I'm with you on this JoelLeg.
Cycling Uk make a more balanced and nuanced statement about pavement cycling -[www.cyclinguk.org
Firstly, the legislation doesn't refer to pavements, and neither does it refer to cyclists. That's important because there are tracks and shared use paths where cycling is not illegal.
It's an offence to drive a carriage on "any footpath or causeway by the side of any road made or set apart for the use or accommodation of foot passengers", essentially a footway next to the highway (different but equivalent legislation applies in Scotland).
The law also applies to children, but as those under ten are below the age of criminal responsibility they can't be prosecuted (watch out in Scotland however, where criminal responsibility starts at eight, though the Scottish Government has announced plans to increase this to twelve). Being too young to prosecute unfortunately didn't stop a policeman in Lincolnshire threatening to confiscate a four year-old's bike after he spotted her cycling along the pavement in 2015.
Fortunately, when FPNs were introduced for pavement cycling in 1999, Home Office Minister Paul Boateng issued guidance saying that: "The introduction of the fixed penalty is not aimed at responsible cyclists who sometimes feel obliged to use the pavement out of fear of traffic and who show consideration to other pavement users when doing so. Chief Police Officers who are responsible for enforcement, acknowledge that many cyclists, particularly children and young people, are afraid to cycle on the road, sensitivity and careful use of police discretion is required".
The Home Office guidance was re-affirmed in 2014 by the then Cycling Minister Robert Goodwill, who agreed that the police should use discretion in enforcing the law and recommended that the matter be taken up with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). ACPO welcomed the renewed guidance, circulated it to all forces, and issued a statement referring to "discretion in taking a reasonable and proportionate approach, with safety being a guiding principle".
To summarise, cycling on the pavement is still an offence, but there is clear guidance that the police are supposed to exercise discretion.
And finally on pavements, remember that on segregated cycle tracks the pedestrian side remains a footway, so if you cycle into the pedestrian side to pass a pedestrian in the cycle lane you technically commit a pavement cycling offence. There's an anomaly because cyclists have to ride on their side, but pedestrians are only advised to use theirs.
Liberal Democrat Councillor for East Dulwich Ward