem needs to be addressed and once again hasn't been. Doesn't Boulevard De Nantes look lovely with its new road surface and markings? Maybe if you'd included a cycle lane you'd have solved your ongoing problem of no cycle route through the city centre and nervous cyclists using Queen Street as their only alternative. Cardiff City Council, a bad joke.

Dave, Canton, Cardiff,

The pavements in Tremorfa, Cardiff, are a real hazard because of cyclists - both adult and children - riding their bikes at speed with no thought for pedestrians. And when you ask them to move - all you get is a mouthful of abuse. Police can't be everywhere at once time so I would be sceptical as to how this "crackdown" will help - but certainly Tremorfa is one of the areas where they need to be

Anne Louise Trebus, Cardiff

I cycle to work every day. I get the impression that bicycles are unwelcome everywhere, except possibly in the gutter. If I ride on the road amongst the cars, I am the slowest and most fragile thing on the road. I am treated as if I shouldn't be on the road. If I were to ride on the pavement I could be the fastest and most dangerous thing on the pavement. When I have ridden on the pavement, I have done it slowly and cautiously and only as an escape from a hostile road. This just leaves the gutter, uneven, sometimes littered with broken glass and still menaced by closely-passing cars. A bicycle is the most innocent form of mechanised transport. We need to make room for it.

A-Dzin Tridral, Cardiff

I am a cyclist in Cardiff and some of the roads are far too dangerous to use. I do cycle on the pavement at times BUT if I do so I cycle very slowly and don't harass any pedestrians. Even in The Hayes, part of which I THINK is a cycle friendly zone - but it is not signposted clearly, cyclist hurtle through at far too great a speed and the city centre police need to look at this area along with people using disabled buggies and again driving far too fast!

Sally Jenkins, Cardiff,

It's about time somethings was done about cyclists on pavements. I personally think that all cyclists should require fully comp insurance, just like car drivers, to cover any incidents/accidents where people are injured or cars are damaged by cyclists who scratch cars and cause damage when they manouvre from pavements to roads. The worst thing is even when they do cycle on the roads, they completely ignore road safety and rules, e..g crossing when traffic lights are red. It's about time they took more responsibility for their actions. Pay insurance and respect pedestrians and drivers.

A Lews, Cardiff,

In the interests of even-handedness I hope that a ban on motorists illegally driving on pavements will be enforced with similar vigour. The evidence of drivers parking on pavements, sometimes also blocking cycle lanes, is very apparent in Canton and elsewhere.

Pedestrian, Cardiff,

As a pedestrian, I have been in minor collisions with cyclists twice, and been verbally abused many times. This action is long overdue. Cyclists on pavements are a menace. Police need to take zero tolerance approach so that cyclists are aware that they shouldn't be on the pavement. The same cyclist who is hurtling along a pavement at speed will usually claim, when challenged, that the road is too dangerous for them. Well what about the pavement for me!

Mark, Cardiff,

The pavements in my area are both for cyclist and walkers but that doesn't seem to stop the pedestrians giving cyclists all kinds of abuse. I think a lot needs to be done to highlight these issues and maybe an advertising campaign to remind everyone of the highway code.

Michelle, north Wales,

Many cycle lanes in cardiff are placed exactly where you should not cycle (near to parked cars, edges of roundabouts) - so I generally avoid using them. Cyclists should stay off pavements - sorry but cyclists/pedestrians don't mix. Be assertive NOT aggressive - too many cyclists are aggressive and bad mannered. Take your place on the road. Don't try to hide away. I'm mainly a motorist but also regular cyclist in and around Cardiff, plus long distance touring and a firm believer cycling makes me a more considerate motorist. Best advice is to connect with the motorist, eye contact, communicate, hand/arm, wave, smile, be cheerful, thumbs up to thank motorist for considerate behaviour, give motorists the good feeling they have been considerate, stop at traffic lights, generally enjoy the experience, don't think you can get there faster !

