Cycle lane direction

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
leadale
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Cycle lane direction

Postby leadale » 19 May 2017, 2:46pm

My Question:
Is it legal/OK to ride against the traffic direction in a cycle lane.? This would be safer than with traffic direction as you can see all oncoming traffic as opposed to having traffic behind you and unable to see how close it is therefore having enough time to take avoiding action.

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gaz
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Re: Cycle lane direction

Postby gaz » 19 May 2017, 2:52pm

The majority of cycle lanes on the carriageway are intend for use with flow only. Contraflow cycle lanes on the carriageway do exist, most are well signed and the "keep left" principle typically applies.

Cycletracks (which may/may not be shared with pedestrians) alongside a carriageway and in some way physically separate from it are genrally for use in both directions. Undoubtedly there are exceptions somewhere, hopefully well signed.


The repsonsibility for your safety lies with the driver of an overtaking vehicle, in the sense that it is their duty not to drive into you rather than your duty to avoid being driven into.

The majority of accidents involving cyclists occur at junctions. Being rear-ended travelling along a straight road without junctions is extremely rare.
It's got nothing to do with vorsprung durch technic you know ...

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mjr
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Re: Cycle lane direction

Postby mjr » 19 May 2017, 3:17pm

gaz wrote:The majority of cycle lanes on the carriageway are intend for use with flow only. Contraflow cycle lanes on the carriageway do exist, most are well signed and the "keep left" principle typically applies.

As well as being signed, they almost all have cycle symbols with arrows painted on them indicating the contraflow. Generally, if the cycle lane isn't in the left half of the road, don't ride in it unless it's marked for your direction of travel.

gaz wrote:Cycletracks (which may/may not be shared with pedestrians) alongside a carriageway and in some way physically separate from it are genrally for use in both directions. Undoubtedly there are exceptions somewhere, hopefully well signed.

Even where it's not an exception, all else being equal, if there's bidirectional cycle tracks along both sides, it's often better to ride to the left of the cycle track to the left of the carriageway, for various reasons.
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jgurney
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Re: Cycle lane direction

Postby jgurney » 19 May 2017, 3:41pm

leadale wrote:Is it legal/OK to ride against the traffic direction in a cycle lane?


Would it be legal for a bus driver to drive their bus against the traffic direction in a bus lane?

No, and exactly the same applies to a cycle lane, or any other kind of restricted-use lane, apart from those deliberately set up a contraflows.

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mjr
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Re: Cycle lane direction

Postby mjr » 19 May 2017, 5:41pm

jgurney wrote:Would it be legal for a bus driver to drive their bus against the traffic direction in a bus lane?

If it's a bi-directional bus lane, it would be (or rather, neither direction would be against the traffic). However, they tend to have "BUS" written both ways up.

I'm sure there are some in the UK but I can't remember where any are, so here's one in France: http://www.instantstreetview.com/@51.01 ... -12.91p,1z
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gaz
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Re: Cycle lane direction

Postby gaz » 19 May 2017, 5:47pm

mjr wrote:I'm sure there are some in the UK ...

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Riv ... d0.5025712
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tatanab
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Re: Cycle lane direction

Postby tatanab » 19 May 2017, 5:51pm

I know of many shared pedestrian/cyclist paths that are bidirectional without the signs to say so. Road layout dictates that this is the intention. On the extremely rare occasion that I use them (preferring other routes simply to avoid these stupid facilities) I am wary of riding into the face of traffic even though separated by the Kerb. I am especially wary after dark since motorists may not expect to see a white light approaching on their left.

It certainly is not safer to cycle into the face of traffic. At a junction what happens? the motorist will assume you will stop to let them across. So it might seem safer if you never go more than a few yards, but for trying to get somewhere it certainly is not. Even Americans have come to realise this and the once common act of cycling (low speed) into the face of traffic is now discouraged.

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mjr
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Re: Cycle lane direction

Postby mjr » 19 May 2017, 6:36pm

tatanab wrote:It certainly is not safer to cycle into the face of traffic. At a junction what happens? the motorist will assume you will stop to let them across. So it might seem safer if you never go more than a few yards, but for trying to get somewhere it certainly is not. Even Americans have come to realise this and the once common act of cycling (low speed) into the face of traffic is now discouraged.

