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Maximum Urban Area Speed Limit???

KonaKurtKonaKurt Posts: 720
edited January 2009 in Commuting chat
Does anyone know if by law, there is a MAXIMUM speed limit for cyclists within an urban area (ie, cycling along a cycle lane in an inner city/town area)??

I've tried looking in the Highway Code but cannot find one.

I'm just wondering if there is ANY situation where cycling at 25-30mph (safely) is against the law.

I was recently involved in a road accident, and someone has suggested to me that I could have been going 'too fast' in a cycle lane!

Thanks!

KK.

Posts

  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    I don't think so, but there is a "cycling furiously" offence.
  • KonaKurtKonaKurt Posts: 720
    Cycling furiously?! Really?
    Any more details about that, or a definition?

    I would imagine that refers to a cyclist who is just generally riding 'very agressivly towards other road users'???

    KK.

    P.S: Personally, I have always said that itis not speed that is dangerous, but lack of control and reaction. Same applies to motorist I guess.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I dont think you can be done for speeding as such cos there is no requirement to have speedos on bikes.

    The cycling furiously has been used before though - but very rarely as its usually quite hard to break a 30mph limit.

    If you have been in a crash and need advice - get a cycle friendly solicitor on board asap. You'll not get ripped off then. Pals of mine have used Bike Line to good use.
  • rb1956rb1956 Posts: 134
    In NSW, bicycles are subject to the same speed limits as cars etc. As far as I know, the lowest gazetted mandatory road speed limit is 40kph (There are lower limits on hospital grounds, in airports etc.). I've exceeded 40kph, but never on a road with a limit lower than 50, and exceeded 50, but only in a steep downhill 60 zone. I think "the Man" thinks that cyclists won't be able to exceed the limit, but in theory the coppers could certainly bust them for a fine, if not license points, if they did.

    Cycle paths are a different story. Some paths in Sydney have posted limits, going as low as 10kph on some bridges, but often around 25kph elsewhere. INAL, but I believe these are set by local councils, rather than the State government, and enforced (if at all) by council Rangers who don't have police powers. I have no idea what legal force these path limits might have, but the coppers can always fall back on the offence of "riding a bicycle negligently, furiously or recklessly".

    Mandatory equipment on a bicycle in NSW is: a bell or horn, and at least one working brake, plus lights and a red rear reflector if used at night. No speedo or cycle comp is required, so how cyclists might keep to speed limits is a moot point.
  • robbarkerrobbarker Posts: 1,367
    KonaKurt wrote:
    Cycling furiously?! Really?
    Any more details about that, or a definition?

    Google is your friend.
  • CunobelinCunobelin Posts: 11,792
    My personal opinion is that their is a moral as well as a legal responsibility.

    Firstly there can be local restrictions (byelaws) that are enforceable. Bournemouth for instance has these along the promenade. There are also "unenforceable" guidelines such as the DfT recommendation of a maximum 18km/h on mixed use paths.

    Secondly there is the "furious or dangerous" cycling which are a little "objective" but will certainly be used.

    Thirdly If you were involved in an incident or accident that speed was seen to be a factor then it could be used against you.

    Personally I feel that I have a responsibility to behave as a road user and hence cycle at a speed that is sensible, appropriate and within a promulgated limit.
    <b><i>He that buys land buys many stones.
    He that buys flesh buys many bones.
    He that buys eggs buys many shells,
    But he that buys good beer buys nothing else.</b></i>
    (Unattributed Trad.)
  • KonaKurtKonaKurt Posts: 720
    Cunogelin, wise words. Don't worry, speed was definatly not a factor in my accident. The driver of a large overtaking vehicle was not paying attention, and 'sideswiped' me off the road.
    Cougie, thanks for the advice, I will keep Bike Line handy for future reference.

    We all want to have fun, whatever our reason for cycling, but common sense and remembering that all bikes are vehicles, and not just playthings, will go a long way.

    That reminds me, I must open up a new topic about idiots who ignore red traffic lights!!
    :shock:
  • max speed in a cycle lane is 20mph ( i think) outwith that you are governed by the speed limit for that section of road
    the 'cycling furiously' thing worries me because if it is decided by someone who doesn't ride then does that mean its just about perception and not realistic, would they assume higher cadence suggested less control or awareness? or does it mean a head down charge?
  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    max speed in a cycle lane is 20mph ( i think) outwith that you are governed by the speed limit for that section of road
    the 'cycling furiously' thing worries me because if it is decided by someone who doesn't ride then does that mean its just about perception and not realistic, would they assume higher cadence suggested less control or awareness? or does it mean a head down charge?
    Not sure I can see how different lanes in the same carriageway could have different speed limits. Cycle paths, perhaps?

