Search found 200 matches

by stork
28 May 2017, 9:05pm
Forum: Campaigning & Public Policy
Topic: Highway Code inappropriate rules
Replies: 61
Views: 12627

Re: Highway Code inappropriate rules

I agree with the original post -- it is plainly wrong to say that a road user on a cycle 'must' obey all traffic signs and traffic light signals.

Under RTA s.36 you do have to comply with signs, but only where they indicate a statutory prohibition, restriction or requirement or are of certain types which you have to comply with purely on the basis of the sign being there.

There are lots of signs which do not indicate a prohibition, restriction or requirement, and which couldn't be construed as doing so, e.g. triangular warning signs and most information and directional signs. In these cases, there is nothing to 'obey', so not really a problem.

Then there are signs which look like they instruct you to do something, where in fact they don't reflect any legal requirement. The most relevant for cyclists are probably 'cyclists dismount' and the red cycle light at a toucan crossing. The HC is a problem here as it provides fuel for anti-cycling campaigners who don't realise it's not illegal to ignore these signs.

Then there are speed limits. They do reflect a legal requirement, and must be obeyed. However, the legal requirement they reflect is a requirement which applies only to motor vehicles (RTRA s.84). So people on cycles do not have to comply. (There are a few exceptions, for speed limits off the highway, such as those in Richmond Park in London, where speed limits are governed by bye-laws and may apply to cycles).

There are also those which look like they convey a legal requirement but fail to do so because they don't match the traffic regulation order. Locally, for example, we have 'no motor vehicles' signs on roads which have a prohibition on all vehicles, signs permitting the wrong type of vehicles in bus lanes etc. Most school zig-zags have no TRO.

Conversely, there are those signs which must be obeyed even without a TRO. For example, a 'no entry' sign is one of these. Also local to me, there are no entry signs at the entrance to at least two cycle gates (the entry to a contraflow cycle lane), so technically you cannot enter the cycle lane by cycling into it.
by stork
21 Apr 2017, 10:16pm
Forum: On the road
Topic: Cycling to school
Replies: 43
Views: 10581

Re: Cycling to school

karlt wrote:
foxyrider wrote:Nice that she wants to ride.

My gut feeling is ride on the path but that does have issues - legally whilst your daughter can ride quite legally there if her bike has 20" or smaller wheels you can't.


Don't know where this "20" wheel" thing comes from; I've heard it before, but it has no basis in law that I know of. A bike is a bike and legally must be on the road.


Probably based in a misunderstanding of the legislation; I've not heard that one before, though.

Bicycles are exempt from toy safety legislation if their maximum seat height (from the ground) is more than 435mm. Smaller bikes are caught by the legislation if they meet the other criteria to define them as a toy (i.e. designed or intended for use in play by children under 14).

Bike safety legislation covers bikes with pedals, with a maximum seat height 635mm and above.

However, these bits of legislation simply govern the sale of toys/bicycles, and they have nothing to say about their use on the road. For use on the road, you have to look at the definition applicable to the offence in question. For example, in the Road Traffic Act, the offence of dangerous cycling can be committed on any cycle (including bikes, trikes, and presumably including children's bicycles -- whether or not a toy). In the same act, the offence of carrying a passenger on a bike which is not adapted for the purpose can only be committed on a bicycle, not a trike. In other road traffic legislation, the offence is committed by using a vehicle (which includes cycles) in an illegal manner.

The offence under discussion here is the offence under the old Highway Act, which makes no reference to bikes at all. The term which is used in that Act is a 'carriage', and it is settled case law that a bike is a carriage for the purposes of the Act. I'm not aware of any case law which excludes any form of cycle from being a carriage -- and indeed other equipment (e.g. a scooter) might also fall within the definition.

That leaves the fact that the child is below the age of criminal responsibility (but the parent who procures the offence is not), and the old Home Office guidance to the effect that the police should use discretion in the enforcement of the legislation -- not to penalise considerate cyclists who have genuine concerns about their safety on the road (which, given the universally poor and dangerous standards of driving to be seen on the roads, and the widespread lack of enforcement of road legislation, may authorise just about anyone to cycle considerately on any pavement -- although this may be a moot point given that pavements are now generally acknowledged to exist for the sole purpose of parking motor vehicles).
by stork
1 Dec 2016, 8:12pm
Forum: Campaigning & Public Policy
Topic: Anti cycle retorick from councillors based on youth behaviour.
Replies: 23
Views: 4623

Re: Anti cycle retorick from councillors based on youth behaviour.

Is there any anti-social behaviour by motorists on the roads in your town? (If not, let us know so we can all move there!)

