Road running

Hi all,

 

At first this might seem like a strange question but I was wondering if anybody could tell me authoritively if it's legal to run on all roads in the UK (motorways excluded) provided you run on the correct side or on a footpath if available and take proper safety precautions?

I am currently planning a point to point run and was wondering if I need to stick to B roads particularly if there are more than me running?

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Comments

  • Hog-mouseHog-mouse ✭✭✭

    I would avoid running in the road on anything other than a quiet road, much as it may be legal it is certainly dangerous.

    There are restrictions on some roads and these will clearly be marked with sign posts.

    I think I have links to the highway code and road traffic act somewhere.

  • I constantly run many miles down single track back roads and never have any problems/ complaints from traffic. Even police drive past me regularly and have never said anything, so I assume it is perfectly legal. With regards larger A roads it is still perfectly legal (you're no more hazardous than a cyclist, after all) but more dangerous, obviously.

  • I find that i am running the gauntlet with running on the road a lot of the time. Always will be some idiot going too fast, not paying attention. I am a road runner by choice, but wherever there is a pavement, i am there...

  • I imagine it is legal for you to run in the road (in the sense that it is permitted) but you shouldn't do it because you don't have a right of way. Cars have the right of way.

    There was a middle aged twit running in the road in Richmond Park against the traffic one Saturday afternoon three years ago. I signalled to him with my arm as I approached on my bike that he was to get out of my way. He only just jumped onto the verge in time to avoid getting mown down by me. He called me an idiot. I told him he was the idiot and shouldn't be in the road. He said, "What does the Highway Code say then?" I told him it said pedestrians can use the road carriageway IF there is no footpath available, but as there are dozens of footpaths available in the park, he has no rights in respect of the road and shouldn't be on it. I followed him for a bit after that. He continued to use the road until he nearly knocked down a group of pedestrians trying to cross the road who were, understandably, looking the other way, towards the traffic, not expecting a runner to be coming the other way against the traffic, and didn't see him coming. He then switched to using the footpath instead. He then continued on the footpath rather than the road until he left the park.

    It baffles me that some runners think, because they are training for a road-running event, they should be running in on busy public roads (the carriageway, not the pavement) in order to train. I believe they shouldn't, and they may lose a claim if a car hits them, because they shouldn't be there in the first place.

    It's also an unforgiving surface to train on. Far better to run on soft.

    If you live in an area where the roads don't have pavements, consider buying a running machine and running at home.

     

  • Most of the time I run on pavements around the town where I live. However, as its a small town its very easy to get out of town and if you decide to run out to any of the local villages then you have to accept that you will have to run on the road.
    The key things I do are to make sure that I'm visible to other road users, I run facing the traffic so I can see what is coming, and make sure that I'm prepared to slow or stop and move to the edge of the road or even where there are areas of grass alongside the road move onto that until traffic has passed.

  • Mr BoatMr Boat ✭✭✭

    CM: Your last sentence let you down; patronising to say the least.

    I've had more near misses running on the pavement than running against the traffic in the road. Plenty of people pull out of their driveways much too quickely and usually only look towards the oncoming traffic. Nearly being mown down on the pavement by someone looking the other way always brings out the worst in me!

    However, if the road's busy I will run on the path. Can't beat running down the road early in the morning when there's no one about though.

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭
    Colin McLaughlin wrote (see)

     

    There was a middle aged twit running in the road in Richmond Park against the traffic one Saturday afternoon three years ago. I signalled to him with my arm as I approached on my bike that he was to get out of my way. He only just jumped onto the verge in time to avoid getting mown down by me. He called me an idiot. I told him he was the idiot and shouldn't be in the road. He said, "What does the Highway Code say then?" I told him it said pedestrians can use the road carriageway IF there is no footpath available, but as there are dozens of footpaths available in the park, he has no rights in respect of the road and shouldn't be on it. I followed him for a bit after that. He continued to use the road until he nearly knocked down a group of pedestrians trying to cross the road who were, understandably, looking the other way, towards the traffic, not expecting a runner to be coming the other way against the traffic, and didn't see him coming. He then switched to using the footpath instead. He then continued on the footpath rather than the road until he left the park.

     

    If you live in an area where the roads don't have pavements, consider buying a running machine and running at home.


    Your whole tone is a bit off.  The runner was doing as she should do on the road, running against the traffic. As a cyclist you have a duty of care to protect a vulnerable road user, whatever he himself is doing.