    Also, is cycling furiously any more subjective than driving without due care? (I don't know, just throwing it out there).
  • Mike HealeyMike Healey Posts: 1,023
    Doubt very much if anyone could claim that you were going too fast.

    1. Speed limits apply to motor vehicles which are required by law to have a speedometer

    2. Bicycles are not so required, so cannot be charged with exceeding the posted speed limit since the rider has no way of knowing

    3. How does the other side prove that you were going too fast, i.e. riding furiously in a manner which shows disregard for the rights of other road users?

    4. Wait for Spen 66, the resident legal wallah to comment, since he knows more about the subject than the rest of us unqualified "experts"
    Organising the Bradford Kids Saturday Bike Club at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre since 1998
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/eastbradfordcyclingclub/
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/eastbradfordcyclingclub/
  • rb1956rb1956 Posts: 134
    1. Speed limits apply to motor vehicles which are required by law to have a speedometer. 2. Bicycles are not so required, so cannot be charged with exceeding the posted speed limit since the rider has no way of knowing
    Sez who? Is that the law in the UK, or just "common sense"?

    NSW Road Rules define cyclists as "riders", and then explicitly include riders within the definition of "drivers". They go on to lay a duty on drivers to "not drive at a speed over the speed limit applying to the driver for the length of road where the driver is driving." There are no exemptions for bicycles or references to speedometers. Presumably no-speedo cyclists and equestrians are expected to use the Force or count fence-posts or something.
    3. How does the other side prove that you were going too fast, i.e. riding furiously in a manner which shows disregard for the rights of other road users?
    If the UK is like NSW, if a copper stands up and gives evidence that in their judgement you were riding "furiously", then you're gone unless you can prove you weren't. Fortunately the police here seem pretty much to ignore infractions committed by cyclists, unless they do something really stupid like knocking down an old lady while riding in a pedestrian-only zone. Bigger fish to fry.
  • CunobelinCunobelin Posts: 11,792
    I think I know where the "cycle path speed limit" rises from......

    The DfT produce a series of "Local Transport Notes", which are often used as consultation documents..

    One of these includes a "Code of Conduct" for cyslists. (For those interested LTN 1/04 Annex D)

    Bearing in mind that the preamble makes the point that the Code constitutes suggested key messages and not requirements - it has a paragraph that states:
    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.

    Not enforceable, but it does suggest a speed limit and does not specify whether it applies to on-road, off-road, shared use or segregated cycle paths - hence the confusion

    Quite sensible advice (although unless it is very quiet and/or pedestrian free I think 18 mph is a little fast!) most of the "Code" is actually quite sensible.
    <b><i>He that buys land buys many stones.
    He that buys flesh buys many bones.
    He that buys eggs buys many shells,
    But he that buys good beer buys nothing else.</b></i>
    (Unattributed Trad.)
  • CunobelinCunobelin Posts: 11,792
    Slightly OT......

    This paragraph has served me well. We had a local paper rant about cyclists not using a path in Fareham. One particular guy (a driving instructor) was adamant that cyclists had to use cycle lanes and stay of the road when there was a path available.

    It was wonderful to be able to reply...

    "The DfT publishes a Code of Conduct for cyclists which clearly states that at speeds greater than 18 mph cyclists should use the road and implies that at this speed cycle path use is inappropriate.

    This raises some concern that a driving instructor is unaware of DfT guidelines and has so vehemently criticised cyclists for following these guidelines."

    It was published with a positive effect
    <b><i>He that buys land buys many stones.
    He that buys flesh buys many bones.
    He that buys eggs buys many shells,
    But he that buys good beer buys nothing else.</b></i>
    (Unattributed Trad.)
  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    rb1956 wrote:
    1. Speed limits apply to motor vehicles which are required by law to have a speedometer. 2. Bicycles are not so required, so cannot be charged with exceeding the posted speed limit since the rider has no way of knowing
    Sez who? Is that the law in the UK, or just "common sense"?

    NSW Road Rules define cyclists as "riders", and then explicitly include riders within the definition of "drivers". They go on to lay a duty on drivers to "not drive at a speed over the speed limit applying to the driver for the length of road where the driver is driving." There are no exemptions for bicycles or references to speedometers. Presumably no-speedo cyclists and equestrians are expected to use the Force or count fence-posts or something.
    3. How does the other side prove that you were going too fast, i.e. riding furiously in a manner which shows disregard for the rights of other road users?
    If the UK is like NSW, if a copper stands up and gives evidence that in their judgement you were riding "furiously", then you're gone unless you can prove you weren't. Fortunately the police here seem pretty much to ignore infractions committed by cyclists, unless they do something really stupid like knocking down an old lady while riding in a pedestrian-only zone. Bigger fish to fry.

