rules of the road

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
CliveyT
Posts: 349
Joined: 13 Jun 2012, 2:55pm
Location: Cambridge

Re: rules of the road

Postby CliveyT » 2 Feb 2017, 10:38am

Pete Owens wrote:I think this kind of behaviour is a London thing. I used to think all those stickers on trucks advising cyclists against undertaking were a bit pointless - though I couldn't understand why it caused so much anger - surely it is so obviously stupid that nobody does it - they don't up here in the sticks. Then I saw some of the silly cyclist videos and it does seem to be common.



Cambridge is rife with it, I think on road cycle lanes don't help. Certainly when I stop rather than undertake a left signalling vehicle I will very often be overtaken by other cyclists

scrumpydave
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Joined: 24 Jul 2015, 1:31pm

Re: rules of the road

Postby scrumpydave » 2 Feb 2017, 3:05pm

I think the prevailing school of thought is that cyclists should be on the left of motorised traffic at all time. This is common amongst drivers (who don't want to be slowed down) and is also common amongst novice cyclists (who don't want to put themselves in front of said drivers).

The problem is that this idea is ingrained even in road design so is hard to dispel. There's a junction near me that I dislike intensely:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Sto ... -1.0351441

Notice how the roundabout encourages cyclists to stay on the outside, even if they are turning right. Notice also how the approach lane encourages cyclists to put themselves alongside cars (there is no advanced stop line for cyclists). The design is inviting people to put themselves in conflict with drivers.

So don't be surprised when cyclists suddenly appear on your left. For a lot of cyclists all the clues they have around them are telling them that's where they should be.

reohn2
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Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: rules of the road

Postby reohn2 » 2 Feb 2017, 3:43pm

There's been a couple times on the forum,that I've been taken to task when I've pointed out how downright stupid cyclists have been when I've watched a linked video of them riding up the inside of left indicating vehicles.
One in particular where a stationary left indicating 7.5 tonne box van at a TL crossroads(in London),with cyclists clearly huddled in an ASL at the front nearside corner of the vehicle yet other cyclists insisted on lining up down it's nearside waiting for the lights to change.
From the cyclist POV it's sheer madness,downright dangerous and potentially very risky,from the driver's POV irritating to think such cyclist's stupid behaviour are holding him/her to ransom until they get past,or risking life and or limb on him not being a bad driver by forgetting to check his/her nearside mirror before turning left into them.
It's simply crazy to leave to chance such important and potentially life threatening decisions from a vulnerable perspective,unless they're oblivious to the dangers posed by such behaviour,which frankly riding in heavy traffic even for a short time should teach anyone with half a brain not to do it,and that's without recognising that not all drivers actually feel the need to indicate to do any manoeuvre,as some clearly don't!
People using UK roads IME can be unpredictable whether they walk or use any other form of transport,but one thing's for sure the vulnerable road user by definition is just that and as a result will always come of worst when in collision with a motor vehicle.
And although a driver of a motor vehicle may be fined or have their licence endorsed or removed for bad driving(possibly :roll: ),their bodily well being will still be intact,not so for a cyclist being side swiped by a motor into the abundant street furniture found at city centre junctions.
There's a lot wrong will UK roads from a cycling POV,but putting oneselfdeliberately on the receiving end of the bad design/planning and bad/careless driving purposely isn't healthy.
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MikeF
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Joined: 11 Nov 2012, 9:24am
Location: On the borders of the four South East Counties

Re: rules of the road

Postby MikeF » 2 Feb 2017, 11:50pm

scrumpydave wrote:I think the prevailing school of thought is that cyclists should be on the left of motorised traffic at all time. This is common amongst drivers (who don't want to be slowed down) and is also common amongst novice cyclists (who don't want to put themselves in front of said drivers).

The problem is that this idea is ingrained even in road design so is hard to dispel. There's a junction near me that I dislike intensely:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Sto ... -1.0351441

Notice how the roundabout encourages cyclists to stay on the outside, even if they are turning right. Notice also how the approach lane encourages cyclists to put themselves alongside cars (there is no advanced stop line for cyclists). The design is inviting people to put themselves in conflict with drivers.

