A rant about pavement etiquette

People showing good pavement etiquette by not vaping, cycling or staring at their phones.

One of the things I’m still getting used to in my now not-so-new job is the walk from the station to the office I work in.

Not because of the increased exercise, you understand, but due to the eternally thorny issue of self-important people with appalling pavement etiquette.

I can’t stand bad manners or people with no regard for others but, as I work in a city, there are rather a lot of them.┬áIt’s a far cry from the school run that I actually used to enjoy.

So, before I go full Michael Douglas in Falling Down, here are five irritating sorts endemic on our pavements.

Electric scooter riders

They can’t be ridden on roads and shouldn’t be on pavements either so what exactly is the point of electric scooters? Not the mobility ones – the two-wheeled things favoured by those with more money than sense.

They pootle along getting in everybody’s way and can’t get people from A to B significantly faster than walking. I’ve therefore come to the conclusion that they exist purely for the terminally lazy and that power cuts could have a use after all.


It looks ridiculous, smells disgusting and affects my asthma just as much as cigarette smoke does. So I’m sick of getting stuck behind people who insist on literally wandering around with their heads in the clouds.

They look like amateur magicians surrounded by all that vapour. I wish they could perform a vanishing act.

Umbrella owners

An obvious old-school example of lousy pavement etiquette, but there’s been so much rain lately that they’ve been out in force.

Those who use the ruddy great golf umbrellas are the worst. I’m really fed up of being run off the pavement by them or given a side parting I never wanted.

Phone addicts

We’re all guilty of paying our phones too much attention now and then, but these people are something else.

They amble along without once looking up from their phones, causing plenty of potential pitfalls for others but somehow emerging unscathed themselves. Irritatingly, they even manage to dodge the dog shit.


I get that some city roads are a bit of a daunting prospect but adults who cycle on pavements are selfish idiots.

Actually, the same applies to those who do use the roads but don’t wear helmets. I’ve never seen so many of them. They need to get on their bikes – or maybe not.

With pavement etiquette like this, teleportation can’t come quickly enough.


  1. John Adams

    Ah, now I have to say I am an electric scooter user so please forgive me. As for mobile phone users, did you know in some German cities they’ve started painting warnings on the ground to stop folk stepping from pavements into traffic! vapers, yes, i get it. Odd habit. Please don’t go all Falling Down though Tom, I like you too much.

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