Saturday, 12 October 2013

Pavement Cycling fines in Cambridge

A local newspaper has published some data from Cambridgeshire Constabulary on tickets issued to cyclists found to be Cycling on a Footway.

I have made a Freedom of Information request to get the data, but until then the only source I can find is via the newspaper.

Issuing tickets to cyclists by crackdowns and local Police priorities is common in Cambridge.  Some of those tickets will be justified but others will not.  I have previously argued that simply ticketing cyclists in Cambridge for being on the footway is not a sound strategy. Councillors should be looking to understand the root cause of footway cycling and its level of harm in a particular location.

To learn something, I have combined three datasets for a very rough correlation.

  • Cycling on Footway tickets. Three years.
  • Amount of collisions pedestrians and cyclists are involved in. Note, the majority of these will be cars colliding with pedestrians or cyclists. Three years, STATS19 data.
  • Speeding tickets, mostly from automated cameras. Unspecified amount of years in the FOI.

Footway cycling tickets vs no. of collisions affecting pedestrians or cyclists vs speeding FPNs issued.
Road & Desc Tickets Collisions
(ped or cycle)
Speeding FPNs
Arbury Road2912
Mill Rd2468
Milton Rd/Arbury Rd junction9(repeat data?)
Milton Rd7471757
Huntingdon Rd633 est350
Sidney Street, Petty Cury, Histon Road4Histon Rd=19Histon Rd=583
Magdalene Street, Round Church Street, Silver Street, Jesus Lane, Burleigh Street4
East Road, Mount Pleasant, St Andrew’s Street, Trinity Street, Union Lane 216 est
Panton Street, Parkside, Regent Street, Warkworth Terrace, Northampton Road1


  • Arbury Road - hostile rat run, riding feels like you are on a motor racing track. Start/stop shared use paths.
  • Mill Rd - congested busy, hostile road, particularly at rail bridge where cyclists are slowly ascending. Aggressive taxis.
  • Milton Rd/Arbury Rd junction - shared-use paths join here. Unclear signage led to cyclists being unfairly ticketed. Busy A road, artery into the city. Very common for follow through Red light jumping cars. Cyclists sharing pedestrian phase
  • Milton Rd - Mostly shared use with a few gaps where timid cyclists will have to move onto arterial roads.
  • Huntingdon Rd - Major artery, speeding traffic. Pinch point traffic islands. Popular quiet cycling routes cross this road via staggered routes. Tempting to cycle to nearby pedestrian crossings help get across safely, eg near Storeys Way. Illegal to cycle to?
  • Sidney Street - part of the awkward city centre one-way system.
  • Petty Cury - no excuse, clearly a pedestrian shopping zone.
  • Histon Road - frightening bus corridor with dangerous 1.0m cycle lanes.
  • Magdalene Street - scenes of conflict all round. Student rush often brings cyclists ignoring direction priority but also taxis and buses driving aggressively at cyclists.
  • Round Church Street - part of the awkward one-way system but also part of the bus routes.
  • Burleigh Street - part time cycling restrictions.
  • East Road - Can be hell for cycling. Its an inner ring road threaded though a shopping area, past Anglia Ruskin University, with some of it dual carriageway.
  • Other locations are unremarkable. Tickets here a low in number.


  1. There is a manoeuvre whereby cyclists coming down Milton Road to the Mitchams Corner gyratory cross through the traffic and mount the footway immediately at the Zebra crossing and fractionally before it becomes shared use. I imagine the designer intended us all to dismount and cross on foot before remounting 2 metres later and continuing by bike. I love the term 'cycle-friendly city', it really makes me smile.

  2. I think the headings to the table need to be clearer. At FIRST reading it appears that it is collisions involving cyclists and pedestrians (no motor vehicle)
    In addition the Petty Cury figures must be an error as there is no footway.
    Even the signs are no compliant. The TRO is for 'no vehicle access' yet the signs are 'No Entry'. I know of a case where a 15 year old was given a fine by a PCSO on that street. The only 'moving vehicle' offence for which a PCSO can issue a fine is 'riding on the footway'. I believe a footway must have a road open to motor traffic adjacent. When the street is paved from wall to wall there is no footway.

    1. You may find that the TRO is 'Preserving the character of a road especially suitable for walking', in which case the whole becomes a footway.

    2. I've corrected the description to collisions involving "pedestrians OR cyclists" to make that clearer. Thanks.

      Interesting case re cycling on a (not a) footway, I'd heard that story too. There is another ticket the Police could have given (see list), 501-contravening traffic signs, or 507-riding where prohibited. They would be far harder to defend, but given way commercial delivery companies avoid paying parking fines, I suspect there is a way if the TROs are not entirely sound.

    3. Just spotted that you said PCSOs cannot given any other moving ticket offences. If this FOI is still up-to-date, you are right.