Bicycle lane etiquette for London?

  • By Stily1 on at 5:57am 26 November 2011
  • Posted in: General
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This is a big subject, but I wanted to see about getting a discussion going.

1) In London, at a stoplight, if you're going to push through to the front, or pull up way over on the right, I think you really should be prepared to get up and going when the light turns. Pushing through or coming up the right only to be slow and in the way is, well, what's with that? Yes, sometimes it's for safety, rather than hand out back with the cagers, but often it's just, what, because you can? Do you people think about your actions?

2) And, when you're over there on the right, at a light or just in general, you've effectively "pulled out to pass" and are the one responsible to safely resolve that "pass" if/when the space times out. It's your bed, now sleep in it. Pull ahead and make a safe merge after yielding, or drop back. No, you don't get to run me off the road because you've botched your pass.

3) That above not withstanding, so you've opted to straight-line that bus stop rather than keeping to the beautiful blue bicycle superhighway lane that your government has spent eye-wattering sums of money to promote and develop for you. Fine. But you've effectively "left the roadway" so don't expect me to yield to you when the right and proper lane returns to the curb.

4) And for the petrol-heads out there, hey, I bicycle commute in London, and I'm also a motorcycle rider (though I don't find London a particularly pleasant place to ride my moto). I'm perfectly willing to share. It's legally understood that motorcycles and scooters are invited to share the bus lanes with busses and bicycles. But:

4a) this doesn't, to my understanding, include a bicycle lane that's not part of a bus lane, so you really need to appreciate that you're a guest there, and

4b) if you're going to share the bicycle lane, you should be doing it at bicycle speeds, don't you think? I'm all for letting motos move to the front around stopped or very slow traffic, but if you're going to throw your life to the winds of chance and fly at motorway speeds past traffic on London streets, go do it between the cars, not in the curb lane!

I will finish my rant by saying that overall I'm generally impressed with the high level of care that most road users do bring to the task of sharing the roads here. Yes, really. You should try driving/riding/walking in north America! It's a relative gong show!




- and remember - the advanced stop area has a pretty picture of a bicycle in it - motorists - including motorbikes - are NOT entitled to use them

  • By Stily1 at 3:59pm 6 January 2012

Unfortunately even I will suggest this isn't quite so clear cut. I understand that legally in the UK a motorcycle *is* a "bicycle", at least in terms of insurance.

I will suggest picking your battles and start by insisting that cars, busses, taxis, mail trucks, and yes, police vehicles START honouring the bicycle box by staying behind their LEGAL limit line (i.e. the FIRST solid white line).

Motorcycles are in practice encourages to filter to the front of a line of *stopped* traffic for a safe start when the light turns. Provided they don't constipate the bicyclists' access to the box, eh, go ahead.

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