Monday, 15 September 2014

Myths, Fallacies and Misunderstandings

Cycle Speed Limits
Mandatory Cycle Lanes
Use of Cycle Paths

Cycle Speed Limits

Road speed limits technically only apply to motorised traffic, but speeding on a bike is extremely likely to contravene other rules - 'furious and wanton riding' probably pre-dates the wheel !

One from comments on Walking or cycling to work 'improves well-being' - BBC News.
"highway codes specifically advises cyclists that exceed 18mph should use the road, not the shared path"
This was never approved policy, but a 2004 suggestion on a DfT consultation document for shared-use segregated paths. It has appeared on a sign at the entrance to an off-road trail. [citation needed]

It did make it into 'LTN 2/04 - Adjacent and Shared Use Facilities for Pedestrians and CyclistsAnnex D: Code of Conduct Notice for Cyclists'
"suggested as the basis for a code of conduct notice for cyclists. The code could be posted at points of entry and at intervals along the route."

  • If a feature segregating cyclists from pedestrians is present, keep to the cyclist's side. This will be indicated on blue and white road signs and by cycle logos on the surface.

  • Ride on the left hand side of the area available to you. If you need to overtake another cyclist, give a gentle ring on your bell or say 'Excuse me'.
  • When coming up behind pedestrians, always pass them at a safe distance, and slowly enough so that you could avoid them if they made a sudden change in direction.
  • Remember that some pedestrians may be hard of hearing or visually impaired and hence might not be aware of you. If in doubt, give a gentle ring on your bell or say 'Excuse me'.
  • Always respect pedestrians even if they stray onto the cycling side (if there is one); they are entitled to do so. Always thank people who move out of your way.
  • Ride at a sensible speed for the situation and ensure you can stop in time. As a general rule, if you want to cycle quickly, say in excess of 18 mph/30 kph, then you should be riding on the road.
  • Use lights at night.
  • In pedestrianised areas, only ride your cycle if there aren't too many pedestrians about; otherwise dismount and push it. When visiting shops etc, park your cycle so that people will not trip over it; use formal cycle parking if available." 
  • In line with the original purpose of this blog, correcting the Highway Code:
    Speed Limits - UK Cycling Law
    Note that the Highway Code rule 124 states speed limits are in the table, but the table has no row that applies to bicycles. There is a bit of a fault in that a footnote to the table does indeed state that "The 30 mph limit usually applies to all traffic" (my emphasis), but that appears to be a wrong statement (there are a few such careless statements in the Highway Code).

    See Also

    Cycling and the law - Bikehub
    Cyclists are not subject to speed limits – Parliamentary question - Great Gas Beetle

    Mandatory Cycle Lanes

    It is illegal for motorists to enter them, not for cyclists to ride outside them.
    Ignore him if your driving instructor might tell you otherwise !

    Use of Cycle Paths

    the site of
    Cyclist dies after collision with car in Northamptonshire road - [ Northampton Chronicle and Echo ]
    Note the comments from readers.
    'mylocat' : I understand that there is a cycle path alongside this road, so what was he doing on the road?
    'Annoyed from Northampton (ex-Traffic Warden !)' : A gentleman of 70, probably didn't realise that there was a cycle lanes, as the older generation are usually more law abiding than the younger generation. SAD, R.I.P.
    At this point the road widens to three lanes - I don't know if other cars were waiting in the centre lane to turn right into Sidegate Lane. You can see from the car's shadow that the lane width is such that a car might be able to get past a bike in the same lane, if he were not in primary position. Not safely, obviously.
    Update : Northampton woman who caused death of cyclist jailed for five months - [ Northampton Chronicle and Echo ]

    UPDATE: Cyclist in hospital after crash on Hampshire road - [ Daily Echo (Southampton) ]
    has a comprehensive array of Myths, Fallacies and Misunderstandings in the comments.

    See also

    Common Misconceptions on the Road - [ RadWagon ]

    This page is really for myths about the Highway Code and Law, but
    See also
    Common Myths About Cyclists... Debunked
    Common claims and canards - [ Cycling Embassy of Great Britain ]
    Ban cyclists from the road and build more cycle paths - [ e-petitions ]
    FAQ -[ Bike-Riding Motorist (Mr Happy Cyclist's Site) ]
    The terrible journalist’s guide to writing an article about bicycles - [ As Easy As Riding A Bike ]
    Cycling Myths Busted - [ ]
    Curry Mile Cycle Tracks - early preview - [ Mad Cycle Lanes of Manchester ]
    10 Common Questions about Cycling - [ ]
    10 Cycling Myths Uncovered - [ Cyclescheme ]
    Cycling Fallacies

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