So don't be surprised when cyclists suddenly appear on your left. For a lot of cyclists all the clues they have around them are telling them that's where they should be.
What a bizarre layout. A cycle lane starts in the middle of the road for any cyclists wanting to turn right or carry straight on! And the lane for the left turn gives protection for cyclists until it joins the new road but then ends with a give way marking.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

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squeaker
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Joined: 12 Jan 2007, 11:43pm
Location: Sussex

Re: rules of the road

Postby squeaker » 3 Feb 2017, 9:47am

[quote="MikeF"What a bizarre layout. A cycle lane starts in the middle of the road for any cyclists wanting to turn right or carry straight on! And the lane for the left turn gives protection for cyclists until it joins the new road but then ends with a give way marking.[/quote]
The other exits aren't any better :roll:
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reohn2
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Re: rules of the road

Postby reohn2 » 3 Feb 2017, 11:07am

Mad innit? :twisted:
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pwa
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Re: rules of the road

Postby pwa » 3 Feb 2017, 11:26am

In reply to the OP, and not having yet looked at any of the replies (apologies), all road users, including cyclists should be sticking to the rules of the road for their own safety and that of everyone else. That does mean sticking to the correct lane and only changing lane when it is safe to do so and doesn't require others to brake. Being on the road means taking part in a sort of dance, where the only thing that stops us bumping into each other is following the agreed steps, and remaining predictable to those around us.

I don't cycle in London or any other big urban area, so my urban cycling is mostly limited to small towns where off-road facilities are patchy or totally absent. So making my on-road cycling as good as it needs to be is important. It makes me cringe when I see erratic cycling, though it is less dangerous to others than erratic driving.

Hope you become a regular cyclist and stay safe. I've been cycling on roads for 50 years and I'm not dead yet, if that helps your confidence.

reohn2
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Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: rules of the road

Postby reohn2 » 3 Feb 2017, 11:47am

pwa wrote:In reply to the OP, and not having yet looked at any of the replies (apologies), all road users, including cyclists should be sticking to the rules of the road for their own safety and that of everyone else. That does mean sticking to the correct lane and only changing lane when it is safe to do so and doesn't require others to brake. Being on the road means taking part in a sort of dance, where the only thing that stops us bumping into each other is following the agreed steps, and remaining predictable to those around us.

Agreed,but the problem being that not everyone sticks to the dance steps and toes get stood on,and the ones doing the toe standing are usually the overweight blundering bullies.That's not to say the the lightweight dancers don't get underfoot now and again.But the large blunderers have more responsibility not to stand on the toes of others.
Of course there are those that don't know or care for the right dance steps. :wink:


It makes me cringe when I see erratic cycling, though it is less dangerous to others than erratic driving.

That's probably because we both cycle,those who only drive four wheelers,have a different perspective of cycling aided and abetted by a totally biased press and judicial system weighted in favour of the car,some in the extremis even believing cyclists have no place on the roads at all,and a fair number believing cycling to be unsafe because of the cars they drive,not for one minute believing themselves to have a duty of care for cyclists safety.
But as has been posted above there's no accounting for people,using whatever mode of transport,who don't want to join in the same dance as everyone else.
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nigelnightmare
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Joined: 19 Sep 2016, 10:33pm

Re: rules of the road

Postby nigelnightmare » 3 Feb 2017, 2:41pm

I think that Anyone who wants to drive on the roads should be made to spend 1year riding a bicycle with training, 1year riding a motor bike and pass their test BEFORE being allowed to learn to drive a car, then have to have a full (clean) car licence for a least 2 years before being able to do commercial driving, HGV, PSV, SPV etc.

That way everyone would be using the same set of rules and we wouldn't have all this confusion.
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Some unwritten rules I Ride by are:-

1; Know and abide by the rules. Highway code (Mostly).

2; Everyone else on the road is a complete nut (likely to do anything) and is out to get you.

3; Don't argue with anything bigger than me.

My dad taught me that and I'm still here.

I've been involved in in seven road incidences in my road using life (46 years) and only 1 was my "fault", I had a sneezing fit and ran into the car in front at a roundabout whilst driving an automatic car (I forgot to put the handbrake on). :roll:

AlaninWales
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Joined: 26 Oct 2012, 1:47pm

Re: rules of the road

Postby AlaninWales » 3 Feb 2017, 3:38pm

The problem is that most drivers (and most cyclists will either be drivers or heavily influenced by them) do expect cyclists to keep left all the time. This is even reflected in the Highway Code which says:-
Rule 187

In all cases watch out for and give plenty of room to
...
cyclists and horse riders who may stay in the left-hand lane and signal right if they intend to continue round the roundabout. Allow them to do so


OK, so this is for Roundabouts - but it doesn't exclude mini roundabouts and (since these are frequently installed at normal road junctions without widening) it is not a great leap to expect to do the same thing at all road junctions. Unless someone has had good quality (Cyclecraft style - not your average Council course) instruction, they will be expecting to ride like this. As a car driver (and therefore the one bringing the danger) I regard it as incumbent on me to be the one looking out for anyone doing this. Actually it isn't hard; I was in London Weds and Thurs last week (too long a journey to take a cycle unfortunately!) and keeping a constant lookout for pedestrians and cyclists is just a matter of staying alert to what is around you. Anyone who cannot simply should not be driving (sorry OP, but one here - mostly a car driver nowadays, who has no sympathy for your tale of woe).

