Laws controlling cycling on footpaths vary around Australia. Currently in Victoria only children under 12 years old and accompanying adults can ride on footpaths, but some cycling advocates want to change the law to allow anyone to ride on the footpath.
Victoria Walks commissioned transport consultants MRCagney to review the existing research and evidence on footpath cycling.
Some of the key findings of the report include:
“Advocacy for footpath cycling appears to be based on the misconception that it is safer. Footpath cycling is accompanied by a distinct set of safety risks for cyclists, particularly associated with visibility between motor vehicles and cyclists at intersections and driveways.”
“… crash risks for cyclists may be higher on the footpath than on the road.”
“…the presence of cyclists on footpaths is a real concern for people walking, particularly for elderly or other vulnerable users such as the vision impaired.”
The research review also found that any moves to legalise all-ages cycling could open local councils up to liability issues, as they are responsible for maintaining footpaths.
Victoria Walks, the Council On The Ageing (Vic) and Vision Australia are calling upon politicians to ignore cycling lobbyists’ calls to allow teenagers and adults to ride on footpaths in Victoria.