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Dual carriageways..legal?

cyberknightcyberknight Posts: 1,238
edited December 2009 in Commuting chat
Had a discussion at work where he said dual carriageways are illegal foe us pedallers ,whereas i thought we could use them?
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  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 18,147
    Legal

    Though not always wise

    Cycling on a motorway is illegal
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  • iain_jiain_j Posts: 1,941
    Yes you can but some have exceptions/prohibitions (they'll be signposted) - ie. expressways - motorways in all but name.
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 20,049
    I had an oh no! moment this year when meeting friends at Moors Valley park when I discovered the only way to get where I needed to be was along two junctions of the A31 after many miles on the A338 whilst not dual carriageway or motorway it was nasty nasty busy, much worse than anywhere in the City.
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  • suzybsuzyb Posts: 3,449
    I hope it's not illegal, part of my regular ride is along a dual carriageway :wink:
  • In Australia you can cycle on the Interstate highways with plenty of signage and paint on the road. In practice they seem to ride on the roadside verge (which is tarmac like a breakdown lane on our motorways). I am not sure about Australian motorways, I only met one, in Queensland and part of it was a single lane each way?
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  • Eau RougeEau Rouge Posts: 1,118
    A lot of the Tine Trials held in the UK are on dual carriageways.
    There are two lanes and no oncoming traffic. If it's not too busy, this gives vehicles passing you a whole lane of their own to do it in, which can be nice when they bother.
  • The A3 into London actually has bike paths cutting across the on-ramps. I have only ever seen one cyclist on it, though, and you would have to be a bit mad to be mixing it with busy multilane traffic at 50mph.
  • My girlfriend thought it was illegal until she asked her workmate's OH who is a policeman and he said that its legal to cycling on Dual Carriageways, just not on Motorways.
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  • GussioGussio Posts: 2,452
    Crossing exit slip roads can be a heart-in-the-mouth experience when high speed traffic is leaving the main carriageway. Not fun but it makes you pedal faster!
  • Wallace1492Wallace1492 Posts: 3,707
    soy_sauce wrote:
    My girlfriend thought it was illegal until she asked her workmate's OH who is a policeman and he said that its legal to cycling on Dual Carriageways, just not on Motorways.

    It is legal on the whole, but some have restrictions. This example is the A7 in Edinburgh, a dual carriage way, but no cycles allowed.

    http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=55.900437,-3.091793&spn=0,359.889965&t=h&z=13&layer=c&cbll=55.900449,-3.091515&panoid=YeeSAoT0h1cbyk0ZSC2afQ&cbp=12,82.14,,0,6.76
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  • Gussio wrote:
    Crossing exit slip roads can be a heart-in-the-mouth experience when high speed traffic is leaving the main carriageway. Not fun but it makes you pedal faster!

    true!

    some dual carriageways are fine at least on the roadie others are vile.
  • fnegronifnegroni Posts: 794
    There is only one reason why cars and bikes could not mix on a dual carriageway. Excessive speed for the conditions.
    Too many times drivers seem to somehow trust nothing is going to be on the road ahead even though they can't see that far.

    Infact, in case of constant flow of traffic, it may be safer since in that case, car drivers seem to rely on the driver in front to give them information about whether the road ahead is clear.

    That's why sometimes it might be safer to ride on a busy stretch of road with good visibility rather than on a tranquil country lane used by nutters!
  • FlasheartFlasheart Posts: 1,278
    When I ride to Bournemouth I always ride the B3347 Christchurch Bypass. I treat it like any other road. I actually don't find the cars zooming past at 70mph+ that daunting as they always leave plenty of room. I actually like the rush of riding with the fast traffic if the conditions are good. :twisted:

    I recall a couple of years ago driving along the M27on my way to Eastliegh to pick up a trailer i'd bought on a Saturday morning, seeing a Roadie zooming along the opposite way.
    First thought was, umm that's not a good idea matey you're gonna get squished.
    About 30 seconds along I saw a Police Car heading the same way .... I don't know if they pulled him over though.
    TBH the cops around here aren't the brightest...they still have roadblocks up for censored Turpin I hear :lol:
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  • Flasheart wrote:
    When I ride to Bournemouth I always ride the B3347 Christchurch Bypass. I treat it like any other road. I actually don't find the cars zooming past at 70mph+ that daunting as they always leave plenty of room. I actually like the rush of riding with the fast traffic if the conditions are good. :twisted:

    I recall a couple of years ago driving along the M27on my way to Eastliegh to pick up a trailer i'd bought on a Saturday morning, seeing a Roadie zooming along the opposite way.
    First thought was, umm that's not a good idea matey you're gonna get squished.
    About 30 seconds along I saw a Police Car heading the same way .... I don't know if they pulled him over though.
    TBH the cops around here aren't the brightest...they still have roadblocks up for censored Turpin I hear :lol:

    when me and a few mates were cycling west down the A27 earlier this year, we knew the junction we had to get off at which was before it turned into motorway, it was a scary road anyway..........but then then dual carrage way turned into 3 lanes and we got quite worried, stopped again checked the map, yep this definately feels like a motorway but the map says ok. You have never seen 3 cyclist ride so fast and scared until the next junction before, especuially when we heard sirens! they just went straight past us though, we were ok it it wasn't motorway yet but boy it was a brown trouser moment!