Basil Hollington, Cardiff,

If i get a ticket for riding on the safer pavement where i see maybe one pedestrian every mile I will switch to the centre of the road lane and let traffic built up behine me until i finished my journey. At least they can't knock me off as they go past me or open their car doors as i am going past.. make the roads safer for cyclists before thinking up new ways to get money out of people that are cutting emissions.

Roger, Newport,

I have recently got myself a bike and use it to cycle to work. I have to go on the pavement in some areas. The cars are lethal, they drive to close, pull out of side road even though they can see you. Terrible! When I'm on the pavement I go slowly and make sure there is room for me and the pedestrian, if its a small pavement I will get off and push the bike

Dave, Cardiff,

This is an example of the wrong priority, with police majoring on the minors. Every few years a pedestrian is killed by a cyclist. This usually occurs when they step out into the road in front of a cyclist. By contrast 118 cyclists were killed last year in Wales alone. I cycled to work in Cardiff for eight years until I was finally knocked off my bike in a hit and run incident. On average, I came close to losing my life about once per month. I have ridden on the pavements. I gave pedestrians priority and did so with courtesy and consideration. There are already many paths which are already marked as being for pedestrians anc cyclists together. It is a far better mix than cyclists and motorists. There is very rarely any conflict. The law needs changing and many more pathways need marking up for sharing.

Tim Gould, Penarth,

I quit a while back in cardiff its not safe to use any form of two wheels , [only in the early morning in some parts of Cardiff] because many car drivers and lorries park in cycle lanes I would not advise anyone to use a cycle, the cycle paths are in need of repair and the good ones have broken glass on them and pot-holes on the roads dont make me be a keen green cyclist.

Lewis Fitzroy, Cardiff,

"When I cycle on pavements, I go slow", funny how all cyclists say that but it's not my experience, and then, even if you hit me slowly, you will hurt me. I am a pedestrian, I do not walk straight nor do I see very well. When I see a cyclist coming at me, on Queen St usually and not slowly, I freeze and hope they miss, Pedestrians should feel safe on pavements and yes, cyclists should feel safe on roads. Our issue is you. Yours are cars, please do not confuse the two and make us, pedestrians, suffer but take your own action against thoughtless and dangerous car drivers.

Teresa Deem, Pencoed,

I am sympathetic to the plans to stop cyclists riding on the pavements. I have been nearly knocked over and abused by cyclists and it's not safe. However, and this is a big however, I have also tried cycling myself. There are no cycle lanes, no cycle parks to leave your bike, most shops don't have anywhere outside you can lock your bike, the roads are hazardous and cars have no respect for the cyclist. I started cycling to work each day and I had to go up Newport Road. I have been tooted at, had buses overtake me on both sides (which is very scary) and exhaust pumped into my face. I don't cycle to work any more. While cyclists on pavements should be banned, they cannot do that while there is no safe alternative for cyclists. I agree with most of those above, Cardiff is absolutely rubbish for cyclists. Sort that out first, then crack down.

Robert, Cardiff,

"They" should do this. "They" all do that. Sweeping generalisation is rife when considering any cyclist topic. I cycle around 38 miles per day. Most drivers are courteous, most cyclists behave, most pedestrians loook where they are going. There are a minority of each category who are a danger to themselves and others. But, somehow, when a cyclist does something wrong it somehow applies to all cyclists. I have no objection to this action at all, though, as others have said, I trust there will be a one day per month crackdown on the speeding motorist, double yellow line motorist, unroadworthy vehicle operator and iPhone texting wandering pedestrian.

Chris Humphreys, Pencoed,

In an ideal world, cyclists would not have to cycle on the pavement. But many areas of Cardiff are very difficult for cyclists, especially if you are out on the bike with children. I see that the police are taking this action in Canton and on Cowbridge Road East in particular. I'm presuming that the police will also be keeping the red cycle lanes free for cyclists, though I'll believe it when I see it. For those complainaing about cyclists on the pavement, just take a look at the number of cars and vans regularly parking in the red "cycle" lanes.