chris3vic
Posts: 291
Joined: 25 Mar 2011, 9:00pm

Re: rules of the road

Postby chris3vic » 3 Feb 2017, 6:46pm

I cycle to work in central Manchester three days a week and consider myself to be well schooled in navigating the treacherously congested roads quite efficiently. However I have experienced more and more people on bikes seemingly with a death wish, ignoring red lights, cutting up the inside of buses and jumping from road to pavement to road with no regard for anyone.

The cycle to work scheme began as a great idea but it has encouraged a lot of people to cycle to work who don't seem to be able to follow the rules of the road, have no common sense, and put their lives in the hands of oblivious drivers whos only thoughts are on how soon they'll get their first coffee if the morning whilst listening to the inane thumping noises that seem to emit from the majority of mainstream radio breakfast shows.

Pete Owens
Posts: 1934
Joined: 7 Jul 2008, 12:52am

Re: rules of the road

Postby Pete Owens » 3 Feb 2017, 7:58pm

If they are going to behave like that the the less lethal their vehicle the better.

thinkingaboutcycling
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Joined: 1 Feb 2017, 1:40pm

Re: rules of the road

Postby thinkingaboutcycling » 6 Feb 2017, 1:32am

Hey thanks for all the responses, an interesting range of views.

I agree with the person who said it's incumbent on the driver to keep alert at all times- as I said in my original post, I do indeed try to do this, and it wasn't a "tale of woe" that required sympathy, more a near-miss that caused me to ponder (and post here) some questions about the practicalities of fitting the expectations of various road users into a single Highway Code.

I did cycle to work for a few short weeks last summer- my route was mostly on canal towpaths, but on the road stretches I was quite shocked by the huge gap in riding styles between me and some other cyclists. I was almost painfully cautious; hanging back rather than going up the inside of queues of traffic (what's the point, they'll just go past me again after the junction anyway,) even occasionally just getting off and pushing the bike over pedestrian crossings rather than negotiate a junction. But I watched other cyclists zipping between vehicles, squeezing down the inside of buses, weaving between lanes etc. Perhaps it was partly my noobs nerves, but I think mostly it was because I was still wearing my driver's cap and seeing the situation from the other perspective. And being acutely aware that I was the more vulnerable party for a change.

Someone suggested that all drivers first cycle for a year- good idea, but conversely perhaps non-driving cyclists ought to take a kind of basic theory test too, just to familiarise themselves with the notion of lanes etc? It must help if we all apply the same rules.

I guess the one overriding impression I had of riding last year was that the cycling provision on the UK roads is pretty dire and often creates more confusion than it solves. One section on my route, past Lea Bridge Road station, has a strip of pavement painted as a cycle lane about 50cm wide, with a row of iron bollards running right down the middle of it!

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Si
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Re: rules of the road

Postby Si » 7 Feb 2017, 11:19am

(what's the point, they'll just go past me again after the junction anyway,)


guess it depends on the junction - I've a couple on my commute where if I stay in line it takes a couple of phases of lights before I get to the front, whereas nipping down the side (normally the right) can get me through without stopping. I agree that if there are only a couple of cars there and they aren't turning right then you may as well wait in line.

riding styles between me and some other cyclists. I was almost painfully cautious


Sometimes you can be overly cautious. Some drivers will see your reluctance to proceed as an opportunity to get into a gap that isn't really there. We get this all the time while teaching bikeability and our trainee slows up despite having priority. It's just a case of getting some experience and then making a sound judgement: what may initially look scary can actually feel a lot safer once you get used to it. Another good example is that many new cyclists will ride in the gutter as far from the motor traffic as possible, but they will be a lot safer at least 1m out, and in circumstances where having someone squeeze past is a bad idea: in the middle of the moving lane.

pwa
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Re: rules of the road

Postby pwa » 7 Feb 2017, 3:28pm

I was in the pedestrianised area of central Cardiff on Saturday and it was heaving with pedestrtrians. But that did not stop a Deliveroo bloke treating the people as slalom obstacles as he cycled through the crowd of shoppers. A toddler could easily finish up under his wheels. On this swear word free forum I can't tell you what I thought of him. There are too many people like that on bikes in our cities at the moment. When they get off the pavement and onto the road they put themselves at risk, rather than the rest of us. Why do they do it? I honestly don't know.