Spokes Launches “Polite Cycling”

Posted by chdot on November 2, 2007

polite cycling poster
Cycling is booming in Edinburgh. More cyclists means a few more who ignore the Highway Code, run red lights, cycle without lights at night, cruise the pavements etc. etc. It happens – though perhaps not as often as some people who post comments on Evening News stories might believe!

Ian Maxwell of Spokes says, “although the vast majority of cyclists behave properly, we do receive complaints about the reckless or selfish behaviour of some cyclists. Unlike the driver stuck inside a car, cycling is a sociable activity, and we recommend that cyclists say hello and smile at people when riding past.”

To remind cyclists of their responsibilities – and to prove that it doesn’t just ‘demand more rights’ – Spokes has launched the Polite Cycling campaign. It concentrates on four areas-

SHARED PATHS. Slow down, ring bell, say thanks when passing.
TRAFFIC LIGHTS. You are traffic too, so stop at red.
AFTER DARK. Use front and back lights so you can be seen.
CANAL TOW PATHS. Slow down when passing pedestrians and at bridges.

The last is perhaps where a few inconsiderate cyclists cause the most grief. The gradual improvements to the towpath are largely due to cycle campaigners – particularly the work of Sustrans. The narrow path (and narrower bridges) is used by a wide range of people; walkers, dog-walkers, dogs (with and without leads), toddlers, children learning to cycle etc.

It’s also used by some fast commuters and mountain bikers rushing to and from the Balerno Branch to the Pentlands. A few believe that everyone will – and should – get out of their way…

To spread the Polite Cycling message, Spokes has paid for 10,000 reflective slap bands printed with the four “Bike Polite” slogans and logos. These are being distributed through Edinburgh cycle shops.

6 Responses to “Spokes Launches “Polite Cycling””

  1. Lee said

    Ian Maxwell of Spokes says, “although the vast majority of cyclists behave properly, we do receive complaints about the reckless or selfish behaviour of some cyclists”.

    The picture of the Ned on his phone in the Flickr swatch says it all.

  2. If you’re a cyclist trying to get somewhere quickly, and doesn’t want to slow down on shared paths, why do drivers shout at cyclists to use the cycle path? (It happened to me about a week ago.)

  3. martin gemmell said

    Good idea – if we cyclists want car drivers to behave civilly towards us we need to observe the highway code on the road and show consideration for other users of off road paths. I also think that bike shops should include the price of a bell and lights when they sell a bike.

  4. jacquiephelan said

    ‘cos they are jealous of your unrestrained progress on ‘their roads”
    I geddit alla time \

  5. Phil said

    I rarely use off road cycle paths as there are too many problems mixing bikes and pedestrians, for example dogs on retractable leads. If you do ring your bell (which I believe along with reflectors are fitted to every bike bought from a bike shop)pedestrians think you’re being rude.
    Other problems include road junctions, house drives and the fact that cycle paths seem to disappear when things get complicated leaving you often on the wrong side of a busy junction.
    I would encourage cyclists to use the roads and obey the rules!

  6. JT said

    I notice from this article that pavements are not mentioned anywhere and there are specific laws which relate to cycling on the pavement i.e. under Rule 64 of the Highway Code which states “You MUST NOT cycle on a pavement.” Under Section 129 (5) of the Road (Scotland) Act 1984 it is an offence to ride a pedal cycle on a footway or footpath, this offence can be dealt with by Police Officers by the way of a Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty carrying a fine of £30 payable within 28 days”.

    Come on Lothian and Borders Police USE your powers to fine these illegal road users or should I say pavement users.

    A Pedestrian (NB not a car user or owner)

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