Playing devil's advocate: if you're cycling contraflow aka salmoning, then at least you can see the motorist in the adjacent lane more easily and don't have to look as tightly over your shoulder as you approach the junction.

Personally, I agree it's safer to ride on the track/lane on the left if possible for anything more than a short section, but I think that's because a motorist that could left-hook you can see you for longer (because other motorists don't block their view at all) and you get a bit more warning/time-to-react to a motorist right-crossing you, rather than because a motorist is more likely to give way to a with-flow cyclist as a matter of principle - sadly, I doubt that's true and too many motorists think they can just turn across any left-side cycle or bus lane without giving way.

I try to speed up or slow down so I arrive at junctions or crossings when it's very unlikely that a motorist can turn across or into me.
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Re: Cycle lane direction

Postby Vorpal » 19 May 2017, 8:51pm

mjr wrote:
tatanab wrote:It certainly is not safer to cycle into the face of traffic. At a junction what happens? the motorist will assume you will stop to let them across. So it might seem safer if you never go more than a few yards, but for trying to get somewhere it certainly is not. Even Americans have come to realise this and the once common act of cycling (low speed) into the face of traffic is now discouraged.

Playing devil's advocate: if you're cycling contraflow aka salmoning, then at least you can see the motorist in the adjacent lane more easily and don't have to look as tightly over your shoulder as you approach the junction.

Personally, I agree it's safer to ride on the track/lane on the left if possible for anything more than a short section, but I think that's because a motorist that could left-hook you can see you for longer (because other motorists don't block their view at all) and you get a bit more warning/time-to-react to a motorist right-crossing you, rather than because a motorist is more likely to give way to a with-flow cyclist as a matter of principle - sadly, I doubt that's true and too many motorists think they can just turn across any left-side cycle or bus lane without giving way.

I try to speed up or slow down so I arrive at junctions or crossings when it's very unlikely that a motorist can turn across or into me.

In the USA, at least in some places, people were told to walk and cycle against traffic, and the accident rate for cyclists went up astronomically. Wrong-way cycling (aka salmoning) still acounts for 10% of crashes involving cyclists in a couple of US states, even though only about 2% of cyclists do it. I can't find where I read that. I don't think that advice has been given anywhere since at least the 70s.

http://www.bicyclinglife.com/Library/riskfactors.htm says it's 3 times more risky than cycling with traffic.
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eileithyia
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Re: Cycle lane direction

Postby eileithyia » 19 May 2017, 9:17pm

There's a two way cycle way around the bay between Puerta Pollensa and Alcudia, we never use the 'against the traffic side' and always ride on the shoulder riding with the traffic..... The cycle way is not very wide, and ride on the right is order of the day... that means when we use it from Alcudia we are furthest away from the traffic travelling the same direction. But consider the riders using it in the opp direction they riding in a narrow lane between approaching riders on one side and approaching traffic on their other side... :shock: Given the size some of the groups can be.... not something to be undertaken lightly....
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ChrisOntLancs
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Re: Cycle lane direction

Postby ChrisOntLancs » 19 May 2017, 9:55pm

it isn't safer. it's one more unpredictable element on the roads. you have nowhere to go if a pedestrian steps out or something, and just because somebody is aware of you it doesn't mean they are poised to react to you if you have to change your line.

i know cycling by the book seems like the scariest thing on the planet but once you're confident it's much safer and all importantly faster.

EDITED didn't wanna sound like OP's mum :lol:

drossall
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Re: Cycle lane direction

Postby drossall » 20 May 2017, 12:40pm

Vorpal wrote:In the USA, at least in some places, people were told to walk and cycle against traffic, and the accident rate for cyclists went up astronomically.

It's standard advice for pedestrians in this country, of course (where there's no pavement).

brynpoeth
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Re: Cycle lane direction

Postby brynpoeth » 20 May 2017, 3:07pm

When cycling I feel I am more like a pedestrian than a vehicle, my cycling speed is nearer to walking speed than to driving speed

Feels *safer* to be going against the flow of motor traffic. Not on the carriageway of course. At junctions I wait even if I have priority, never trust a moton
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