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cycle lane law

reluctantcyclistreluctantcyclist Posts: 3
edited March 2014 in Commuting general
Hi, I'm wondering if anyone can help settle a 'discussion' I have just had with a cyclist...

Whilst I do cycle, very occasionally, it is not often enough, however, I do drive my car a lot more often, probably around 40, 000 miles a year and have always tried to be as aware of cyclists as possible, especially as I drive a lot in London where there does seem to be a few kamikaze cyclists along with the majority of pleasant cyclists.

Anyway, what just happened was close to my home and I would like help with the following:

I was coming out of a junction onto a road with heavy traffic, I was slightly out of the junction and over the cycle lane. I had been sitting there for 30 seconds or so when a cyclist came to a screeching halt about 20cm from my front wing and proclaimed "it's a cycle lane, it's my right of way." I asked him if he was unable to see my car as it was a very aggressive way to stop. He again said that it was his right of way and that I shouldn't be over the cycle path.

The way I understand it, the cycle path is part of the main carriageway and if there is an obstruction the driver must give way or proceed around the obstruction if it is safe to do so. There is no marking on the carriageway to ndicate I could only proceed if my way was clear.

For the sake of future similar events, should the cyclist have total right of way, in which case, I will not join the main carriageway or is it fine for me to sit in traffic astride the cycle path?
Sorry for the drawn out post but would appreciate your assistance

Posts

  • InitialisedInitialised Posts: 3,047
    Would you block a lane straddling half way across the road waiting for a gap while turning right from a minor to major road as that is basically what you did.

    I think this covers it:

    hc_rule_173_assess_your_vehicles_length_and_do_not_obstruct_traffic.jpg
    I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.
  • ^^ This. Although, it does seem that the cyclist was being a bit of a censored to make a point...
  • davisdavis Posts: 2,566
    Yep. Exactly. You shouldn't really have done it because you shouldn't choose to obstruct traffic, but the cyclist was almost definitely a tool. Live and learn.
    Sometimes parts break. Sometimes you crash. Sometimes it’s your fault.
  • Thanks for the info and I understand that I probably shouldn't have crossed the cycle carriageway, although the situation was more like the below:

    hc_rule_151_do_not_block_access_to_a_side_road.jpg

    I was coming out of the junction turning left into the very slow moving traffic and sat across the cycle lane (obviously not shown in this image).

    Anyway, I suppose I am now trying to justify it to myself. Lesson learnt. :oops: Sorry Mr Cyclist.

    Thanks again.
  • joelsimjoelsim Posts: 7,552
    It still doesn't give the cyclist an excuse to react like that. I see angry cyclists every day, and I don't know why.
  • yeah though he was technically correct, theres no need to be rude about it, you're not gonna convince anyone of anything if you're ranting at them like a loon.

    Possibly he's had some bad experiences before...but those weren't with you so that's no excuse.

    I let things like that go (unless they're putting me in danger) as it'll ruin my commute otherwise and I just want to get from A to B as incident free as possible
  • awaveyawavey Posts: 2,368
    yeah though he was technically correct, theres no need to be rude about it, you're not gonna convince anyone of anything if you're ranting at them like a loon.

    Possibly he's had some bad experiences before...but those weren't with you so that's no excuse.

    I let things like that go (unless they're putting me in danger) as it'll ruin my commute otherwise and I just want to get from A to B as incident free as possible

    not sure anyone has said this other cyclist ranted as a loon,they were forced to stop because their route was being blocked by a car trying to use the cycle lane on the main road as an extension to a junction, thats not just a technical correctness point, thats called not giving way and blocking.

    and in that situation you cant assume the driver is watching out for you, so youve no guarantee the car wont take a sudden gap in traffic, potentially one directly caused by you having to move over to the right to get round them, as the point at which they choose to complete their manuever and then suddenly both bike and car are sharing the same space.

    all the cyclist can do is stay in the cycle lane, likely forced by the density of traffic to their right hand side anyway, hope the car disappears quick enough, or yes come to a stop, and I think Id be making a loud point about being forced to stop too.

    if it helps next time think of it as an HGV lane, you wouldnt stop in one of those at a junction and assume the lorry would just avoid you, so why treat a cycle lane any differently.
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,373
    I would agree with most of the posts commenting on the cyclist's over the top reaction - but I do find that, when cycling in city traffic (maybe I don't do enough of it, too many nice country roads round here) it's hard to shake the feeling that drivers are trying to kill you, because that is what many of them appear to be doing. I personally find it quite hard to resist the temptation to rant in these circumstances (I usually manage), not least because the memory of having several bones broken by a driver who casually strayed into the cycle lane has stayed with me a bit.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,496
    The thing is - it's not about cycle lane law ...

