Institute of Advanced Motorists tells cyclists to 'take the lane'
photo Alix Stredwick The IAM is advising cyclists to 'take the lane' under some circumstances
The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), Britain’s largest road-safety charity, says it's safer for cyclists to “take the lane” when passing parked cars or nearing junctions.
However, the IAM also advises cyclists to "stay near to the kerb on long, even stretches” and "remember that it's not always sensible or appropriate to take the centre of the lane especially if traffic is heavy."
According to the IAM, studies prove that when drivers negotiate a junction, they focus on the main traffic stream, which means that they pay less attention to auxiliary roads where cyclists are more likely to be present.
LCC communications officer Mike Cavenett said, "National Cycling Standards Training, and cycling experts such as John Franklin, might advocate taking the lane in more circumstances than the IAM.
"However, it's still pleasing to hear a motoring body recognise that cyclists have a right to occupy significant amounts of road space to improve their safety."
I've been in many situations where being closer to the curb has put me in a more dangerous situation because drivers think that they can drive closer to me. There has been many a time when I'm cycling in moving traffic where cars, taxis and buses have passed close enough for me reach out and knock on their vehicle. I cannot trust motorists to drive safely near me.
There's a road near me, with a school on it, 20mph limit, speed humps, several mini-roundabouts and frequent pedestrian islands, with cars always parked both sides of the roads in between these. Very few places where it's safe to overtake. But whenever I 'take the lane' to discourage overtaking, I find that probably 2/3 of drivers still overtake, within inches of me and often with rude gestures or horns. Many of these are perents taking their children to the school.
I have cycled for 50yrs and have found that the so-called cycle lanes have made cycling more dangerous. I have cycled in Denmark and the Netherlands; cycle lanes need to be separate from motorised traffic. so-called cycle lanes in my area are nothing more than marks on the road that actually seem to the motorist to be a 'get out of my way' sign. I was recently knocked off my bike because 'cycle markings' are near to park cars and in the vicinity of the doors of the cars opening. Why should I have to put my life in the trust of a motorist looking in their mirror?