Cyclists should be free to go on to a pavement to avoid hazardous stretches of road, Transport Minister Robert Goodwill has told police.
Mr Goodwill said that the police should use their discretion “where a cyclist is using the pavement alongside a dangerous section of road out of fear of the traffic”, The Daily Telegraph reported.
However he also said cyclists must “be mindful to not put pedestrians at risk”.
Fixed penalties were introduced for cycling on pavements in 1999, but Mr Goodwill noted the guidance said that “responsible cyclists” were not supposed to be fined.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Milsom, national police spokesman on cycling, said: “The ministerial guidance supports the importance of police discretion in taking a reasonable and proportionate approach with safety being a guiding principal.”