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Is it illegal to cycle on pavement in UK?

Is it illegal to cycle on pavement in UK?


Cycling is a popular mode of transportation in the United Kingdom, offering a convenient and eco-friendly way to get around. However, there is often confusion surrounding the legality of cycling on pavements. In this article, we will explore the rules and regulations regarding cycling on pavements in the UK.

The Law

According to the Highway Code, it is illegal to cycle on the pavement in the UK. Rule 64 states that cyclists must not cycle on footpaths, footbridges, or any other area designated solely for pedestrians. The primary reason for this rule is to ensure the safety of pedestrians who have the right of way on pavements.


Although cycling on the pavement is considered an offense, it is typically dealt with informally by the police. In most cases, cyclists caught riding on pavements will receive a warning or be given advice on safer cycling practices. However, if a cyclist’s behavior is reckless or dangerous, they may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice which carries a fine of £50.


There are a few exceptions to the rule against cycling on pavements. Children under the age of 10 are allowed to cycle on the pavement, as they may not have the same level of road awareness and cycling skills as older individuals. Additionally, some areas may have specific designations allowing cyclists to use certain pavements, such as shared footpaths or cycle lanes.

Benefits of Cycling on the Road

While it may be tempting to cycle on the pavement for convenience or perceived safety reasons, there are several benefits to cycling on the road. Firstly, cycling on the road allows cyclists to fully utilize the cycling infrastructure, such as cycle lanes and advanced stop lines. It also encourages better interaction with other road users and helps promote a harmonious coexistence between cyclists, motorists, and pedestrians.

Can cyclists go down one-way roads?

In the UK, cyclists are generally permitted to go down one-way roads, even if they are not designated for cycling. According to the rules of the road, cyclists are allowed to travel in the opposite direction of the traffic flow on one-way streets, as long as there are no specific signs prohibiting cycling. However, it is important for cyclists to exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings when riding against the flow of traffic.

Rules and regulations

The Highway Code states that cyclists should follow the same rules as motor vehicles, but there are some exceptions that apply specifically to bicycles. When it comes to one-way roads, Rule 140 states:

“Cyclists may ride in either direction in a one-way street (except where signs indicate otherwise).”

This means that unless there are signs stating otherwise, cyclists can legally travel in both directions on one-way streets.

Safety precautions

While it is legal for cyclists to ride against the flow of traffic on one-way streets, it is important to keep in mind the potential hazards this can pose. Cyclists should always prioritize their safety and the safety of others by:

  • Being mindful of pedestrians and other road users
  • Using appropriate hand signals when turning
  • Wearing high-visibility clothing
  • Being alert and observant of road conditions and potential hazards


In summary, cyclists in the UK are generally allowed to ride down one-way roads, as long as there are no signs indicating otherwise. However, it is crucial to prioritize safety and follow the rules of the road when cycling against the flow of traffic. By being aware, cautious, and considerate, cyclists can navigate one-way streets safely and legally.

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