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Cycling lane priority

yeachan153yeachan153 Posts: 401
edited November 2011 in Commuting general
So I was cycling home the other night in the pavement cycle lane - I was cycling the direction of cars, and another cyclist comes cycling along in the same cycle lane the opposite way. Who has priority? I always assumed if I was going with the flow of traffic even in the pavement, cyclists going this way would take priority?

Another scenario I recently encountered cycling along the pavement cycling lane was cars turning into the road. Normally, on roadside cycle lanes I would automatically have way of right (since I am on the road) - however when on the pavement cycle lane drivers seem to assume they have right of way? Is this correct?

All in all it seems much safer just cycling on the road - instead of trying to dodge unaware pedestrians, cyclists coming the opposite way, and drivers just turning into the road ahead of me!

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  • TorvidTorvid Posts: 449
    yeachan153 wrote:
    So I was cycling home the other night in the pavement cycle lane - I was cycling the direction of cars, and another cyclist comes cycling along in the same cycle lane the opposite way. Who has priority? I always assumed if I was going with the flow of traffic even in the pavement, cyclists going this way would take priority?you couldn't both just stay to your respective lefts and pass?

    Another scenario I recently encountered cycling along the pavement cycling lane was cars turning into the road. Normally, on roadside cycle lanes I would automatically have way of right (since I am on the road) - however when on the pavement cycle lane drivers seem to assume they have right of way? Is this correct? Driver has the right of way if they are not crossing the pavement ie your going down a kerb to cross teh road

    All in all it seems much safer just cycling on the road - instead of trying to dodge unaware pedestrians, cyclists coming the opposite way, and drivers just turning into the road ahead of me!Yes it is shared paths are not the best for making any form of progress if you have another option
    Commuter: Forme Vision Red/Black FCN 4
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  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    All in all it seems much safer just cycling on the road - instead of trying to dodge unaware pedestrians, cyclists coming the opposite way, and drivers just turning into the road ahead of me

    Exactly.

    Read Cyclecraft and never venture onto a dangerous or useless cycle path again.

    Where a pavement cycle path crosses a side road, the side road will take priority. Unless there are additional markings (I doubt it). As for who has priority when you're riding towards someone else.....who has priority when two pedestrians are wlaking towards each other? :wink:
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    yeachan153 wrote:
    So I was cycling home the other night in the pavement cycle lane - I was cycling the direction of cars, and another cyclist comes cycling along in the same cycle lane the opposite way. Who has priority? I always assumed if I was going with the flow of traffic even in the pavement, cyclists going this way would take priority?

    Unless there are any indicators of which way has priority, like arrows or little pictures of stick bicycles then tossing a coin is your best bet. Actually, even if those things exist you are still best off tossing a coin. I don't even think there is any guidance for which side of the lane you should pass on (though most assume you pass on coming cyclists on your left, same as you would in a car).
    yeachan153 wrote:
    Another scenario I recently encountered cycling along the pavement cycling lane was cars turning into the road. Normally, on roadside cycle lanes I would automatically have way of right (since I am on the road) - however when on the pavement cycle lane drivers seem to assume they have right of way? Is this correct?

    In theory there should be give way markings (double dashed line) in the lane indicating that you give way to other lanes that the cycle track crosses. In practice this may not be the case; on Priory Lane in Putney / Barnes the cycle track gives way at all junctions / driveways apart from The Priory Clinic where the solid which 'motor vehicles do not cross' line continues straight across their access way. I assume no-one has ever taken a car in there....
    yeachan153 wrote:
    All in all it seems much safer just cycling on the road - instead of trying to dodge unaware pedestrians, cyclists coming the opposite way, and drivers just turning into the road ahead of me!

    It is, very much so.
    Mud - Genesis Vapour CCX
    Race - Fuji Norcom Straight
    Sun - Cervelo R3
    Winter / Commute - Dolan ADX
  • mrtukmrtuk Posts: 75
    yeachan153 wrote:
    All in all it seems much safer just cycling on the road
    +1
  • There was in fact, an arrow to indicate which way the cycle lane was going! Unfortunately, it was one of those incidences where as I moved left, he moved left, and as I moved right, he moved right - all ending with him telling me to "f*** myself".

    Also, some cycle lanes in pavements are quite narrow, (at least where I cycle!) and keeping to our 'respective' left and rights is harder said than done :)
  • pdwpdw Posts: 315
    All in all it seems much safer just cycling on the road

    Yep, just about all research into the subject concludes the same:

    http://www.cyclecraft.co.uk/digest/research.html

    Depressingly, the first bit of research listed that reaches this conclusion was published in 1938.

