New cyclists and children in particular are going to need all the help and encouragement they can get if we are going to have any chance to stem the car culture and reap the manifold benefits which this efficient, low impact machine has to offer.
The answer is not in more bureaucracy with fixed penalties at some places and complicated procedures to redesignate footpaths for dual use of pedestrians and cyclists in others. The part of the ancient Highways Act prohibiting cyclists from footways should be repealed and the time and effort go into promoting good practice and considerate behaviour. Sections 28 and 29 of the Road Traffic Act on dangerous riding and due care and attention cover this. Fixed penalties, administered with discretion, for cases of bad behaviour under this Act may well be appropriate.