Sean, Cardiff,

About time. My wife was knocked down by a cyclist and her wrist has never remained its strength. Pavements are not meant for cyclists. How many cyclists have a bell on their bike very few, and how many wear helmets for their own safety? The majority of cyclists I see are on a pavement next to a quiet road i know this is safer for a cyclist but in a collision who would come off worse a small child, an elderly person or the cyclist? The small exception riding on quiet pavements very slowly with eyes like hawks (stopping and looking round ever corner?) does not make this right, safe or legal.

Rob, Wrexham,

I have lived on North Road in Cardiff for 28yrs and over the past 4yrs they have put a cycle track outside my house. I do believe it is dangerous on the roads, I too ride a bike and grateful for the path to take me to work. But some cyclists use the path as a race track I have been pushed into my own hedge and told to "get out of the way". Some cyclists treat pavements and paths as their right to cycle at high speed they should have some consideration for people who walk. Not all cyclists are incosiderate, but some are down right rude.

Ann Jame, Cardiff,

I used to cycle on a regular basis and then I traded it in for my car. Having been on both sides I can understand both sides of the arguement. However, I think that although half of the cyclists are safe on the road there are a SIGNIFICANT amount of cyclists that think they can do whatever they want because they're on a bike instead of in a car. The number of cyclists i've seen cause danger not only to themselves but also to everyone around them is unbelievable. A lot of cyclists seem to go straight through red lights causing cars to slam on their brakes so they don't hit them. Then you have the cyclists that cycle in the middle of the road swerving back and forth causing distruption to the traffic as nobody can overtake safely.

Kimberley Lloyd, Cardiff,

Providing cycle paths to keep cyclists off the roads and pavements and to keep everybody safe is a waste of time. Take North Road. 3 or four lanes of traffic, walls along either side, separate cycle path running alongside. Do the cyclists use it? Of course not, they'd rather risk their lives switching lanes without warning and dodging in and out of the rush hour trafffic at high speed.

SG, Cardiff,

I have been cycle commuting in Cardiff for the last decade and seen cyclist numbers (those I see whilst cycling) increase from less than 5 a week to about 10 a day. The road is not dangerous if you cycle properly, but could be safer if there were more cyclists. Pavements are far too slow to use even if empty and that includes some shared paths. Campaigns are of little merit, what is needed is regular enforcement of all the law.

Mark, Caerphilly,

I agree, the roads should be safer for cyclists. We are the most vunderable thing on the road and are given very little respect my motorists. But, this isn't a new 'money making scheme' by the police. It is illegal to cycle on the pavement. I have never cycled on the pavement, in the same way that I don't speed in my car, as it's against the law.

Henry, Cardiff,

A lot of cyclists are motorists too so trying to set up a divide between the two is just silly. Yes, I am guilty of occasionally nipping onto the pavement and I know it's wrong but when the cycle lane is blocked up with illegally parked cars and you're sandwiched between a bus & a lorry, I get a little nervous. Some motorists need to know that the practice of 'taking the lane' isn't the action of a cyclist with a bolshy attitude but recommended by the Highway Code for cyclists in busy traffic.

Cath, Cardiff,

I think all road and pavement users are at fault sometimes. I have seen pedestrians walking in the cycle lanes. I have been hit by a cyclist as I was crossing on a green man pedestrian crossing, I have been blocked in with a cyclist either side of me whilst driving up Cowbridge Road so I could not pull round them and had to drive at their pace. Some car users park on pavements, drive in cycle lanes. I personally would love to cycle but do not because the roads ARE dangerous for cyclists but I am CONSIDERATE to pedestrians and follow the highway code so would not cycle on the pavement. As a country it would be better if we learned from cycle friendly countries and provided safe tracks for people to ride.

Jennie, Cardiff,

I hope the police are also looking at the traffic issues leading to 118 cyclist deaths.

