Quite an authoritative-looking article giving chapter and verse on exactly what is, and isn't allowed on footpaths, and the difference between a footpath and a footway...
On 1st August 1999, new legislation came into force to allow a fixed penalty notice to be served on anyone who is guilty of cycling on a footway. However the Home Office issued guidance on how the new legislation should be applied, indicating that they should only be used where a cyclist is riding in a manner that may endanger others. At the time Home Office Minister Paul Boateng issued a letter stating that:
"The introduction of the fixed penalty is not aimed at responsible cyclists who sometimes feel obliged to use the pavement out of fear of traffic and who show consideration to other pavement users when doing so. Chief police officers, who are responsible for enforcement, acknowledge that many cyclists, particularly children and young people, are afraid to cycle on the road, sensitivity and careful use of police discretion is required."
Almost identical advice has since been issued by the Home Office with regards the use of fixed penalty notices by 'Community Support Officers' and wardens.
So there you go. In the Home Office's view, pavement cycling as such is not exactly in the same league as murder, as some would have us believe.