    It's simply a junction. Technically the OP shouldn't have pulled out until he could clear the lane he was crossing (a cycle lane in this instance) - but practically we find that you won't make any progress unless you do.

    If it was the front half of the car that was blocking the lane then I see the cyclists point entirely - you're poking your nose out of a junction to try and force your way out.
    If it was the back half then I can still see the cyclists point - but you've also got to consider that the driver pulled out in the hope/belief that the way would clear.

    Either which way I don't like this "My Right of Way" nonsense - I much prefer the ship/boat method of doing it where you have "Stand On" and "Give Way" - ie nobody has the right to continue regardless - ultimately everyone is give way. It changes the whole feeling of a situation from the aggressive "I'm right" to the permissive "It's my duty to hold my course/speed (stand on)"
  • Forget the cycle lane and forget the cyclist. Would you pull out this way and expect a car driver not to beep at you? As that's the equivalent.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,496
    Forget the cycle lane and forget the cyclist. Would you pull out this way and expect a car driver not to beep at you? As that's the equivalent.
    turn it round the otherway ...
    Would you expect a car driver to let you in?
  • slowbike wrote:
    Would you expect a car driver to let you in?

    No; wouldn't "expect" anything.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,496
    slowbike wrote:
    Would you expect a car driver to let you in?

    No; wouldn't "expect" anything.

    So you wouldn't expect a car driver to beep at you as you shuffled forwards in creeping traffic ...

    Too much aggression on the road really isn't there?
  • InitialisedInitialised Posts: 3,047
    johnwright wrote:
    Hello friends,
    i have a question although its not regarding cycle lane laws,
    i have a motorbike , its 2 yrs old. the problem what i am facing ,
    now a days i use public transport so whenever i try to start by bike after
    10 days or more by using electric start it crashed and the screen goes blank, after that
    i have to kick start it, and i am frequently facing the problem nowadays,

    can anyone guide me what to do for this????


    thanks and regards
    john wright

    _______________________________________________________
    GarciniaCambogiaOfficial.ca

    Sell the motor bike and buy a proper road bike.
    I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.
  • There i not such thing as "right of way" only "priority" so the cyclist lost the argument in his first 4 words.
  • Jon_1976Jon_1976 Posts: 690
    Not trying to side with the cyclist as it sounds like he was being a bit self righteous. However, I've been in that situation (on the bike). On the odd occasion, the driver has pulled out causing me to stop suddenly. So you've always in two minds whether the person at the give away is a complete censored or a decent person. Easy to get a bit stressed in that situation.
  • There is a side road I use regularly in my car that visibility to the right is restricted. All I can do is look to the left, and the right and then pull out, sometimes someone comes around the corner at that moment, occasionally they flash their lights at me.
  • mpiempie Posts: 84
    joelsim wrote:
    It still doesn't give the cyclist an excuse to react like that. I see angry cyclists every day, and I don't know why.

    I can sympathise with the cyclist's frustration, although not his reaction. You do feel very vulnerable in heavy traffic on a bike - and if you don't then you should - and unsure whether that driver 'has it in for you' or is just careless. Either way paranoia is a reasonable survival strategy. The trick is to be paranoid/calm rather than paranoid/stressed and that's not always an easy trick to pull off. Sometimes it's hard not to get stressed when drivers put your well-being/life in danger to shave a few seconds off their journey time. The way I try to deal with it is to avoid focussing of 'rights' and instead focus on the 'moral high ground'. Ask yourself afterward: "Who handled the situation in the morally best way?" If it was you, then revel in it. Otherwise learn from it.
  • mpiempie Posts: 84
    mpie wrote:
    I can sympathise with the cyclist's frustration, although not his reaction...

    Came across this:
    "Unfortunately, mobilising the body for survival has negative consequences too. We are excitable, anxious, jumpy and irritable. This reduces our ability to work effectively. With trembling and a pounding heart, we can find it difficult to execute precise, controlled skills. Focusing on survival means we make decisions based on the good of ourselves rather than the good of the group. We shut out information from other sources and cannot make balanced decisions." http://www.stress.org.uk/What-is-stress.aspx
    ... which sums it up for me.
    Being aware of it is the first step to controlling it.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,496
    mpie wrote:
    I can sympathise with the cyclist's frustration, although not his reaction. You do feel very vulnerable in heavy traffic on a bike - and if you don't then you should - and unsure whether that driver 'has it in for you' or is just careless.

    So - you're coming along a straight road in the cycle lane and you come across a car blocking the path trying to join the flow of (congested) traffic ...

    that's somewhat different to riding along - approaching a junction and a car pulls across the cycle lane whilst you're in full view ...

    The first one I would assume the driver is just trying to get out of the junction - the second is more the impatient - can't you wait just a sec please - situation.