Sue, Swansea,

I do all my cycling on the road when commuting, otherwise when cycling for leisure I use the NCR. Generally the roads are fine in rural areas however when I get to built up areas it can be quite intimidating as cars do not give you enough space and try to force you into the gutter or are just ignorant/unaware of cyclists to such an extent I was knocked of my bike while waiting to to turn right at a roundabout. the car saw the gap and put his foot down even though I was wearing a high visibility jacket. There needs to be a culture change and people need to become more aware of cyclists/pedestrians/motor vehicles. We maybe should have a look the Dutch or Belgiums and learn from them. As far as roads are concerned I was informed that cars are 4th in line behind emergency services, pedestrians and cyclists. Pavements I believe should be for pedestrians only unless otherwise stated, however in Cardiff bay where there is a lot of people, cyclists should dismount and walk as it is far to dangerous to cycle through.

Tony Goddard, Nelson, Caerphilly,

It's about time. I was knocked over and injured when stepping out of a shop doorway by a cyclist who clearly had no awareness of the speed he was travelling. I was on the pavement yet was accused of coming out of nowhere (a shop doorway). This is long overdue.

Joanne, Newport,

A possible fine of £30 to give you a vastly reduced chance of a serious or fatal collision on the pothole ridden, wholely inadequate road cycle network that is the Welsh gutter! Doesn't seem like a bad gamble to me. I would certainly not be changing my advice to my 10yr old daughter about cycling on pavements as a result of this overzealous campaign by a minority of narrow minded buisy bodies. Cycle networks are an after thought or a tick the box exercise for Welsh highway authorities, unlike that of our continental compadres who consider cycling a legitimate mode of transport. The lack of safe provision for cyclists on the road is the issue not the relatively few "near" misses that have occured and should be the focus of this debate.

Dave, Swansea,

I live on Lloyd George Avenue which has a nice separate two lane cycle lane along the lovely wide pavement next to the often-quiet and well managed road. Where do I find cyclist haring down at 25mph? On the pedestrian pavement! Even with suitable lanes it seems some cyclists will always take the lazy route. Things like that should definitely be ticketed, provision has been made for them and they're just being lazy. Cycle lanes are necessary in the busier areas as in teh quiet ones, they're ignored anyway.

Ally, Cardiff,

Hello, ex-Canton resident here. Traditional site for city centre bound cyclist. Oh look, a cycle lane full of parked cars. Considering this is a crackdown to stop cyclists on the pavement, shouldn't the crackdown also be applied to motorists parking in cycle lane (what few there actually are).

Michael, Cardiff,

I am a cyclist, I am a car driver and I am at times a pedestrian. There are good and bad examples of all of these categories in our society. There is the cyclist willing to endanger their life and the lives of other road/pavement users, there is the driver who never breaks the speed limit despite having penalty points on their driving licence for speeding and there is the pedestrian who always crosses the roads in a sensible manner, despite being plugged into their MP3 player and reading a book at the same time during their daily commute. But these people are usually in their minorities. If the people from these three categories stopped blaming each other and just started to be more considerate and less selfish I think traveling around this wonderful city would be less stressful

Kieran, Cardiff,

Please spare me the cyclists' "I'm in danger on the roads" whine. All that happens when cycle lanes and pavements are placed side by side is that cyclist take on the motorists' arrogance and pig-headedness and treat pedestrians with the similar disdain.

S Lambert, Cardiff,

I cycle to and from work along Cowbridge Rd East and to the beginner cyclist I can completely understand why they would not feel safe along this cycle path, particularly because the illegally parked cars blocking the cycle route are never policed. However, the pavement is far too busy for me to ever consider riding on it as it can not be done safely. There are road cycle safety courses available if you do not feel confident manouvering in and out of traffic.

Helen, Canton, Cardiff,

As a regular cyclist in Cardiff I find this news quite upsetting. Far from attempting to encourage cycling in the city, the authorities now seem to be criminalising cyclists. Cardiff has woeful provision for cyclists, red lines painted in the gutters provide no protection and car drivers are extremely dangerous and aggresive towards us. There are places, such as the 8-lane monster that is Newport Road, where cycling on it is unfathomably dangerous, and taking slowly and safely to the pavement is the only option.

