White Lines

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Mick F
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White Lines

Postby Mick F » 29 Jan 2007, 8:39pm

I'm a little confused about the law.

I quote Simon L6:
"The judge accepted that Daniel would have been unwise to ride on the left hand side of the continuous white line that ran at the edge of the road -furthermore he said it would have been illegal."

Illegal?

I often ride to the left of the white line on dual carriage-ways and major main roads.

Que?

Mick F. Cornwall

gaterz1981

Postby gaterz1981 » 29 Jan 2007, 8:43pm

Hate cycling too far left of the road. Pick up punctures. So longs you lit up like a christmas tree then they'll avoid you......hopefully

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Postby thirdcrank » 29 Jan 2007, 9:12pm

MickF

Well spotted. I thought I had read everything on that thread but I missed that.

The white line in question seems to be the edge of carriageway marking. This is a safety device (pace Adams and Axel_nutt) intended to help drivers see the edge of the road.

Some drivers do believe it is intended that cyclists must ride behind it and get upset when they don't. I was once offered violence by a lorry driver on the A 650 for not doing so.

The fact that the space behind these markings frequently tapers away makes riding behind them risky. In my Right to Ride Rep days we had a tussle with the Highways Agency over some on the A660. The reply we got back was completely unhelpful but it did contain something on the lines that the Agency recognised that many cyclists found them valuable as unofficial cycle lanes, the exact opposite of the point we had made.

They sometimes have raised ribs to increase their visibility in the dark. There is a Traffic Advice Leaflet about these which specifically advises that raised ribs should not be used if they would cause danger for cyclists crossing them - not something which would happen if it were illegal.

Anyway, all that happened at the appeal which was in the form of a full re-trial was that the prosecution presented their case and the defence successfully submitted 'no case to answer' (The prosecution must put up evidence sufficient to obtain a conviction if unrebutted before the defendant need even go to first base.) In theory, the prosecution can ask the court to 'state a case' with a view to taking it further still but that is never going to happen. As SimonL6 says, this sets no precedents, but I think the CPS at least will take note. There is a lot on the other thread about how it got this far. Although this was a big case for Mr Cadden in particular and cyclists in general, it is a minor incident in terms of the prosecution and the original decision to prosecute will have been taken on the nod at very junior level. It got to the Crown Court because once there was a summary conviction, that was the only route open to the defence.

Dai

Postby Dai » 30 Jan 2007, 12:20am

My ride into town includes a short section of Dual Carriageway and I always used to ride to the left of the line, or on it when dry, but since one day when, due to a moments lack of concentration, I found myself faced with making an instant decision between coming to a sticky end by hitting a large bolt that was lying in the road or swerving into the path of an approaching minibus I have changed my mind. Luckily the minibus driver spotted my panic and gave me enough room.
Since then I have ridden to the right of it all times.

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Postby David » 30 Jan 2007, 9:02am

Dai wrote:My ride into town includes a short section of Dual Carriageway and I always used to ride to the left of the line, or on it when dry, but since one day when, due to a moments lack of concentration, I found myself faced with making an instant decision between coming to a sticky end by hitting a large bolt that was lying in the road or swerving into the path of an approaching minibus I have changed my mind. Luckily the minibus driver spotted my panic and gave me enough room.
Since then I have ridden to the right of it all times.


I had problems interpreting this until I realised that the bus was approaching from behind (it was wasn't it ?).

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Mick F
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Postby Mick F » 30 Jan 2007, 9:26am

Thanks for replies, and to you yet again TC.

But is it actually illegal as the judge said? Is he wrong?

I've found mile after mile after mile of easily cycle-able "land" to the left of the white line. BUT nuts, bolds, glass, litter etc does have to be kept an eye on!

The 'rumble strip' can be a bit of a devil, and those infernal cats eyes, but sometimes, just sometimes, the hazards to the left of the white line are preferable to the hazards of the huge lorries. I hate the sort of roads that need these devices, but sometimes it's the only 'sensible' route.

Mick F. Cornwall

Dai

Postby Dai » 30 Jan 2007, 10:02am

David wrote:
Dai wrote:My ride into town includes a short section of Dual Carriageway and I always used to ride to the left of the line, or on it when dry, but since one day when, due to a moments lack of concentration, I found myself faced with making an instant decision between coming to a sticky end by hitting a large bolt that was lying in the road or swerving into the path of an approaching minibus I have changed my mind. Luckily the minibus driver spotted my panic and gave me enough room.
Since then I have ridden to the right of it all times.


I had problems interpreting this until I realised that the bus was approaching from behind (it was wasn't it ?).


Yes it was but I couldn't think of a word for it - whagt do you call approaching from behind (no smutty comments please). Is it deproaching, rearproaching?

