Borough bosses have raised concerns with Northumbria Police following reported near misses at areas such as the Nook in South Shields.
But the force has insisted the issue continues to be taken seriously on the ground – even if officers sometimes decide against using the harshest measures available to them.
“Only a very small number of cyclists are issued with a penalty for riding on the pavement in the UK,” South Tyneside Councillor Ernest Gibson wrote to Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Kim McGuinness in September 2020.
“While I understand some cyclists might be reticent about cycling on the road in certain areas, cycling at speed along the pavement is a great danger to pedestrians, particularly for older people and those who are hard of hearing and sight.”
Cllr Gibson raised the issue again at a meeting of the borough council’s Overview and Scrutiny Coordinating and Call-in Committee.
According to a response he received by Cllr Gibson from Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt, the force’s area commander for South Tyneside, officers will consider the ‘severity of the offence’ when dealing with a cyclist caught riding on the pavement.
She added: “For matters such as riding a bicycle on a public footpath, words of advice will often serve as a proportionate method of dealing with the person.
“This does not mean that positive action has not been taken.
“Each incident will however be dealt with on its merits and if appropriate officers are encouraged to use enforcement powers at their disposal.”
However, problems with “nuisance” cyclists have also been in the headlines, with some councillors complaining wreckless riders were risking lives.