Training to filter

For discussions within the Cycle Training profession.
thirdcrank
Posts: 30105
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Training to filter

Postby thirdcrank » 28 Aug 2009, 9:37pm

I have always filtered through traffic but I had always assumed it was legally doubtful. Certainly for most of my time as a cyclist it seems to have been officially regarded as a 'bad thing'. I've always been careful and only once nearly come to grief, when a passenger is a stationary truck opened the very high cab door which I caught with my shoulder and in his rush to get out before the lights changed he nearly jumped on me. On the odd occasion when any driver has commented on the subject, my answer has been along the lines that if drivers are prepared to overtake with a clearance of a few inches, they should not begrudge cyclists passing in a similar gap. In a couple of recent threads, members have confidently quoted the current edition of the Highway Code which gives this advice to drivers, which only warns drivers to be aware of it and it doesn't seem to me to authorise it.

160
Once moving you should ( ...)
be aware of other road users, especially cycles and motorcycles who may be filtering through the traffic. These are more difficult to see than larger vehicles and their riders are particularly vulnerable. Give them plenty of room, especially if you are driving a long vehicle or towing a trailer (...)


In a search to come up with something more authoritative, I found this in Hansard from June this year. (The MP raising the issue is a Lib Dem who seems to approve of cycling)

Mr. Leech: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport on what core criteria his Department approves school cycling safety programmes; and what account is taken of the inclusion of training in safety in relation to heavy goods vehicles in the approval of such programmes.
Mr. Khan: (...).
The National Standard deals with positioning and identifying the different hazards and road conditions cyclists may face on the road including being able to recognise the dangers that can be posed by large vehicles. Positioning and filtering is particularly important when sharing road space. Filtering allows a cyclist to move inside or outside of slow or stationary traffic but the choice to filter rests with the cyclist who needs to know how to judge when to filter. These skills are primarily taught at Level 3. Not filtering up the left of large vehicles at junctions is the main proviso cyclists are taught because the drivers of large vehicles have a blind spot on their nearside when turning left and the space there if occupied by a cyclist becomes closed. (My emphasis)


I've tried to find something about what is actually taught at Level 3 and I can only find this:

4 An understanding of filtering and an ability to decide when to filter and when to wait

So after a long intro, my short question is "Is there a specific syllabus or is it just the trainer passing on their own experience, judgment etc?"

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Sprocket
Posts: 7
Joined: 12 Jan 2007, 11:43am

Re: Training to filter

Postby Sprocket » 1 Sep 2009, 1:13pm

Hi,

I have found that teaching filtering is very difficlt to do. In order to do so successfully requires the trainee and Instructor to keep in close contact whilst cycling, which in itself can cause dangers to both. There may be room for one cycle, but rarely two. Plenty of theory work is needed. Then Trainees need to try for themselves. With the Instructor observing. If filtering past a long line of stationary/slow moving vehicles, full use of the width of the road must be used. Hazard perception is paramount and Trainees must be able to understand the implications of their actions and those of the other drivers (and cyclists). They need to be able to see things from the driver's perspective and the use of cycle lanes that go down the nearside of traffic is particularly potentially dangerous as it gives a false sense of security.

This link gives good examples of such a viewpoint, but do stress that it is not only lorry drivers who may not see them . All other road users need to see them.

Hope this is of help, the bottom line is if you are filtering you are in effect overtaking and so must take all due care when doing so, If in any doubt, don't do it. However, sitting in a traffic jam inhaling exhaust fumes, you might as well be in a car !

Regards.

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Sprocket
Posts: 7
Joined: 12 Jan 2007, 11:43am

Re: Training to filter

Postby Sprocket » 1 Sep 2009, 1:51pm

HI,

If it is any help in relation to 'syllabus', if you go to here and download Level 3 Course Manual, page 11 (Module 3) may be of some help ?

Regards.

thirdcrank
Posts: 30105
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Training to filter

Postby thirdcrank » 1 Sep 2009, 5:15pm

Sprocket

Thanks for the link, I'll have a look after tea. Just to make it 100% clear what I'm after is something in writing so it can be quoted, which covers the govt., sponsored training on filtering. The when we get the next thread from somebody who has had a problem there will be something official to refer to. Thanks again for the info. :D
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Edit:

Bingo! Just what I was looking for and had failed to find myself.

So thanks again for taking the time to point me the right way. :D