I’m 100% sure I once saw a law from the year 1800something that contained the word “unicycle”.
It provided that cycles with a wheelsize that equals 20" or smaller should behave as pedestrian, and bigger wheels should be using the road side.
As far as I knew the UK was the only country in the word that had a law that so clearly addressed unicycles.
Again I’m 100% convinced that I’ve seen it somewhere. But when I search for it on Google, I cannot find it.
I was Akuma. There was (and is) a commonly held belief that it’s legal to ride a small-wheeled bike on the pavement in the UK, but I concluded several years ago that this is an urban myth. Certainly I’ve never been able to find any legislation and no-one else has ever been able to identify any to me. (There are some interesting legal exemptions for cycles whose seats are below a certain height, but those aren’t relevant to pavement cycling).
I also see people express the belief on here from time to time that, because the 1994 Traffic Signs Regulations explicitly mention unicycles in their definition of a pedal cycle, that means that unicycles are legally defined as pedal cycles and are therefore covered by all of the same legislation. IANAL, but I’m pretty sure that’s complete rubbish - the definition of pedal cycle in one piece of legislation does not alter the definition to be used when interpreting another, earlier, piece of legislation.
The legislation that prohibits pavement cycling is the 1835 Highway Act (which pre-dates the invention of the pedal cycle by several years). That explicitly makes it an offence to drive any carriage upon the footway:
The inclusion of pedal cycles is the result of case law. The case of Taylor vs Goodwin in 1879 determined that a bicycle counts a carriage for the purposes of the 1835 Highway Act. I don’t know the exact wording of the judgement, but a little Googling suggests that the judge referred specifically to “bicycles”, which would mean that unicycles wouldn’t be covered by it.
Subsequently section 85 of the Local Government Act 1888 stated that: “bicycles, tricycles, velocipedes, and other similar machines are hereby declared to be carriages within the meaning of the Highway Acts”:
But that’s still open to interpretation on the subject of unicycles. Does a unicycle count as “a similar machine”?
My current belief is that, with UK legislation as it stands, the only way to find out for sure whether it’s legal to ride a unicycle on the pavement is for there to be a court case! However, as the general rule is that if something is not explicitly forbidden then it is permitted, it seems reasonable to say that it is /probably/ legal to ride a unicycle on the pavement.
Exactly, although in 2011 or so I got a penalty (in Amsterdam) for “not using the cyclepath”, all authorities declined or neglected to specify which law I broke, since that’s impossible. But nobody ever cancelled the extortion fee called fine.
Recently I drove another traffic controller, now knowing for sure I count as pedestrian (and knowing the traffic controller doesn’t have any authority over me or the pavement). At one point he signaled police who got into violent mode instantly. After the traffic controller got feedback from the police he appologied, in particular for his unlawful threatening earlier. The police officer however never did.
Expecting the law in Belgium would be the same I was riding on the cyclepath in Brussels earlier this month, and got stopped. Initially they started asking for requirements on bicycles. Then moved over to place on the road (on which I claimed being a pedestrian), and when they lost that argue also (and in fact confirmed me), they now suddenly state I was using a phone. Drivers are not allowed to do so, but; the law explicitly tells I’m not a driver.
In reality I only carried a phone, having it ready for navigation, but was not using it at all in traffic, since I had to go straight on for a very long while (to attend FOSDEM).
Very childish searching for a stick to hit with, after losing the two other battles, clearly the 3 police inspectors had nothing better to do this calm and rainy Sunday morning.