seren, I've used Richmond Park regularly for about 30 years and never, on any occasion whatsoever (races where roads are closed excepted), have I encountered a runner running in the road, on the square of main roads around the park.
Imagine coming along a packed road on your bike on a bank holiday Monday and encountering a 45-year-old man running in the road, all by himself against the traffic, and how absurd this looks. It caused me annoyance. "What the hell's he doing in the road? Has he no brain?", I thought to myself. "Just wave him out of the way and proceed," I thought to myself. So I did.
I wasn't being a "right twat". I was simply doing what the occasion required. You would have had to be there to understand the situation.
It wasn't a big deal.
I do find it interesting that so many runners on this thread are resistant to the idea they shouldn't be running in the road.
At a glance, we also seem to have section 137 of the Highways Act 1980: "(1) If a person, without lawful authority or excuse, in any way wilfully obstructs the free passage along a highway he is guilty of an offence."
I haven't researched the section or whether the wording's been amended, but this wording seems on its face to outlaw people using the highway to run on where their behaviour inhibits cars, motor bikes and bicycles moving at speed.
And the other thing - if this guy is running in the road, and you intentionally cycle towards him and collide with him, you will also be negligent. He should have got out of the way of the oncoming traffic, yes, that much I agree with. But you could have stopped. Both of you would have been at fault. There is no criminal offence in being on a road when there is a footpath available - that's a ludicrous suggestion.
You never did respond to my example above whereby if there is a pedestrian in the middle of the road, not moving - is it acceptable for a lorry driver to just mow him down because in your eyes "he shouldn't have been there"??
I wouldn't have collided with him, because (a) I was going at six or seven miles an hour, (b) I was proceeding up an uphill slope, and (c) I have excellent brakes. He doesn't know how good my brakes are, so he got out of the road before I reached the point of needing to brake at the last moment. His obligation is to be out of the road, on a path, where there is a path: Rule 1.
No, you can't mow down pedestrians. But I don't think you have to go as far as stopping if they can get out your way and you've signalled clearly to them to do so, and you know you still have time to stop if you really must. Parallel to the square of main roads in Richmond Park are grass verges roughly level with the road surface and it was a small matter to expect him to step off the road, onto the verge, so I could pass - which he did. The matter would have been dealt with and forgotten from that point on, had the runner not also called me an idiot, as though I was in the wrong. I wasn't. He was in the wrong, running in the road when there was a path beside the road and plenty of other paths he should be using. The example is useful for discussion here because a lot of other runners on this thread seem to think it's perfectly okay to be running on a busy main road when there are paths available - it isn't. I think you need to revise your thinking on that.
Dustin, a (legal) obligation can be created (for example) either by saying you should do X, or that you mustn't do the opposite of X.
The draftsman of Rule 1 of the Highway Code has adopted the construction of saying what you should do. The necessary implication is, you shouldn't do the opposite of what it says you should do. It doesn't need to be spelt out further.
Most pedestrians understand this. You don't see them using the road surface, you see them using the pavements instead. It is only this rare breed, the runner, and only some runners, who seem to have got it into their heads that they are perfectly entitled to run in the road. I believe that is a fallacy, a dangerous one, and the idea should be exposed for what it is: just plain wrong.