However, if there is, then what do your councillors think should be done about it? If they are to be consistent with their town-centre policy, they should ban all driving on all roads where some people are seen speeding, driving while using phones or otherwise distracted, driving/parking on pavements, tailgating etc. etc. Because that's what they're doing to your town centre. (Ours is much the same, with largely anti-cycling local authorities).

And given that this 'anti-social' cycling problem is there despite the ban, the ban's not really working is it?

Why not suggest an experimental (temporary) TRO to try the change -- at least it sounds like they're willing to discuss it.
by stork
29 Nov 2016, 10:00pm
Forum: Helmets & helmet discussion
Topic: "You wear a hat, why not wear a helmet?"
Replies: 200
Views: 10818

Re: "You wear a hat, why not wear a helmet?"

You wear shoes, so why not wear steel-toecap safety boots?

You wear clothes, so why not wear a suit of armour?

You wear glasses, so why not wear safety goggles?

You drive a car, so why not drive an armoured car/tank? (Or maybe said colleague already does)

If the purpose of wearing the flat cap is impact protection, then you've probably not made a great choice, and a helmet may possibly be better. But if its purpose is something else (e.g. because it makes you look cool, or provides warmth), then a helmet is probably not a great substitute for that.
by stork
23 Nov 2016, 8:33pm
Forum: On the road
Topic: Vehicles parked on cycle lanes
Replies: 59
Views: 9369

Re: Vehicles parked on cycle lanes

Bicycler wrote:
mjr wrote:When does a cycle lane become a cycle track? When there are kerbs? When there are posts? When there's a cycle track order made?

It's far from clear from the definitions but it seems that a lane is part of the carriageway whereas a track is segregated.


I think that's probably the intention. The definitions are a mess, and certainly the definition of 'cycle track' in the Road Traffic Act looks like it could include on-carriageway cycle lanes, but as you say the other legislation then wouldn't make sense.

It does beg the question of the status of a cycle lane with light segregation, i.e. effectively part of the carriageway which has been marked as separate not just with a line but with kerbstones, armadillos, bollards etc. It could be either or both (a cycle lane and/or cycle track). But if we can't be clear what it is, then we can't be clear what laws apply, in which case there might as well not be any laws as they can't be enforced.
by stork
23 Nov 2016, 1:15pm
Forum: On the road
Topic: Vehicles parked on cycle lanes
Replies: 59
Views: 9369

Re: Vehicles parked on cycle lanes

mjr wrote:
gaz wrote:The TSRGD 2016 regulations have changed things, mandatory with flow cycle lanes can now be created without a TRO. What implications that has for lanes painted before that time I really couldn't say.

I hope all such lanes now have full force of a TSRGD 2016 lane regardless of whatever screwups were made in its TRO. Driving or parking in it is an unambiguous offence and the police may act upon the traffic offence.


The TSRGD only give effect to a prohibition on driving/riding a vehicle other than a pedal cycle in the lane. They don't prohibit parking there. Given that the equivalent provision in the Highway Act (prohibition of driving on a pavement) is never used to prosecute people who drive motor vehicles on the pavement to park there, I can't imagine that this will be any different.

The mandatory cycle lanes in King's Lynn are contraflow, not with-flow, and so this bit of the TSRGD doesn't apply. So driving in those lanes is only illegal if the TRO says so.

Cycle tracks (including 'shared-use footways') are a totally different kettle of fish: it's illegal to drive or park (either wholly or partly) in them under s.21 of the Road Traffic Act. (This means that one simple way to prohibit pavement parking is for the local authority to convert all its footways to cycle tracks).
by stork
30 Oct 2016, 9:57pm
Forum: On the road
Topic: Crash Incident
Replies: 17
Views: 2751

Re: Crash Incident

pwa wrote:It may seem unfair but without an actual collision and if you have no witnesses I'd imagine your chances of winning would rely on the driver admitting fault.


I don't think it makes much difference whether there was a collision between the vehicles or not.

Without witnesses, then the only evidence of what happened is what each party says. The advantage (?) of actually colliding is that the position etc. of the damage may give some indication of what happened.

But there doesn't need to be a collision for the driver to have been negligent and to have caused the cyclist a loss as a result. In fact, by taking evasive action, and choosing between the lesser of two evils, a cyclist in this position may be acting reasonably to minimise the damage.

There also doesn't need to be a collision to trigger the driver's duty to report the incident to the police -- all there needs to be is an accident 'owing to the presence of' a motor vehicle.