    (we then got off at the junction we wanted and found a cycle path a few metres the other side of the barrier..Doh)
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  • Not illegal, but highly dangerous on the A19 on Tyneside.
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  • gtvlussogtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    Yes, it is completely legal, unless otherwise specified (i.e. big sign saying motorway! - e.g. "A38(M)" in birmingham is classed as a motorway and therefore you would not be legal riding on it.) They are basically dual carraigeway A roads with motorway rules....like the A329M into Bracknell.

    Lots of TT races are run on dual carraigeways for the convenience of a flat road and a turn around point. Particularly 10 milers.

    I ride down the A38 in Bristol, a majot dual carraigeway in and out of the city, everyday. Dreading the day it becomes the A38M!!

    Your only issues are around slip roads traffic exiting or entering, other than that I have found them fine and fast as, on a bike.
  • fnegronifnegroni Posts: 794
    I guess you have never found yourself in the situation of facing a car overtaking on a blind corner in a narrow country road then...
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    The A45 from J15 off the M1 that runs past Northampton and on past Billing Aquadrome towards Wellingborough & beyond is mainly dual c/w, but 5 & 6 lanes wide in places. It's legal to cycle on it, just not advisable.

    The only safe approach is to be on the leftmost lane regardless of the rights & wrongs of being in lane 3 to carry straight on, where lanes 1 & 2 are effectively off-slips to another major road.

    Where an on-slip joins on your left, the best approach here is to cross the on-slip at right angles - cross the road - as soon as possible, and still be on the left most edge of the road, instead of riding in what becomes the middle of the road hoping that drivers joining the dual c/w at speeds of up to 70mph have seen you and made allowances for the fact that you're in their line of travel.

    Dual c/ws are pretty safe; it's the joining & leaving traffic that makes them a bit more dangerous.
  • they are technically legal but i find that i end up breaking the speed limit when i ride on a long straight road, god i'm good :lol:
  • Wallace1492Wallace1492 Posts: 3,707
    Don't need to be "M" graded. If they have restrictions, then so be it. The edinburgh by-pass is not classed as A720(M) but cyclist barred.
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  • fnegronifnegroni Posts: 794
    Dual c/ws are pretty safe; it's the joining & leaving traffic that makes them a bit more dangerous.

    The advice you have just given is also well documented in Cyclecraft.
  • riding along the edinburgh to airport dual carrigeway (40mph max)
    5am monday
    pressing on and riding over slipway markings by RBS HQ
    All of a sudden right behind me car horn blares :!:
    terrified i wobble a couple of feet onto slip trying to get out of way
    thrn red bmw flies up on inside and my elbow handlebar scrape and bump off car door
    and our eyes meet :!: im shouting F*** F*** F***
    he pulls in and i jump off bike
    im 6"2 15 stone , he thinks better and drives off

    i ride off surprisingly calm

    i dont like dual carrigeways anymore :evil:
  • johnnyqif wrote:
    riding along the edinburgh to airport dual carrigeway (40mph max)
    5am monday
    pressing on and riding over slipway markings by RBS HQ
    All of a sudden right behind me car horn blares :!:
    terrified i wobble a couple of feet onto slip trying to get out of way
    thrn red bmw flies up on inside and my elbow handlebar scrape and bump off car door
    and our eyes meet :!: im shouting F*** F*** F***
    he pulls in and i jump off bike
    im 6"2 15 stone , he thinks better and drives off

    i ride off surprisingly calm

    i dont like dual carrigeways anymore :evil:
    You could use the cycle path there instead then.

    Its a very dangerous road. It is 70mph until just before the RBS bridge and most drivers treat it as a 70mph road all along there. There is no shoulder. Use the path.
  • Clever PunClever Pun Posts: 6,778
    snailracer wrote:
    The A3 into London actually has bike paths cutting across the on-ramps. I have only ever seen one cyclist on it, though, and you would have to be a bit mad to be mixing it with busy multilane traffic at 50mph.

    I've done it there and back... fast as you like but holy moly every junction was brown trousers time
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  • your not wrong, its covered in leaves, much slower....but i may have a longer life

    I go to the airport tho so still have to ride oon scary road there :oops:
  • defflerdeffler Posts: 829
    Not illegal, but highly dangerous on the A19 on Tyneside.

    Part of my winter commute into work is between 2 junctions on the A19 (pennywell - wessington way). very scary,
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  • Clever Pun wrote:
    snailracer wrote:
    The A3 into London actually has bike paths cutting across the on-ramps. I have only ever seen one cyclist on it, though, and you would have to be a bit mad to be mixing it with busy multilane traffic at 50mph.

    I've done it there and back... fast as you like but holy moly every junction was brown trousers time
    :shock:
    How about the underpasses? Are they scary/not scary?
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