Cyclists who mount the pavement at dangerous junctions should not be fined, a transport minister has advised police, saying £50 are handed out too readily.
The Telegraph reported a private letter to a cycle safety group from minister Robert Goodwill, advising officers they should not look to punish cyclists who safely ride on the pavements to avoid a potential hazardous section of road.
He advised campaigners to take it up with Sir Hugh Orde, the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), to ensure the advice is followed by officers.
Guidance from 1999 when fixed penalties for cycling on pavements were introduced, explicitly states that “responsible cyclists” should not be penalised.
"Chief police officers, who are responsible for enforcement, acknowledge that many cyclists, particularly children and young people, are afraid to cycle on the road, sensitivity and careful use of police discretion is required," it says.
Goodwill's office said in a statement in response to the Telegraph's story: “Pedestrians should expect to be able to use the pavement without fear of being in a collision with a cyclist and we are determined to discourage dangerous behaviour, which is why last year we increased the fixed penalty for this offence to £50.
“Enforcement is a matter for the Police but we endorse their approach of showing discretion in instances where a cyclist is using the pavement alongside a dangerous section of road out of fear of the traffic, but is being mindful to not put pedestrians at risk.”