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Postby David » 30 Jan 2007, 12:52pm

Mick F wrote:Thanks for replies, and to you yet again TC.

But is it actually illegal as the judge said? Is he wrong?

I've found mile after mile after mile of easily cycle-able "land" to the left of the white line. BUT nuts, bolds, glass, litter etc does have to be kept an eye on!

The 'rumble strip' can be a bit of a devil, and those infernal cats eyes, but sometimes, just sometimes, the hazards to the left of the white line are preferable to the hazards of the huge lorries. I hate the sort of roads that need these devices, but sometimes it's the only 'sensible' route.

Mick F. Cornwall


Remember your highway code - solid white line means "do not cross or straddle". This is a solid white line down the edge of the road therefore crossing it is an offence.

I must admit to breaking the law regularly in this instance because I too cycle left of the line.

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Postby Mick F » 30 Jan 2007, 1:41pm

Hi David,

Agree that white lines in the CENTRE are as you say. But HC says that lines on the edge are just edge markings.

See:
http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/10.htm#106
http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/signs09.htm

Mick F. Cornwall

Hugo

Postby Hugo » 30 Jan 2007, 1:59pm

The white line in question seems to be the edge of carriageway marking. This is a safety device (pace Adams and Axel_nutt) intended to help drivers see the edge of the road.

Some drivers do believe it is intended that cyclists must ride behind it and get upset when they don't</quote>

The A35 Tolpuddle bypass was so enthusiastically received by local people that one aged woman, who could never ride a bike ,took up the cudgels on behalf of cyclists. She was very keen on doing B+B and saw this as another chance to have a cycle route all the way to her front door, just off the bypass.

The result was a marked cycling route alongside a 100mph road which necessitated cycling to the left of these white lines, for about 7miles.

That was not so bad, but the route channels ALL vehicles, not just cars and heavy lorries, in to an extremely narrow section just outside Dorchester,
which is a death trap to motorists, let alone cyclists. There may have been twenty or so fatal accidents there in the 8 years it has been built.

I do my best to encourage cyclists not to use it, but sometimes without success....... "It is a very good cycle route!" they say.

Sustrans route 2 is about three miles south, and it is an opportunity for an old campaigner like me to recomend, to them, the use of Sustrans mapping and Marked routes.

I shudder to see people using the road.

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Postby Brian » 30 Jan 2007, 2:54pm

There are people on here who know much more about the law than me, but my understanding is that the strip of tarmac to the left of the white line is not part of the public carriageway. Hence, it is probably illegal to ride on it.
Having said that, I agree with the other posters who say it is often preferable to the dangers of riding in the main carriageway.

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Postby keepontriking » 30 Jan 2007, 10:18pm

thirdcrank wrote:MickF

The white line in question seems to be the edge of carriageway marking. This is a safety device (pace Adams and Axel_nutt) intended to help drivers see the edge of the road.


Describing the white edge line as a "safety device" can be misleading, to say the least.
Some LAs will put down white edge lines as a means to encourage traffic, especially heavier vehicles which damage the edges, to keep towards teh centre so as to cut their maintenance bills.

They then try and cover-up their failure to maintain roads adequately by dressing it up as a 'safety measure' .

Don't fall for their B*llsh*t
:x

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Postby thirdcrank » 30 Jan 2007, 10:22pm

Sorry. The bit in brackets was supposed to convey a touch of irony.

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Postby andrew_s » 30 Jan 2007, 11:01pm

Brian wrote:There are people on here who know much more about the law than me, but my understanding is that the strip of tarmac to the left of the white line is not part of the public carriageway. Hence, it is probably illegal to ride on it.
Having said that, I agree with the other posters who say it is often preferable to the dangers of riding in the main carriageway.


I think you will find that the to the left of the edge of carriageway marking is not part of the *maintained* carriageway, and comes in the same category as the verge. You are permitted to ride on it if you want (unless "set aside for pedestrians"), but if you hit any debris or obstruction in it the response will be that you should have been riding in the road - ie to the right of the line.

thirdcrank wrote:They sometimes have raised ribs to increase their visibility in the dark. There is a Traffic Advice Leaflet about these which specifically advises that raised ribs should not be used if they would cause danger for cyclists crossing them - not something which would happen if it were illegal.

On the subject of rumble strips, I thought they were there to wake up dopey drivers who are drifting off the edge of the road?

Dai

Postby Dai » 31 Jan 2007, 9:52am

[/quote]
On the subject of rumble strips, I thought they were there to wake up dopey drivers who are drifting off the edge of the road?[/quote]

Might be an idea to cover the entire road with rumble strip then.