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Obey the rules, PSNI tells cyclists after complaints rise over riders on footpath

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Advice: Inspector Rosie Leech

Advice: Inspector Rosie Leech

Advice: Inspector Rosie Leech

Police have called on all cyclists to make sure they are aware of road safety rules after complaints about the numbers on footpaths.

Officers issued the plea due to how many people are taking up or returning to cycling as their daily exercise following the coronavirus lockdown.

One man living in Carrickfergus posted on social media that there were "far too many adult cyclists on the footpath".

He added: "I personally have experienced a cyclist passing me at speed from behind and at a distance of less than three feet.

"Most of these cyclists will be perspiring and spraying droplets as they pass, possibly infected with Covid-19. To me that doesn't seem very safe.

"There is supposed to be less traffic on the roads at the moment, therefore it should be safer for cyclists to ride on the road."

PSNI Inspector Rosie Leech told the Belfast Telegraph: "Like all road users, cyclists share the responsibility for road safety.

"In the first instance cyclists should use the roads and designated cycle lanes, as cycling on the pavement is an offence of failure to comply with the Rule of the Road, Art 3 of The Road Traffic Regulation (Northern Ireland) Order 1997.

"Police officers will always consider all the circumstances regarding any particular instance of someone cycling on a pavement before resorting to a fixed penalty notice or a prosecution.

"Police would also remind both motorists and cyclists to be mindful of other road users and respect the shared space on our roads.

"It is critical that all road users, whether as a motorist, cyclist or pedestrian, consider their actions as we all share the roads and the responsibility for road safety," she added.

The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) has also called on cyclists to take the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the rules of The Highway Code.

The code covers key rules cyclists should follow to keep themselves safe, including wearing a helmet, road safety and use of designated cycle routes.

DfI added: "The Highway Code (Rule 64) states clearly 'you must not cycle on a footway or footpath unless on a cycle track where one has been provided'.

"It is a matter for the PSNI if anyone using a bicycle breaches the rules of the road.

"The department is committed to promoting and improving road safety and would encourage everyone who shares the roads and footways to be considerate of others."

Last month Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon announced a new walking and cycling champion with a clear focus on transforming communities and developing creative solutions to support the new way of living during and after the pandemic.

Her department is also developing urgent pilot proposals for extended footpaths, pop-up cycle lanes and pedestrian priority streets that can be delivered in partnership with councils and communities.

Belfast Telegraph