    I think you are correct that cyclists have to obey the speed limit. This is certainly the case in Canada, but not sure about this country. :oops:

    I'm not sure that motor vehicles have to be equipped with a speedometer, do they?
  • bikes have no speed limit only cycling furiously though it's been many years since i've heard of a case they tend to hit the news.

    royal parks do have speed limits that apply to bikes no idea if one has ever gone to court though. speedo or not is unlikely to make any differance. i think motorbikes may not legaly need a speedo, but regardless can be sure there will be some thing that doesn't.

    this said it's not something i'd worry about i'm not likly to be holding 30 mph around town...
  • Mike HealeyMike Healey Posts: 1,023
    rb1956 wrote:
    1. Speed limits apply to motor vehicles which are required by law to have a speedometer. 2. Bicycles are not so required, so cannot be charged with exceeding the posted speed limit since the rider has no way of knowing
    Sez who? Is that the law in the UK, or just "common sense"?

    NSW Road Rules define cyclists as "riders", and then explicitly include riders within the definition of "drivers". They go on to lay a duty on drivers to "not drive at a speed over the speed limit applying to the driver for the length of road where the driver is driving." There are no exemptions for bicycles or references to speedometers. Presumably no-speedo cyclists and equestrians are expected to use the Force or count fence-posts or something.
    3. How does the other side prove that you were going too fast, i.e. riding furiously in a manner which shows disregard for the rights of other road users?
    If the UK is like NSW, if a copper stands up and gives evidence that in their judgement you were riding "furiously", then you're gone unless you can prove you weren't. Fortunately the police here seem pretty much to ignore infractions committed by cyclists, unless they do something really stupid like knocking down an old lady while riding in a pedestrian-only zone. Bigger fish to fry.

    I think you are correct that cyclists have to obey the speed limit. This is certainly the case in Canada, but not sure about this country. :oops:

    I'm not sure that motor vehicles have to be equipped with a speedometer, do they?

    I repeat, you cannot be prosecuted in this country for breaking the speed limit on a bike. Motor vehicles must be fitted with a working speedometer as a condition of the MOT test.

    Laws in Oz or Canada aren't relevant to our country.

    On the other hand, we all share, along with the US, the situation where it is safer to murder someone with a motor vehicle than with any other deadly weapon as it is likely to be considered a "tragic accident".
    Organising the Bradford Kids Saturday Bike Club at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre since 1998
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/eastbradfordcyclingclub/
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/eastbradfordcyclingclub/
  • http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1988/Uk ... 80052_en_1
    http://www.bikeforall.net/content/cycli ... he_law.php

    Just my two pen'th. But who has the right to say that anyone is cycling too fast? How can anyone have any notion of what is too fast? fast or furious. Just a Q.

    I can easily cycle in excess of 30 mph and have friends that make me look slow. Round town I know that I need to keep to the speed of the flow of traffic. However, out of town where the limit maybe 60 or 70 mph (on duel carriageways) then any speed I do will be slower than the speed of the flow of traffic. So where does it say that I must ride at the pace of the slowest cycle?

    Sorry, I just think that it's a nonsense to suggest that cyclist using cycle lanes should be going slowly. Why?
    On the other hand, if your sharing a cycle lane with pedestrians, then you need to go slowly. Pedestrians do strange things. (I should know I'm one of them.) Still, if I'm out running, please cycle faster. :?
  • KonaKurtKonaKurt Posts: 720
    Mike Healey, Thanks for your comments, I think you are absolutly spot on right.

    I was only concerned with the law in the UK, by the way. I am sure laws are different in every nation. Obviously, you should 'give way' and slow down as and when you come across any obstruction, be it a horse rider, pedestrian, slower cyclist, etc etc, but as a unmotorised vehicle without a compulsary speedometer, it is hard to prove a cycle is speeding. Unless of course, you start to exceed the limits for motor vehicles aroun 40-50mph.... if that possible!!

    As with fast motor sports, like F1 and Rallying, I think it is a question of CONTROL and general alertness that matter most. We all perceive different things in different ways, usually in terms of whether we think we could handle the situation ok ourselves.

    At the moment, I am more concerned with red traffic light jumpers..! (see my other forum topic!)

    KK.
  • CunobelinCunobelin Posts: 11,792
    bikes have no speed limit only cycling furiously though it's been many years since i've heard of a case they tend to hit the news.

    royal parks do have speed limits that apply to bikes no idea if one has ever gone to court though. speedo or not is unlikely to make any differance. i think motorbikes may not legaly need a speedo, but regardless can be sure there will be some thing that doesn't.

    this said it's not something i'd worry about i'm not likly to be holding 30 mph around town...


    Richmond park regularly as clampdowns on speeding cyclists with warnings and fines.
    <b><i>He that buys land buys many stones.
    He that buys flesh buys many bones.
    He that buys eggs buys many shells,
    But he that buys good beer buys nothing else.</b></i>
    (Unattributed Trad.)
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