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Volume 405: debated on Wednesday 21 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what regulations are in force governing cyclists' conduct when using joint cycle and pedestrian paths;[115044]

(2) what requirements there are for cyclists to warn other road users of their presence when using joint cycle and pedestrian paths. [115043]

On cycle tracks, cyclists and pedestrians may be segregated or they may share the same space. Highway authorities use signs and markings from the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 to indicate the part of the route which is allocated for cyclists and for pedestrians. On segregated tracks, cyclists must keep to the side intended for their use.The Highway Code advises cyclists to take care when passing pedestrians, especially children, elderly or disabled people on cycle tracks, and allow them plenty of room. The code also advises that cyclists should slow down and stop for pedestrians if necessary. The law applying to dangerous and careless cycling applies on cycle tracks as it does on the road. Under the Road Traffic Act 1991, the two worst cycling offences attract maximum fines of £2,500 (for dangerous cycling) and £1,000 (for careless cycling).There are no specific requirements for cyclists to warn other users of their presence on a cycle track. However, the Highway Code advises cyclists that they should be considerate of other road users, particularly blind and partially sighted pedestrians, and to let them know of their presence by ringing their bell. In April this year, the Pedal Bicycles (Safety) Regulations 2003 were published, coming into force on 1 May 2004. These will make it a requirement for a bell to be fitted on a bicycle by manufacturers at the point of sale. The Regulation will enhance the safety of pedestrians sharing space with cyclists, and had been requested for some time by groups representing pedestrians and disabled people.