Cyclist who refused
to stay in the gutter wins re-trial
CTC Press Release 26/01/07 Telford
A cyclist who was found guilty last year of inconsiderate cycling, whilst
cycling in accordance with the National Standard for cycle training, has today
won a re-trial at Shrewsbury Crown Court.
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.
Judge Robin Onions and two magistrates threw out the case after hearing
police evidence. They accepted arguments put forward by Cadden's barrister,
Francis Fitzgibbon, that there were contradictions in the police's evidence,
that there was no legal obligation for cyclists to use cycle tracks 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
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 the right of cyclists to decide when
to use cycle facilities and when they are inappropriate or dangerous. The
first judgement was unreasonable in denying this."
A TRIUMPH FOR CYCLISTS' DEFENCE FUND
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