Bicycle Network’s campaign to allow people of all ages to ride on the footpath is gathering pace with Bicycle NSW joining the calls for law changes.
Bicycle NSW today announced their support for the footpath riding, while Sydney dad Callum Gordon launched a petition last month to have the rule changed so his daughter can safely ride to school.
NSW rules don’t allow bike riders over the age of 12 to ride on the footpath, pushing children, teenagers and inexperienced riders onto to road. Victoria is the only other state with the same rule.
Raising the footpath riding age has been a consistent ask for the last two years by Bicycle Network to bring NSW and Victoria in line with the rest of Australia.
Bicycle Network chief executive Craig Richards said the current laws were making it harder for young people to get out and exercise on their bikes.
"Not letting anyone older than 12 ride on a footpath can stop people from riding, especially those who are less experienced on a bike," he said.
"If you're a secondary school student who wants to start riding to school it can be very daunting when you have to start on the road."
There are a number of anomalies under the current restrictive laws in NSW.
An adult is allowed to ride on the footpath if they are with their child who is under 12. However, a 12-year-old cannot ride with their 11-year-old sibling on the footpath, they must both go on the road if they wish to ride to school together.
Changes to footpath riding laws would also be a good solution for older riders and allow them to avoid dangerous sections of roads.
“Until we get greater separation and bike lanes on all roads we need to do what we can make every place safe to ride. Footpath riding would encourage more people to ride in places where it is otherwise dangerous,” added Mr Richards.
He also said that changes to rules wouldn’t result in chaos on our footpaths.
“Bunches of lycra-clad riders won’t take over footpaths, it would be children and people getting started or avoiding areas where there are gaps in bike infrastructure.”
Bicycle Network encourages bike riders to contact their local MP and the roads minister to make calls for law changes.Join Bicycle Network's campaign