    If cyclists want to be treated like traffic then we have to learn to behave like traffic - not everyone has it in for us or is deliberately trying to run us off the road - most drivers are just trying to make the best they can of their journey.
  • mpiempie Posts: 84
    slowbike wrote:
    mpie wrote:
    I can sympathise with the cyclist's frustration, although not his reaction. You do feel very vulnerable in heavy traffic on a bike - and if you don't then you should - and unsure whether that driver 'has it in for you' or is just careless.

    So - you're coming along a straight road in the cycle lane and you come across a car blocking the path trying to join the flow of (congested) traffic ...

    that's somewhat different to riding along - approaching a junction and a car pulls across the cycle lane whilst you're in full view ...

    The first one I would assume the driver is just trying to get out of the junction - the second is more the impatient - can't you wait just a sec please - situation.

    If cyclists want to be treated like traffic then we have to learn to behave like traffic - not everyone has it in for us or is deliberately trying to run us off the road - most drivers are just trying to make the best they can of their journey.

    Did you read the rest of my post(s)?
    I wasn't making judgements about the original situation (insufficient data), but just pointing out how danger leads to stress leads to suboptimal responses. And how to avoid getting caught in that trap.
  • mpiempie Posts: 84
    slowbike wrote:
    ... not everyone has it in for us or is deliberately trying to run us off the road - most drivers are just trying to make the best they can of their journey.

    Good point, but lets say 99.9% of drivers are careful and considerate of cyclist (OK, I'm an optimist). One in a thousand is less so. On a typical comute day I will have an interaction (I am affected by what he does or he is affected by what I do) with say 100 cars. That means that about once per week (roughly) I'm going to interact with a driver who is either careless or inconsiderate of my safety. Given the potential consequences, those are not odds I like. I'm afraid the 'most drivers are OK' argument is irrelevant. The scenario is dominated not by what 'most drivers do' but by what a very small percentage do. Or don't do.
  • It's the silo mentality that causes the issue in these type of situations, one or both partys thinking they have the right of way and that the other lot are evil/in the wrong/targeting them/brainless and do not even consider the other party's situation.

    I try to drive/ride with the view that everyone else is generally just wanting to get by or get to their destination. So if I was this cyclist I may be initially annoyed, but I would put myself in the driver's shoes and think "he will not be able to join the traffic if he doesnt edge out" and I have clearly seen him so will just get round him safely and carry on.
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,148
    Until recently I drove a lot for work in London rush hour traffic.

    Calm and steady wins the day, there is also a difference between in heavy traffic a car edging out merging, and the delightful folks who just edge out for no decernable reason, meaning traffic has to move out round them.
  • slowbike wrote:
    mpie wrote:
    I can sympathise with the cyclist's frustration, although not his reaction. You do feel very vulnerable in heavy traffic on a bike - and if you don't then you should - and unsure whether that driver 'has it in for you' or is just careless.

    So - you're coming along a straight road in the cycle lane and you come across a car blocking the path trying to join the flow of (congested) traffic ...

    that's somewhat different to riding along - approaching a junction and a car pulls across the cycle lane whilst you're in full view ...

    The first one I would assume the driver is just trying to get out of the junction - the second is more the impatient - can't you wait just a sec please - situation.

    If cyclists want to be treated like traffic then we have to learn to behave like traffic - not everyone has it in for us or is deliberately trying to run us off the road - most drivers are just trying to make the best they can of their journey.

    How does this work? I want to be treated like a person, not a car. And who is this "we" anyway - did I miss the meeting? When I'm driving I try to treat more vulnerable road users better than I do cars. The risks are different, the outcomes are different. My journey is never important enough that I should risk causing someone else to fear for their personal safety because of my actions.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,496
    slowbike wrote:
    If cyclists want to be treated like traffic then we have to learn to behave like traffic

    How does this work? I want to be treated like a person, not a car. And who is this "we" anyway - did I miss the meeting? When I'm driving I try to treat more vulnerable road users better than I do cars. The risks are different, the outcomes are different. My journey is never important enough that I should risk causing someone else to fear for their personal safety because of my actions.

    I think you were on holiday - we did force entry to your home to check you weren't tied up in bed or anything! ;)

    There is a lot of anger out on the road - what I was trying to get at (and obviously wasn't clear) is that we all need to be have in the manner to which we would like to be treated - preferably courteously! If someone is trying to merge into traffic, why not let them in? What damage does it do to you? Either as a car driver or a cyclist - a few seconds - and what's in it for you? A wave of thanks and the belief that next time it could be you that is let in.
    Similarly with holding traffic up as a cyclist - is it appropriate (it may be) or could you let them by?
    Or as a vehicle driver - do you need to overtake the cyclist right now? Could you perhaps wait until there was a more appropriate space in which to do so? Will it really cost you more than 30 seconds?

