Bike Polite Code

The Bike Polite code covers five key issues: shared footpaths, cycling on the pavement, red traffic lights, riding after dark & canal towpaths.

Shared paths, polite bike code Slow down, ring bell, say thanks when passing Paths that can legally be shared by cyclists and pedestrians will be clearly signed as such. Although cyclists and pedestrians can mix perfectly safely on shared paths, cyclists do have to slow down when passing and warn people when they approach from behind by ringing their bell or saying 'Excuse me'.

Unlike the driver stuck inside a car, cycling is a sociable activity. Cyclists can say hello & smile at people when riding past.


Pavements, polite bike codePavements are for pedestrians Unless it is clearly marked as a cycle track, cycling on the footway is illegal. It is also selfish and irresponsible and may put other road users at risk of injury especially elderly pedestrians or young children. Never ride your bike on a busy pavement - get off and push. Some pavements are signposted for shared use. Ride carefully and at an appropriate speed and make sure people know you are approaching by ringing your bell or saying 'Excuse me'.


Traffic lights, Bike Polite CodeYou are traffic too, so stop at red Cyclists who ignore red traffic lights are forgetting their responsibilities as road users, and the code reminds them that they are traffic too, so should stop at red traffic lights. Jumping red lights is illegal and irresponsible. Not only does it diminish the respect of cyclists in the eyes of other road users, it puts you and other road users at unnecessary risk of injury.


After dark, Bike Polite CodeUse front & back lights after dark so you can be seen Remember to use front and rear lights after dark. Modern LED cycle lights are cheap and reliable, and the code stresses the importance of always using lights after dark.

The Bike Polite trouser bands, which can be worn round ankles or wrists, shine brightly when illuminated by car headlights.


Canal towpaths, polite bike codeOn canal towpaths, slow down when passing pedestrians & at bridges Canal towpaths are often very narrow and sightlines can be restricted at bridges. But these problems can be overcome if cyclists slow down when passing other canal users, if you are approaching from behind, ring your bell or say 'Excuse me'. Be very aware that young children and dogs can move unpredictably, so go slowly & give them plenty of room.


Polite cycling slap band

All Graphics: The Graphics Company Web Design: Ian Maxwell