Of course it's impossible to say, from the information given, whether the driver was negligent (the cyclist's reaction suggests maybe), and/or whether there was any contributory negligence on the part of the cyclist (the need to brake hard enough to go over the bars suggests maybe).

If there had been more significant injury or damage, then it may have been worth pursuing further. As it is, may be worth trying to agree a settlement with the driver. Were they expensive bars?
by stork
15 Sep 2016, 9:44pm
Forum: Helmets & helmet discussion
Topic: The helmet section?
Replies: 586
Views: 22727

Re: The helmet section?

Dave W wrote:Hair helps.


Indeed. One of my sons had a clash of heads at school today, and he told me that the other boy wasn't so hurt because of his hair. I want some of this special, impact-absorbing hair!
by stork
15 Sep 2016, 9:39pm
Forum: On the road
Topic: Incredible secure public bike parking in Czech
Replies: 43
Views: 1868

Re: Incredible secure public bike parking in Czech

reohn2 wrote:That could be said for any law,one being highlighted continually on the forum is mobile phone use when driving,and whilst it's infinitely more dangerous than most illegal parking whether that be cycles or any other vehicle,if it can't be enforced effectively then it may as well be made legal according to your thinking.
I'm sure many mobile phone users would claim their daily business runs much better if they are allowed to use the moblile whilst driving,not that I agree with it but you see my point.


Mobile phone use when is a good example here, because the UK government's failure to ban it is, as I understand it, directly linked to their perception that such a law would be unenforceable. I don't know whether it has in fact proven unenforceable in those jurisdictions where there is a ban.

The ban on the use of hand-held mobiles certainly can be enforced effectively, although whether it is or not is a different question (whose answer is pretty obvious).


reohn2 wrote:IMHO,nothing would marginalise cycling more than people having bikes chained up to their front railings,etc,or people tripping over a bike pedal on a narrow footway,etc,if there's appropriate cycle parking nearby.


That in itself doesn't marginalise cycling, although it may influence those who have the power to make conditions better or worse for cycling. But anti-social parking can be, and already is to some degree, banned, without a blanket ban on parking anywhere other than a designated facility.
by stork
15 Sep 2016, 2:14pm
Forum: On the road
Topic: Incredible secure public bike parking in Czech
Replies: 43
Views: 1868

Re: Incredible secure public bike parking in Czech

I think that the presence or absence of 'good' (whatever that means) facilities specifically for cycle parking is a red herring here.

What should be, and to some extent already is, illegal is parking your vehicle (whether or not motorised) in such a way as to obstruct the highway or endanger other highway users. This should be the case regardless of whether there is 'good' parking, or indeed any parking, nearby.

For cycles, I don't accept that there should be any restrictions beyond this. For motor vehicles, however, I think that there should be, for a number of reasons. There are already some additional restrictions, including it being illegal to park any part of your vehicle in a cycle track, or where parking restrictions say you can't park, or in some places on the footway, and I'd also support a move to bringing footway parking law in line with cycle track parking law.

More generally, when considering legislating to ban something, there needs to be a consideration of the enforceability of the ban, and its other costs and disadvantages, set against what is likely to be gained by it. I also think that the last thing we need is the law moving further towards marginalising cyclists; the pendulum needs to be pushed, and pushed hard, in the other direction.
by stork
14 Sep 2016, 9:40pm
Forum: Helmets & helmet discussion
Topic: The helmet section?
Replies: 586
Views: 22727

Re: The helmet section?

pjclinch wrote:
Gardening gloves aren't too bad an analogy.



Could we be heading towards a separate 'gardening gloves' section?

I do wear them for tending my roses (although unlike mjr it's not something I actively 'enjoy'). But then maybe mine are stab-proof (leather). However, my use tends to lapse as I get fed up with the reduction in tactile feedback and dexterity, so they're for roses only.

Although the injury from a rose may be 'minor', it becomes major if it gets infected.

For cycling, gardening gloves are probably not a great idea. Not enough knuckle protection, and a palm side which isn't pliable enough.
by stork
14 Sep 2016, 11:29am
Forum: Does anyone know … ?
Topic: Anyone recommend a solicitor for road collision with a car?
Replies: 8
Views: 1131

Re: Anyone recommend a solicitor for road collision with a car?

From what you've said, I would imagine your claim to be in the low hundreds of pounds -- small amount for the minor injuries, plus repairs to the bike and phone. If that's the case, the cost of using a solicitor would be disproportionate to what you're claiming, and probably not recoverable from the driver in any case (as it would be a Small Claim). This also means that it's unlikely that a lawyer will want to take the matter on through a conditional fee arrangements ('no-win no-fee').

