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The 18Km/h rule

Morning Everyone, 

During a training ride at the weekend I was stop by a very friendly member of our police service. It was just after 8am and I was riding down a desert stretch of shared cycle path and walkway next to a very busy main road. 

He politely informed me that shouldn't be using the cycle path because I was visibly going faster than 18km/h (weird firstly as all UK speed limits are figured in MPH not KM/H, even if it was MPH I still could have been fingered to be honest)

I didn't know that this was a thing, I've been commuting for years using shared paths and never heard of this. 

Has anyone else heard of this?


  • Hi Rob,

    Your question made me curious, so I had a look at the Gov.UK website! 

    Here's the cycling law overview... https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code/rules-for-cyclists-59-to-82

    There's a section about shared footpaths/cycle lanes in the 'overview' part, and there's no mention of a speed limit. As far as I can see the rules for cycling on pavements and public paths are still subject to the Highway Act 1835, with further updates made since the introduction of marked cycle paths (still no mention of speed limits though). 

    As long as you're cycling in the section designated for bikes and not obstructing anyone there's no speed limit. Before assuming the police officer is definitely wrong, it might be worth checking your County Council's website as this could be an initiative specific to your area (i.e. not strictly punishable by law but a recommendation that is being enforced). It's quite a specific statement to make so safe to assume the officer had grounds to tell you this. 

    Thanks, hope this helps! 

    Jack, 220

  • always good to see current rules "or shall tether any horse, ass, mule, swine, or cattle, on any highway, so as to suffer or permit the tethered animal to be thereon"



    I am less of a swine , more of a Cad and a Bounder. 

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