    I'm sure you'd be the first to moan if some arrogant car driver came on here talking about you in such terms. And saying that "you were to get out of his way".

    Personally i find cyclists a right nuisance as either a driver or a pedestrian. Maybe you could consider buying a stationary cycle and using that at home instead?

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭
    Mr Boat wrote (see)

     

    I've had more near misses running on the pavement than running against the traffic in the road. Plenty of people pull out of their driveways much too quickely and usually only look towards the oncoming traffic. Nearly being mown down on the pavement by someone looking the other way always brings out the worst in me!

     

    It's funny you say this Mr Boat, as I've heard a few people say that if you get knocked down when on the pavement it's your own fault.  I don't believe that as like you say you get the motorists who are checking the road not the pavements, and you also get the cyclists emerging from nowhere, or the people walking 3 or 4 abreast, who clock you getting closer, but don't think "this guy is going to smash into us if we're not careful" and just stand there, leaving no space to pass.

  • Tom.Tom. ✭✭✭
    Stevie: "Personally i find cyclists a right nuisance as either a driver or a pedestrian. Maybe you could consider buying a stationary cycle and using that at home instead?"......LOL!
  • KhanivoreKhanivore ✭✭✭

    CM: interested to know why you didn't ride around him... 

  • "Your whole tone is a bit off.  The runner was doing as she should do on the road, running against the traffic."

    No, the runner shouldn't be in the road at all. My tone is spot on.

    The fact you think a runner should be in the road when there are plenty of paths to use shows you don't know what you are talking about. He shouldn't.

    "As a cyclist you have a duty of care to protect a vulnerable road user, whatever he himself is doing."

    No, as a cyclist I am entitled to indicate to the runner who shouldn't be in the road in the first place that he should get out of my way and I am coming through come what may, by clear hand gestures, and then, having got that message across, ride my bicycle straight at him if I wish, since he is on my bit of the road and blocking my path. If he doesn't get out of the way, that's his problem, not mine. He doesn't have a right of way and shouldn't be obstructing mine.

    It's the same thing as a driver flashing his lights or sounding his horn at a pedestrian who is in the road where they shouldn't be, and not slowing down. He's saying, this is my right of way, get out of my way. People like you would say, how extremely awful. People like me would say the pedestrian shouldn't be there in the first place.

    I'm sure you'd be the first to moan if some arrogant car driver came on here talking about you in such terms. And saying that "you were to get out of his way".

    No, I'd consider the legal position and decide who is in the right from a legal point of view. Runners have no right of way and shouldn't be running in the road AT ALL. They should run somewhere other than along a public highway, especially a busy one where they are inconveniencing road users who are actually supposed to be there.

    Personally i find cyclists a right nuisance as either a driver or a pedestrian. Maybe you could consider buying a stationary cycle and using that at home instead?

    This isn't relevant to the topic under discussion.

     

  • Tortuga wrote (see)

    CM: interested to know why you didn't ride around him... 

    Because it was dense busy traffic heading in the direction of Richmond and I was on the inside of it, between cars and the verge.

    Then I encounter this nutcase who thinks the place to run in the park is on the road, occupying the same two of three feet in width that a cyclist will want to use, running in the opposite direction to traffic.

    I find it bizarre that any runner things the place to run is in the road.

     


     

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭
    Colin McLaughlin wrote (see)

    I imagine it is legal for you to run in the road (in the sense that it is permitted) but you shouldn't do it because you don't have a right of way. Cars have the right of way.

     

    If you live in an area where the roads don't have pavements, consider buying a running machine and running at home.

     

    if it's permitted, why shouldn't you?  I think they've probably thought this through when putting the highway code together.  The only roads "you shouldn't" be on are motorways or slip roads.  It doesn't say anything about not being allowed out of doors if you haven't got a chunk of metals on wheels to sit in/on.

    Oh, and tarmac is a slightly more forgiving surface than most paving slabs!  image

  • KhanivoreKhanivore ✭✭✭

    CM: I can see why you wanted him out of your way and in his shoes I would have got out of your way.

    However, I find it incredible that you can not understand why people run on the road. I run on the road for some of my route because the footpaths on my route are at a horrible camber which results in bad knee pains. For other parts of the route I run on the road because it is a country lane and there is no footpath. Where there is a reasonably flat footpath though I do run on it. When I see a car coming I do move on to the footpath (if there is one) regardless of camber though - same for bikes if I can see there are cars on the road at the same time.

