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Cycle lanes -- advanced boxes

frontmechfrontmech Posts: 4
edited October 2009 in Commuting chat
How is one supposed to use an advanced box safely?

Generally it is illegal to overtake on the left, but for some reason bicycles are encouraged to do so.

What happens in an advanced box? You move into it when the lights are on red. Well actually you commit to the move when you are overtaking on the left in the cycle lane. Then you cut the car up from the left. If they thought that the lights had gone green they move straight forward and get you with their left wing.

How are they supposed to be safe?

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  • frontmech wrote:
    How is one supposed to use an advanced box safely?

    Generally it is illegal to overtake on the left, but for some reason bicycles are encouraged to do so.

    What happens in an advanced box? You move into it when the lights are on red. Well actually you commit to the move when you are overtaking on the left in the cycle lane. Then you cut the car up from the left. If they thought that the lights had gone green they move straight forward and get you with their left wing.

    How are they supposed to be safe?

    good question! one can legally filter/overtake either side but quite often it might be unsafe.

    so I tend to in heavy traffic filter until the last safe point, so thats normally one or two cars behind rarely the advance box unless I stop at yellow/red being caught by the lights.
  • only overtake on the left if the vehicle in front is signalling to turn right, and there is room to do so
    stay in your lane if traffic is moving slowly in queues. If the queue on your right is moving more slowly than you are, you may pass on the left

    You are allowed to undertake cars that are holding up real traffic. I take a judgement call, if traffic starts to move, I'll match my speed to theirs, if they don't I take primary in the ASL.
  • Wallace1492Wallace1492 Posts: 3,707
    On my commute there are lights that have an ASL, but if there is even one car ahead, then it is impossible to get to it as the road is so narrow there is no roon to filter to the left, therefore the ASL is completely useless, and a total waste of money and time putting it there in the first place.

    In general I do like them, but too many cars encroach on them.
    "Encyclopaedia is a fetish for very small bicycles"
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    only overtake on the left if the vehicle in front is signalling to turn right, and there is room to do so
    stay in your lane if traffic is moving slowly in queues. If the queue on your right is moving more slowly than you are, you may pass on the left

    You are allowed to undertake cars that are holding up real traffic. I take a judgement call, if traffic starts to move, I'll match my speed to theirs, if they don't I take primary in the ASL.

    "Undertaking" = filtering, which you are legally allowed to do. In any case, most ASLs have a lead in stretch of cycle lane, which cars are not supposed to block or enter, however they usually do, or if it's not a car it's a big, fat moped or motorbike. I do as you say, filter into the ASL or beyond if it's blocked when cars are stationary or match their speed and go with the traffic if the lights i changing.
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  • emdeefemdeef Posts: 98
    I have one on my way home. It is on a steep upward hill which means it is difficult to make a quick start. It is also largely ignored by motorists. Yesterday evening I was stopped in the ASL and a car behind squeezed up beside me to stop at the second line about six inches to my right. I shouted that cars are supposed to stop at the first line - look of incomprehension from the driver. It reminded me why I usually get off and cross as a ped.
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    emdeef wrote:
    I have one on my way home. It is on a steep upward hill which means it is difficult to make a quick start. It is also largely ignored by motorists. Yesterday evening I was stopped in the ASL and a car behind squeezed up beside me to stop at the second line about six inches to my right. I shouted that cars are supposed to stop at the first line - look of incomprehension from the driver. It reminded me why I usually get off and cross as a ped.

    That's why the best thing to do is enter the ASL and take primary, that way they can't squeeze past.
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  • kurakokurako Posts: 1,098
    Not super keen on ASLs myself. If there's only a few cars in front then I'll just wait in primary behind the last one. They're only really useful if there's a long line and waiting at the back is likely to make you miss the light once it changes.

    One thing to remember is that most bad driving is down to impatience and frustration on the part of motorists. If they've been sitting for a while getting p'd off then see a cyclist come rolling along, park in front of them and hold them up for, oooh, a few seconds the red mist may descend.

    If some censored in a car is going to behave irrationally I'd much rather they were in front where I can see them.

    Use with care. Sometimes its not worth the bother.
  • emdeefemdeef Posts: 98
    emdeef wrote:
    I have one on my way home. It is on a steep upward hill which means it is difficult to make a quick start. It is also largely ignored by motorists. Yesterday evening I was stopped in the ASL and a car behind squeezed up beside me to stop at the second line about six inches to my right. I shouted that cars are supposed to stop at the first line - look of incomprehension from the driver. It reminded me why I usually get off and cross as a ped.


    That's why the best thing to do is enter the ASL and take primary, that way they can't squeeze past.

    I thought I had taken primary - clearly I was not far enough over
  • jedsterjedster Posts: 1,717
    I don't think they are great. I think they are particularly hazardous if you are going straight on at the junction but there is a left turn option. The risk is that you take the filter approach lane (left hand side, close to the kerb) but the lights change before you get to the ASL. A driver turns left across you and you get left-hooked.

    For this reason, I tend to ignore the filter lane and filter to the right, tucking into primary in the ASL if possible or between cars if not.

    J
  • davmaggsdavmaggs Posts: 1,008
    As with all road features some of them work in certain locations and others are probably a hinderance.

    Certainly in London (Vaux and Victoria) I find them very useful as they give you the chance to use the red light to get into the right lane on a multi-lane section. An observation is that in areas with heavy bike numbers then drivers are used to holding off, but in the quieter ones then the scooters are a pest.

    Survival tips I have for what they are worth is to not thrash yourself to absolutely filter past everything up the left to get to an ASL if the road is a single lane or maybe two. I see people determined to push past buses or whatever only to get caught halfway when the light goes green. You want to be visible in front of stationary drivers and not in a situation whereby when they stopped the left was clear and now they are assuming that it still is, but you've crept up into a blind spot.

    Also if you are using them then take primary. I find that arm signalling on the multi-lane spiral roundabouts before the light actually changes informs the driver before he moves off what you are planning on doing. Nearly everyone holds off when I do in advance rather than suddenly surprising them when the lights are green.
  • Mike HealeyMike Healey Posts: 1,023
    Basically you do the same with ASLs as you do anywhere else that you're cycling. Use your best judgement.

    They're merely an aid which may make the junction safer. Drivers in them may be either (a) plonkers or, (b) someone who had been caught by a change in the lights when they were in a slow moving queue of traffic.

    I agree with the poster who said take the primary, tho' it's not always possible.
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