Cyclists using on-road cycle paths often find they need to manoeuvre around things that shouldn’t be there. Parked cars spring to mind here, but cyclists in busy towns and cities are often finding joggers in their way.
Various running surfaces can stress the body in different ways and concrete is the hardest surface of them all to run or jog on. Running magazines often advise their readers to avoid running on concrete pavements so many joggers choose to run instead on the tarmac road at the side of the pavement.
Where joggers are running on a tarmac cycle path at the side of the road this poses an obvious risk for cyclists. Joggers often run with their backs to the traffic and move slowly and unpredictably. They may not always run in a straight line so overtaking cyclists are sometimes forced to swerve into the main road, especially if another cyclist in front swerves around the jogger at the last moment.
In my view, joggers using on-road cycle paths increase the risk of cycling accidents. It is a very dangerous practice indeed and a definite hazard to cyclists.
What the Highway Code says
Under Rule 1 of the Highway Code, pedestrians should use pavements if they have been provided.
Where no pavement exists, pedestrians should keep to the right-hand side of the road so they can see oncoming traffic, according to Rule 2.
In theory then, a pedestrian or jogger who uses a cycle lane when there is a pavement available could be prosecuted under the Highway Code for an offence of obstructing traffic.
This would be unlikely in practice but in the event of an accident where a cyclist was injured as a result of negligent actions by a pedestrian or jogger, the cyclist could pursue a personal injury claim through the civil courts.
If the jogger was running in a straight line and was there to be seen, a court is unlikely to find the jogger negligent.
If the jogger was running along an on-road cycle path on a very busy road with a high flow of traffic and many other cyclists then the court may think differently. In this scenario, if the jogger was responsible for causing a collision with a cyclist then it’s likely that the court would find the jogger to be negligent and thus liable to compensate the cyclist.
Should a cyclist collide with a jogger in the process of overtaking him or her then the cyclist may well be found to be contributory negligent if he or she did not shout a warning to the jogger or overtook the jogger too close.
When motorists cause a cycling accident then any claim brought by the cyclist can be satisfied by the motorist’s insurance company (or the Motor Insurers Bureau if the motorist is uninsured). Claims against joggers or pedestrians can be more complex because pedestrians are rarely insured against any negligence on their part when crossing the road.
If you have been injured whilst cycling and are unsure whether or not a personal injury claim will succeed then you should seek expert legal advice from a lawyer experienced in cycling accident claims.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers help cyclists injured in cycling accidents through no fault of their own to get compensation and rehabilitation support. Our solicitors represent cyclists from across the UK including members of Cycling UK.
We have secured £44 million in compensation for Cycling UK Members injured in cycling accidents since 2002, recovering over £2,900,000 in compensation for members in 2013 alone.
For a free consultation call us on 0800 916 9046 24/7 or contact us online and we’ll call you.