Cyclist who refused to stay in the gutter wins re-trial
CTC member Daniel Cadden was cycling fast downhill on a single-lane carriageway when he was stopped by police who believed that the position he had taken in his lane was forcing cars to cross the solid white line in the centre of the road illegally in order to overtake. But rather than stop the cars that had broken the law, the officers decided to charge Daniel Cadden with inconsiderate cycling.
The judge and two magistrates accepted the arguments put forward by Cadden’s barrister, Francis Fitzgibbon, that there was no legal obligation for cyclists to use cycle tracks, that the police’s evidence did not support the alleged offence and that causing only a short delay to drivers did not constitute “inconsiderate cycling”.
The judge who sat at his first trial believed Daniel should have not been on the road at all and instead should have crossed three lanes of busy traffic to use a cycle path, which runs alongside the road where he was stopped.
Speaking outside court, Daniel Cadden said: “I am overjoyed that the ludicrous decision to prosecute me has been overturned. The recognition in this case must go to the real heroes, all those people who have supported it either financially by giving to the Cyclists Defence Fund, by joining CTC or by sending messages of support to myself and my family. Without the support of these people this fight would not have been possible. The overwhelming sum donated to the Cyclists Defence Fund has been testament to the solidarity shown by the cycling community on this issue. This success serves to reaffirm cyclists’ right to decide when to use cycle facilities and when they are inappropriate or dangerous. The first judgement was unreasonable in denying this.”
CTC’s Campaigns and Policy Manager Roger Geffen added: “This ruling is a tremendous victory, both for Daniel Cadden personally and for all the cyclists whose donations to the Cyclists’ Defence Fund have helped support this case. We hope the Government will now heed the voices of 11,000 cyclists who lobbied their MPs when a draft revision of the Highway Code threatened to enshrine into law the misguided views of the original police officers and trial judge in this case. We are picking up signs that the Government has been listening, so we hope there will be more good news on this when the new Code comes out later in the spring.”
Daniel Cadden was supported in his defence by the Cyclists’ Defence Fund (CDF), the independent charity which was founded by CTC to provide cyclists with support in legal cases. Over £25,000 was donated to the CDF by cyclists keen to show their support for Daniel.
To donate money to the Cyclists’ Defence Fund, go to www.cyclistsdefencefund.org.uk