Adam Blacklock, Cardiff,

Averages per year: No. of pedestrians killed by collisions with cyclists: 0.5; No. of cyclists killed by collisions with pedestrians: 12; No. of pedestrians killed by collisions with cars ON PAVEMENTS: 60

Kim, Bristol,

Like most cyclists, I'm law-abiding and considerate to others. But I'm embarrassed by the behaviour of a minority of cyclists. I've seen cyclists yelling at old ladies, deliberately clipping dogs or push chairs in the park, and once I saw an enraged cyclist stop and slap a woman. If the thug contingent isn't dealt with, all cyclists will end up on the wrong end of bans and other restrictions. I love cycling but it's not a licence to bully other path-users.

Junket, Cardiff,

I cycle commute from the railway station to the outskirts of Cardiff . I welcome this initiative , hopefully it is phase 1 of a well thought through plan which will also include educating the one driver each day who seems intent on killing me or the idiot pedestrian on a shared path with earphones in who cannot hear my warning . We need cyclists to be seen as legitimate road users and cyclists taking responsibility for their own actions has to be the first step.

Andrew Torrance, Maesteg,

Very much agree with the campaign, I am fed up, as a pedestrian, with being subject to near-misses by aggressive pavement cyclists (Newport Road). We need to improve the cycling route infrastructure to encourage cycling in the right place. However, the idea of just splitting pavements to provide cycle lanes is a non-starter. Pavements are full of people who cannot be expected to "look where they are going" or "stay out of the way" of cyclists on cycle lanes. I am talking about children, elderly people with poor eyesight, and, near my office, people with poor/no vision going to the Cardiff Institute for the Blind. These are the groups who often have no option but to use the pavements, to and from the buses etc., and don't deserve to be "buzzed" by cyclists who are trying to beat their own speed record to work (you know who you are!). Cyclists are traffic, and they need their own, separate, network.

Sam, Cardiff,

Last year whilst riding in the cycle lane on Cowbridge Rd a passenger of a car opened the door straight into my path (the car wasn't parked, it was in the road, so to the right of me). The woman immediately shouted that I shouldn't be on the road, I was in the cycle lane, which is a total joke, you ride so close to parked cars on the left and the quality of the lanes are ridiculous. I totally agree with not terrorising pedestrians on the pavement, but to purely focus on the exception of the few who use pavements inappropriately and not the real problem is offensive. Basically, make proper provisions for cyclists; there is no incentive to ride on most roads.

Phil, Cardiff,

I live in a quiet street with only average to narrow pavements cyclists tear down here on the pavements regardless of the fact that you cannot even hear a car let alone see one. We get entire families doing this regardless of the risk to elderly people in the street (of which there are many). They often wear headphones and even text whilst cycling! Whilst I understand the risks to cyclists on busy roads and don't see the harm in cycling slowly on some wide pavements where there is good visibility and few pedestrians it is a sign of the times that people show so little consideration for others.

Bev, Cardiff,

I live on Neville Street in Riverside and the council's decision to narrow the road to make way for a cycle lane is absolutely appalling. Firstly, only 10% of cyclists use it, the rest ride on the road which is a hazard as the road is narrow so dangerous to overtake cyclists and also parked cars are being clipped by cycles. Secondly, the cyclists who ride on the cycle lane sometimes ignore it and ride on the pavements (the cycle lanes are built into the pavement) thus causing a hazard to pedestrians especially children and the elderly who cannot move out of the way in time.

Iestyn, Cardiff,

I was once fined £30 in Port Talbot for riding my bike on a pedestrianised town centre area at 7am on a Saturday (I was going to work). This was 1988, prior to spot fines. The court case prior to mine fined someone £25 for smashing a restaurant window while drunk

Paul, Swindon,

Sure, there are bad cyclists, bad drivers and bad pedestrians. Instead of wasting money patrolling the streets looking for cyclists that sometimes don't have any other possible way to go due to illegal parking and aggressive driving the council should apply that money to create a valid cycle network in Cardiff. That might even change the attitude of most drivers and they might even start cycling. How many people I ask why they aren't cycling and the reply is always due to the road being dangerous... Get the police to patrol the roads instead and no considered cyclist will use the pavement. It's too slow to get to places anyway.

Renato, Cardiff,

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