mporter wrote:... but putting blame on the cyclist for this woeful state of affairs, ....
I find it valuable to hear the views of cycling lawyer - please post more often.
On the subject of lawyers, I'm suprised that there has been almost no discussion* on here of <2 Way Street> the joint campaign by the CTC and its solicitors Russell Jones and Walker in the current CTC mag.http://www.rjw.co.uk/2waystreet/
This includes Ten Top Tips for Urban Cyclists
which I think are worth reproducing here in full. (This is from that www and is not a verbatim copy of the version in the CTC mag, but they are essentially the same.) For example, bearing in mind that this is the legal advice from the CTC's solicitors, how long before we find adult cycle training takes on the same significance as helmets? (I suppose we should be grateful that helmets are not suggested as protection from being crushed under a lorry
1. Leave that lorry alone
Never ever, undertake a lorry on the left, especially if you are at junction. Don’t do this even if there is a cycle lane.
Remember if you cycle on the left hand side of a lorry you are in the driver’s blind spot and if the lorry turns, you will have no escape. It is difficult for drivers of large vehicles to see you, so don’t hide by the side of the vehicle.
2. Make eye contact
Make eye contact with other road users, particularly at a junction, coming out of side roads and at roundabouts; this may tell you if the driver has seen you or not.
3. Look over your shoulder
Regularly look over your shoulders to see what is happening all around you. Check behind you when moving away from the kerb, before you signal to manoeuvre and at regular intervals to communicate with other road users.
4. Look ahead
Look well ahead for obstructions in the road, such as drains, potholes and parked vehicles, so that you do not have to swerve suddenly to avoid them. Planning ahead helps you to be prepared for junctions, roundabouts and traffic lights.
5. Get out of the gutter!
Your road position should not be less than 1 metre from the kerb and should be further out if it is not safe for a vehicle to pass. If someone does pass you inconsiderately then you have more room to get out of harm’s way. Keeping away from the gutter will enable drivers to see you and also help you miss the drain covers and debris on the side of the road too. Take extra care to hold your position near road humps and other traffic-calming features.
6. Don’t be floored by car doors
Leave plenty of room when passing parked vehicles and watch out for doors being opened into your path.
7. Make your intentions clear
Make your signal and manoeuvre well in advance, and only when it is safe to do so. Keep your position in your lane so vehicles cannot undertake closely on your left.
8. Cover your brakes
Keep your hands on your brake levers, so that you are ready to use them. Always use both brakes at the same time. Take extra care when it is wet or icy.
By law, when it is dark or there is bad visibility you must have lights on the front and rear of your bike. Always carry spare small lights in case your main lights are not working.
10. Cycle Training
If you are a beginner or even if you are an experienced cyclist, you can benefit from an adult cycle training session. Find out more about cycling safely in today’s road conditions by contacting your local instructor http://www.ctc.org.uk/instructors
*The original survey questionnaire attracted some comment about its poor structure and I've posted on what I think is an incorrect interpretation of the law which would impose a legal obligation to use lights at certain times in daylight (bullet point 9.)
IMO a narrow cycle lane in a situation like this makes a cyclist's position impossible. If cyclists are not in it, many drivers, including the drivers of lorries and buses will 'discipline' them, with horn blowing at best, reckless overtaking at worst. If they are in it, then they will be even more likely to go unseen, or more often, ignored. In short, a narrow cycle lane stops cyclists from using an important safety tactic - riding in the primary position - just when it would be most useful. To put the brass knobs on, as others have pointed out, an advisory cycle lane doesn't even reserve the space for cyclists. They are a highwayman's solution - daylight robbery of roadspace from cyclists.