In your position, I'd probably just seek to negotiate direct with the other party's insurer. Without an independent witness or corroborating evidence, it's harder to prove a case in Court, but the insurer will be aware that a Judge may accept your version of events, and with luck will agree to settle the claim. Unless there's an important point of law or principle at stake, for example if they genuinely believe that it's a fraudulent claim, it's hardly likely to be worth their while defending a claim for, say, £300 or £500 in Court.

You don't say whether it was a a mandatory cycle lane (solid white line) or an advisory one (broken white line), but this could have a bearing on liability. If a mandatory lane, then even if the driver was right about you being on the pavement, she's probably entered the lane illegally.

Did you report the matter to the police? Whether or not you did, the driver was under a legal obligation to do so as an injury occurred.
by stork
13 Sep 2016, 9:52pm
Forum: On the road
Topic: New to Forum - Questions about visit to UK
Replies: 11
Views: 1385

Re: New to Forum - Questions about visit to UK

Can't help with the local knowledge, but I'm sure others will.

Cycling on the 'pavement' (i.e. a footway alongside a road) is illegal, but cycling on cycle tracks is obviously permitted. There are lots of places where the footway is converted to a cycle track, and where the only indication of this is a cycle track sign (round, blue background, cycle (and usually pedestrian) in white).

Police are expected to exercise discretion in enforcing the law (see http://www.roadsafetygb.org.uk/news/3319.html). I'd probably ride on a footway on a high-speed main road with little pedestrian traffic, or occasionally (and with particular care for pedestrians) around some of the worst urban junctions and traffic systems, but not in most residential or town centre areas with high pedestrian traffic.
by stork
13 Sep 2016, 9:42pm
Forum: On the road
Topic: Taking the Lane
Replies: 21
Views: 1824

Re: Taking the Lane

meic wrote:You may have also noticed that the highway code doesnt say that you must keep in to the left either.



Although it does say that you should keep to the left (rule 160). This simply means that the default driving/riding position is in the left, or leftmost lane, not that you should ride in the leftmost or any other particular part of that lane.

Note that this is not even a must.

The law does require you to keep to the left of oncoming traffic or when being 'passed' (overtaken?) (s.78 of the Highway Act 1835), but says nothing about where in the road you must or must not be in the absence of oncoming traffic.

So, subject to the rules in law and the HC about obstructing the highway, you can ride where you like in the leftmost lane; riding elsewhere in the absence of oncoming or passing traffic seems to be contrary to the HC but not illegal.

As others have pointed out, within these constraints, there are a range of possible ways of positioning yourself, or a group of riders, in the road, and most authorities see benefits for cyclists and often for other road users in riding, in some but not all circumstances, in an assertive position (primary or 'taking the lane' or riding two abreast in a group).
by stork
11 Sep 2016, 10:34pm
Forum: On the road
Topic: 2 Abreast cycling is not safe.
Replies: 46
Views: 3474

Re: 2 Abreast cycling is not safe.

There are many factors which might influence a choice to ride single or two abreast, but I disagree with the OP's suggestion that two abreast is necessarily unsafe.

The diagrams are only somewhat useful, as they show a quite narrow (c. 5m) two-lane road, yet roads come in all sorts of widths. The prevailing speeds, profile (up/downhill or flat) and volume of motor traffic will also vary.

The OP suggests that riding two abreast tells drivers it's OK to pass close. Not necessarily. What it may be saying is, it's not OK to pass unless you move out of this lane. So it could just as easily encourage wide passing of solo cyclists. It's also important to remember that it's not solely about how close the pass is, it's about the speed. Two abreast is likely to encourage a lower overtaking speed, both because of the narrower gap and the shorter distance in which an overtake can be completed.

Also, riding two abreast gives the more vulnerable road user more control -- if the motorist does come too close, then the riders have somewhere to go, even singling out as a defensive manoeuvre if really needed.

On a typical 24ft (7.3m) road, you ride two abreast, and be overtaken with a clearance of 2-3m, which is probably OK even if the motor is doing 40mph or a bit more. On a narrower road, riding two abreast may prevent any attempt at overtaking at all, so riders can single out only when they feel it's safe to do so.

On a much wider road with busy traffic, if there's plenty of room to overtake safely within the lane at prevailing speeds, then riding single in secondary position may be a more pragmatic choice; this is more likely to apply on fast, busy but wide A-roads.

The HC advice about singling out at bends etc. is pretty stupid, because it is here that the safety advantage of two abreast is at its greatest, in that it deters dangerous attempts to squeeze past.

Ultimately, as others have said, it's about common sense and courtesy.