    Unfortunately, choosing to use the road where a cycle path exists - no matter how awful - leaves you open to abuse and aggression from ignorant motorists who believe that you're obliged to use them.
  • MrChuckMrChuck Posts: 1,663
    I wouldn't give way to someone coming the wrong way down a cycle lane- if there are any wide enough for 2 abreast they're not found around here. I don't think the analogy to what you'd do as a pedestrian really holds up, bike lanes aren't the pavement.

    EDIT: obviously I wouldn't just collide with them, but I'd feel that if anyone needed to be giving way it'd be them and not me.

    Agreed that junctions often make cycle lanes a bit pointless. When I used to commute into Cambridge there was a couple of miles of empty, smooth cycle path (well, shared use I think) past fields that I'd happily use. When it got into the outskirts of town it went past lots of big houses with concealed driveways where I always felt very vulnerable to cars nosing out. Then when you got to side roads you had to stop, check through 270 degrees, and then wait for traffic. So when it got into town I'd always rejoin the road as it seemed safer and quicker to be part of the traffic than be marginalised by it.
  • Dutch rural cycle lanes are wide enough for two-way traffic, and there's normally one on either side of the road. You are considered liable if cycling 'against' the flow/direction, however people's routes/destination often mean that you will be going against it. In these situations, as a British tourist you'd think to give a little more room, but if you do the oncoming cyclist simply veers towards the middle of the lane - the more room you give the more they take.
    Cycle with your elbows out, and hold your line - it's how the Dutch do it.
    FCN16 - 1970 BSA Wayfarer

    FCN4 - Fixie Inc
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    Mr Chuck wrote:
    I wouldn't give way to someone coming the wrong way down a cycle lane

    And how do you know who's going the wrong way, for example on this cycle lane/shared use path?
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • MrChuckMrChuck Posts: 1,663
    bails87 wrote:
    Mr Chuck wrote:
    I wouldn't give way to someone coming the wrong way down a cycle lane

    And how do you know who's going the wrong way, for example on this cycle lane/shared use path?

    Ah, I was talking about the ones on the road- re-read the OP and that's not what he meant is it! :oops:
    In that case, I'd stick to the left but try not to be too miltant about it if the other guy was already on the left.
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    I thought you might have missed it. :wink:

    Yeah, if someone's using an on-road cycle lane, going the wrong way then they're just riding on the wrong side of the road and are an idiot! i've seen it a few times though!
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • beverickbeverick Posts: 3,461
    yeachan153 wrote:
    So I was cycling home the other night in the pavement cycle lane - I was cycling the direction of cars, and another cyclist comes cycling along in the same cycle lane the opposite way. Who has priority? I always assumed if I was going with the flow of traffic even in the pavement, cyclists going this way would take priority?

    In the absence of signs and for other cyclists no-one - it's down to common sense and courtesy. Personally, I usually defer to cyclists closest to the pavement edge as they are most likely to have to go into the road if space runs out. I do, however, apply what I refer to as 'French Law': i.e. give way to anyone who is likely to run into me! For pedestrians the matter is clear. They have priority in all cases when they are on a footway irrespective of whether cycling is permitted in either a shared use or segregated path.
    yeachan153 wrote:
    Another scenario I recently encountered cycling along the pavement cycling lane was cars turning into the road. Normally, on roadside cycle lanes I would automatically have way of right (since I am on the road) - however when on the pavement cycle lane drivers seem to assume they have right of way? Is this correct?

    I assume you mean who has priority if you're crossing the side road. If so, the legal answer is quite straight forward. If the other vehicle has entered the road before you started to cross they have priority. If you started to cross before they entered the road you have priority. However, please refer you to my mention of 'French law' (above) for practical application.
    yeachan153 wrote:
    All in all it seems much safer just cycling on the road - instead of trying to dodge unaware pedestrians, cyclists coming the opposite way, and drivers just turning into the road ahead of me!

    It depends how you define danger. On a shared use footpath any crash is likley to be low speed and, in general, a pedestrian would come off worse than a cyclist. On road, the impact is more likely to be high speed and the cyclist will invariably come off worse.

    Bob
  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    beverick wrote:
    It depends how you define danger. On a shared use footpath any crash is likley to be low speed and, in general, a pedestrian would come off worse than a cyclist. On road, the impact is more likely to be high speed and the cyclist will invariably come off worse.

    Bob

    On a cycle track any crash is most likely to occur at a junction, driveway or any other intersection when the cyclist crosses or joins the flow of road traffic and vice versa. Admittedly this technically means the accident will be on the road, but you get the idea.

    Have a read of the research John Franklin has collected on his cycle craft website, as linked above.
    Mud - Genesis Vapour CCX
    Race - Fuji Norcom Straight
    Sun - Cervelo R3
    Winter / Commute - Dolan ADX
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