  • Hog-mouseHog-mouse ✭✭✭

    Pedestrians have right of way. In the road or on the pavement. Car drivers and cyclists must give way to pedestrians.

    There is no law preventing pedestrians from using the carriage way. If a pedestrian is in the road they have right of way. Simple as.

  • Colin - you're on a wind up yes?  You have the right to mow someone down as you have right of way?  You seem to know your Highway Code but I think you made that one up.  People have been tried for manslaughter and attempted murder for testing that.  Yes, if there are decent pavements then people should use them (as there are in RP, though sometimes those paths are choc-a-bloc with casual riders), but if the person is in the road why should you care?  Following them is just a bit too road-ragey and maybe you need to turn up your dial marked perspective.

  • *blinks*

    Colin McLaughlin wrote (see)
    If you live in an area where the roads don't have pavements, consider buying a running machine and running at home.

     

    So if you live in a village with no pavements to connecting communities and don't have a car or bike you must never leave it on foot? On the off chance you might briefly inconvience someone?! Genius!

    God knows what you suppose to do when following a footpath which is interupted by section of road. Wait and thumb a lift from anyone passing.

  • Mr BoatMr Boat ✭✭✭

    Ha, ha; Colin, you had us all going there, thought you were for real for one minute; silly meimage....nice one.

  • With all this snow around I have been running on the roads a lot lately, as the pavements are too dangerous... must admit 90% of cars are very polite and move right over... then you get the odd idiot who deliberately drives straight at you...

  • roads were around before carsimage 

  • CM,



    If you ride your bike straight at someone that is assult. That is how the police will view it. That applies whether you actually manage to hit them or not. Pedestrians, including runners have a right to travel at the side of the road and are advised by the Highway Code to go against the flow of traffic.
  • Yes you can run on the road. Unless its a motorway.

    Would I take part in a run that's all on road with no closures ? I'm not so sure.

    I don't think I'd organise a race that forced you to either - what if an accident happens ?
  • Was Colin on a wind up? I always read his posts because they are great value.

    The road is a right of way same as a footpath, bridleway etc. just because a road is 'dressed up' to look like a race track it does not mean it should be used as such. With a little consideration and respect the road can be enjoyed by all, including the 'boy racers'. As soon as one user feels that they have more right to use a right of way than another problems will follow...

  • Cougie, wouldn't that depend on where the race was? I don't recall doing any local races around here (rural north Essex) that had road closures. They mostly run on small back roads, which are narrow but almost traffic free. As an example, the Halstead Marathon, I think most of the cars you see on the day are supporters, friends and family.

  • Highway Code:

    "The rules in The Highway Code do not give you the right of way in any circumstance, but they advise you when you should give way to others. Always give way if it can help to avoid an incident."

    Also, Rule 1:

    "Pavements (including any path along the side of a road) should be used if provided."

    That's should rather than must. There's no law against running or walking in the road (except motorways or where a bylaw prohibits it). Unreasonable obstruction of the highway is illegal, but AFAIK that's mainly used to prosecute protesters who deliberately obstruct the highway.

  • St Albans Half Marathon is a mixture of closed roads... and roads with traffic on them. The country roads part of them had a few cars coming down them during the race... the main roads around townwere blocked by police.

  •  

    Surrey Runner wrote (see)
    CM,

    If you ride your bike straight at someone that is assult. That is how the police will view it. That applies whether you actually manage to hit them or not. Pedestrians, including runners have a right to travel at the side of the road and are advised by the Highway Code to go against the flow of traffic.

     

    How can it possibly be an assault if you don't hit them? Maybe, check your law first, rather than writing nonsense?

    I don't believe anyone has the right to run, for recreational purposes, at the edge of an extremely busy road on the carriageway itself, in a park which has hundreds of paths the runner could be using instead, including a path about ten feet away from the road going in exactly the same direction as the runner is travelling. If I am wrong - even if the runner has a "right" to run there - the runner's right is inferior to mine as a cyclist. I am road traffic, he is not. I have the right of way, he does not. If I signal with a fishtailing arm for the runner to get out of my way, he needs to do so, because I have asserted my right of way and made it clear I am coming through. Fortunately in the case in question, the runner jumped off the road, onto the grass, and avoided being hit by my bicycle.

    In the case in question, I consider I was wholly in the right, and the runner was wholly in the wrong. What the hell was he doing, running in the road? You don't need to run in the road in Richmond Park, there are thousands of paths you could be using instead.

     

     

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