    If we all just assumed that the other ppl on the road were our friends then the roads might just be a more friendly, less stressful and safer place to be.
  • khisanthkhisanth Posts: 41
    second that!

    Other day I was approaching a road with parked cars down one side for quite a way with only one lane free and I knew traffic was behind me, so i pulled into a gap and waved them through. Got waves of thanks from everyone including a white van driver :) Didnt cost me any time and everyone is happy. Hence I always make sure I thank drivers who let me through or out with a wave and smile.
  • slowbike wrote:
    slowbike wrote:
    If cyclists want to be treated like traffic then we have to learn to behave like traffic

    How does this work? I want to be treated like a person, not a car. And who is this "we" anyway - did I miss the meeting? When I'm driving I try to treat more vulnerable road users better than I do cars. The risks are different, the outcomes are different. My journey is never important enough that I should risk causing someone else to fear for their personal safety because of my actions.

    I think you were on holiday - we did force entry to your home to check you weren't tied up in bed or anything! ;)

    There is a lot of anger out on the road - what I was trying to get at (and obviously wasn't clear) is that we all need to be have in the manner to which we would like to be treated - preferably courteously! If someone is trying to merge into traffic, why not let them in? What damage does it do to you? Either as a car driver or a cyclist - a few seconds - and what's in it for you? A wave of thanks and the belief that next time it could be you that is let in.
    Similarly with holding traffic up as a cyclist - is it appropriate (it may be) or could you let them by?
    Or as a vehicle driver - do you need to overtake the cyclist right now? Could you perhaps wait until there was a more appropriate space in which to do so? Will it really cost you more than 30 seconds?

    If we all just assumed that the other ppl on the road were our friends then the roads might just be a more friendly, less stressful and safer place to be.

    Whilst I agree with the sentiment the trouble is no matter how courteously I behave on the roads it doesn't stop others trying to overtake into pinch-points (with speed bumps!) as has happened twice this week alone, for example. Allowing this sort of overtake reinforces the driver's view that it is safe and acceptable - it isn't.

    I can't afford to assume all drivers are friendly - I have too much evidence to the contrary. I will always hope they will not pass too closely, or left-hook me, or right-hook me, or drive into the back of me when I'm stopped at lights, but as it isn't always the case sadly I have to assume to worst to keep myself as safe as I can.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,496
    slowbike wrote:
    slowbike wrote:
    If cyclists want to be treated like traffic then we have to learn to behave like traffic

    How does this work? I want to be treated like a person, not a car. And who is this "we" anyway - did I miss the meeting? When I'm driving I try to treat more vulnerable road users better than I do cars. The risks are different, the outcomes are different. My journey is never important enough that I should risk causing someone else to fear for their personal safety because of my actions.

    I think you were on holiday - we did force entry to your home to check you weren't tied up in bed or anything! ;)

    There is a lot of anger out on the road - what I was trying to get at (and obviously wasn't clear) is that we all need to be have in the manner to which we would like to be treated - preferably courteously! If someone is trying to merge into traffic, why not let them in? What damage does it do to you? Either as a car driver or a cyclist - a few seconds - and what's in it for you? A wave of thanks and the belief that next time it could be you that is let in.
    Similarly with holding traffic up as a cyclist - is it appropriate (it may be) or could you let them by?
    Or as a vehicle driver - do you need to overtake the cyclist right now? Could you perhaps wait until there was a more appropriate space in which to do so? Will it really cost you more than 30 seconds?

    If we all just assumed that the other ppl on the road were our friends then the roads might just be a more friendly, less stressful and safer place to be.

    Whilst I agree with the sentiment the trouble is no matter how courteously I behave on the roads it doesn't stop others trying to overtake into pinch-points (with speed bumps!) as has happened twice this week alone, for example. Allowing this sort of overtake reinforces the driver's view that it is safe and acceptable - it isn't.

    I can't afford to assume all drivers are friendly - I have too much evidence to the contrary. I will always hope they will not pass too closely, or left-hook me, or right-hook me, or drive into the back of me when I'm stopped at lights, but as it isn't always the case sadly I have to assume to worst to keep myself as safe as I can.

    You can be courteous without assuming drivers are friendly - you can defend pinchpoints and ride defensively whilst still being courteous ... they're not mutually exclusive.

    I don't encounter pinchpoints on my commute - but I do get to several locations where cars cannot safely overtake - if one approaches in a manner that I believe is going to be unsafe (just from limited hearing) then I may signal for him/her to stay back - likewise, if there's a spot that I consider appropriate for them to overtake but they either haven't seen it yet (corner) or are being hesitant then I may indicate that I am expecting them to overtake.

    The courteous part comes when saying thanks to those who have waited or given way, or giving way to others when you're not obliged to do so.
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