Can I claim if I was injured when cycling on the pavement?

Cyclists are not not allowed to cycle on pavements, even if they perceive that it would be dangerous to cycle on the road. If you are injured when cycling on the pavement you may, in certain circumstances, still be able to claim compensation.

What does the law say about cycling on the pavement?

Cyclists are not allowed to ride on pavements, even if they consider it to be safer than cycling on the road.

Under Section 72 of the Highways Act 1835, cycling on the pavement is a criminal offence that carries a penalty for "persons committing nuisances by riding on footpaths".

This law is further reinforced by Section 85 of the Local Government Act 1888, which specifies that "bicycles, tricycles, velocipedes, and other similar machines are considered carriages according to the Highway Acts."

What is the penalty for cycling on a pavement?

Cycling on the pavement can lead to a fine ranging from £30 for a Fixed Penalty Notice, to a maximum of £500.

Furthermore, cycling on the pavement may also result in prosecution for careless or dangerous riding, or even causing death by dangerous riding."

The police do, however, tend to use discretion, especially where children are cycling on the pavement for safety reasons.

Making an injury claim

If you are injured while cycling, in order to make a compensation claim you will need to establish that the accident was caused by the negligence of another party.

If you were cycling along a pavement and you collided with pavement furniture such as a lamppost, a pavement bench, or a bus stop, it is unlikely that you would be able to hold another party liable for your accident. As cycling on the pavement is illegal, the court would most likely conclude that you wouldn't have collided with the object if you weren't cycling on the pavement.

However, if an out-of-control vehicle mounted the pavement and hit you while cycling on the pavement, the driver of the vehicle could be held liable for your injuries. In this example the driver (defendant) may argue that you would not have been hit by the vehicle if you had not been cycling on the pavement.

Your solicitor might counter by arguing that if you were on the road in the same place, you could still have been hit, or if you were pushing your cycle along the pavement, the outcome could have been similar.

Contributory negligence

Contributory negligence is a legal principle that can arise in personal injury cases, including cycling injury claims. It refers to the idea that the injured party may have contributed to the accident or their injuries in some way. In the context of cycling, contributory negligence could arise if a cyclist fails to obey traffic laws, such as running a red light or cycling under the influence of alcohol, and as a result, they are involved in an accident.

If it is determined that the injured party's actions or omissions contributed to the accident or the severity of their injuries, their compensation may be reduced to reflect their level of responsibility. The exact percentage of the reduction will depend on the specific circumstances of the case and the extent to which the injured party's actions contributed to the accident or injuries.

Read more:

What is contributory negligence?


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