At road junctions
- By London Cycling Campaign on at 11:00pm 4 September 2006
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Advanced stop lines
Advanced stop lines (ASLs) allow you to stop in front of other traffic at traffic lights. This means that when the traffic light turns to green you can start off before other traffic. They consist of a green or red box with a bicycle painted on it. Some have a feeder lane running up to them. Motorists are required to stop at the solid white line at the rear of this box. However, these are a fairly recent provision for cyclists and are not yet fully understood or acknowledged by all motorists. If a motorist does stop on the box, pull up alongside the stationary vehicle and try to make eye contact with the driver. Be careful in case the motorist turns left unexpectedly.
Some roundabouts are relatively safe as traffic speeds are usually low. However, others are very busy and require care when negotiating them. Roundabouts should be approached with the same care as any other junction.
When approaching a roundabout you should join the appropriate lane for the exit you need. You should wait for traffic already in the roundabout to clear before you enter. If you are going to take the first turning then use the left lane. If you are going straight-on then you will need to be in the middle lane or in the left lane but adopting a position in the centre of the lane. Be aware of traffic that may be exiting to the left and could cut across you.
If you are turning right then you will need to be in the centre of the right hand lane until you are past the intermediate exits, after which you will need to signal left and move into the left hand lane. Beware of traffic coming up fast on the inside lane.
If you feel that other road users may not understand your intentions, then you can indicate right at the entrances prior to the one you will exit at, and then left when you get to your exit.
Good positioning in the road is extremely important as it indicates where you will be turning before you signal. You should practise on quiet roads until you can signal and turn at the same time.
Some large roundabouts have traffic lights to control the speed of vehicles. Even so, beware of motorists who accelerate through red lights in order to gain advantage.