CYCLISTS flouting the law by riding their bikes along Witney's pavements could wind up seriously injuring or even killing somebody, it has been warned.

People riding bicycles along the town's pavements have long been of concern to residents who fear the potential for collisions with elderly people and children.

Dr Suzanne Bartington told the Gazette that she was incredibly supportive of people choosing bikes over cars - but noted the need for increased responsibility and care among cyclists.

Dr Bartington, who is a town councillor for Witney but also serves as cycling champion for Oxfordshire County Council, said: "The problem is particularly bad in the Woodstock Road area and Bridge Street.

"As cycling champion for the county council I want to encourage responsible cycling as it is win win win for health, the environment and the local economy. Just look, for example, at the traffic gridlock in the town centre around Christmas.

"We need to work on cycling and pedestrian infrastructure."

While cycling on pavements is against the law, and a matter that many Witney residents have passed onto police, it is a problem the force can struggle to deal with.

Dr Bartington continued: "Police have done some pavement cycling checks but problem is they get on bike as soon as they see someone in uniform."

The solution, she says, lies in education - teaching children and young people about the importance of cycling safety.

She added: "We maybe need to make people more aware of the danger as an elderly pedestrian could be seriously injured or killed if hit by a bike."

In England and Wales, the 1835 Highways Act created the offence of wilfully riding on a footpath by the side of the road.

The law is reflected in the Highway Code which prohibits cycling on the pavement - Rule 64: "You MUST not cycle on a pavement".

For more on cycling safety see