Why is this cyclist not on the cycle path? Angry Internet Drivers Smoke About NMoTD 815

Thursday we uploaded Near miss of the day 815 with a reader-submitted clip that shows the moment a HGV driver passed him on a bike ride, even with double white lines in the middle of the road and an oncoming driver.

Since then, the road.cc inbox has been besieged with furious emails outraged at the shameful, dangerous and downright despicable use of the exposed road. No, not the trucker who endangers a vulnerable road user. No, something much worse — in their opinion — the cyclist who doesn’t use the bike lane…

> Near Miss of the Day 815: “Over and over again drivers don’t seem to get the message”

All spelling, grammar and general inconsistencies have been corrected (don’t yell at us too loudly if something gets through the net, unless it’s mine, of course!)…

Our most recent thought, sent this morning, claims the cyclist “left the driver little choice but to cross the lines to pass safely, thereby breaking the law. It wouldn’t have been necessary if the cyclist had shown some sense of the road. and used the available road width in a way favorable to other road users, with a bit more wisdom rather than assuming that all must agree on his designs on how much available space he can do as he pleases wish.

“All it takes is two authorized minds to cause a disaster, so he is just as guilty as the truck driver of causing this near-miss and should be held accountable as well.”

Another, claiming to be a professional truck driver, writes: “A question: why does the cyclist not use the designated cycle lane to protect himself from a nearby pass? If cars and trucks used the cycle lane instead of the road, imagine the The developed cycle lanes are there to protect the cyclist so why do they persist in putting their lives in danger by cycling on the road rather than on the bike path?

“I cycle and also drive heavy goods vehicles for a living. If a cycle lane is provided, the cyclist must use it. If I drive my truck on the sidewalk, I can be fined and possibly lose my license. If a cyclist does not use the cycle path, expect a close passage!” Charming…

Then, not a driver (apparently), but an eponymous “conscientious cyclist”…

“If there’s a bike lane there, use it. Then you’d have every right to complain.”

Time to raise the expletive alarm for the next one: “Great video of an asshole on a bike ignoring the bike lane on the left and then complaining about passing traffic! Totally selfish two-wheeled asshole!!” Hello to you too…(we will remove the part that says which iPhone it was sent from)…

Well, we still have a lot to do, it’s time for the quick round…

“Why do you show this without mentioning that the cyclist is deliberately riding outside the very wide cycle lane? »

“Again we see a cyclist failing to use a cycle lane on a very dangerous stretch of road with double white lines and then moaning when being passed. Why do cyclists feel they have the right to obstruct others on their travels?

“If a cycle lane is provided and a cyclist refuses to use it, do you agree that he should be subject to legal sanctions – in the same way as the reverse applies to other users of the road that violate the cycle lanes?” In short… no…

“Why extinguish Near Miss of the Day with a photo of the cyclist on a road when there is a cycle path on his left with no one on it? So why did I pay my council tax to have these if they’re not going to use them? If they’re stupid enough not to use them, then it’s their fault.

“Dude he was riding on the pavement when a cycle lane was clearly marked to his left, really gotta assess the shit you post, honestly. Cycling to work is one thing, trying to persecute road users when you have a dedicated bike lane is another matter, it’s ridiculously embarrassing.”

And finally… “Why isn’t this cyclist in the planned cycle lane?”

Let’s answer this one…

> Why don’t cyclists use cycle paths?

Let’s see what the Highway Code says (remember that not all Highway Code rules are legal obligations).

In accordance with Rule 61:

Bike paths and other facilities: Cycle lanes are delimited by a white line (which may be interrupted) along the roadway (see rule 140). Use facilities such as bike paths and bike paths, forward stop lines, and toucan crossings (see rules 62 and 73) where they make your trip safer and easier. It will depend on your experience, skills and the situation at the time. Although these facilities are provided for safety reasons, cyclists may exercise their judgment and are not required to use them.

The simple answer is that, as anyone with even a superficial experience of cycling infrastructure in the UK will know, many cycle lanes are a bit useless. They can be dangerous, cross car door areas, offer no protection from traffic, get blocked by drivers parking where they shouldn’t, have cracked or loose surfaces, collect puncture-risk debris such as broken glass, crossing driveways, stopping at crossroads, ending abruptly, and generally making your two-wheeled journey miserable.

Worcester Cycle Path (Image: Twitter/@MTBfreedom)

In many situations, the safest place is on the road where you can control how far you ride from the curb and avoid the danger and inconvenience of a bad bike lane. In addition, the safest and most practical option is also perfectly legal, and recommended by the highway code…

Leith Walk Cycle Path (Allasan George Buck, Twitter)

“Use facilities such as bike paths and bike lanes, advanced stop lines and toucan crossings where they make your trip safer and easier […] riders can exercise their judgment and are not obligated to use them.”

Car parked on cycle lane (Image credit: Rob Ainsley sent to us)

“But what about the bike path in the video? I hear you asking… ‘What was wrong with that one?’ Obviously the video is only 27 seconds long, so there may be convenience and safety factors other than what we can see, but while the surface in general looks pretty good (by the low bar for UK cycling infra) this route still crosses driveways where the cyclist would be more visible on the road and seems to be the only option for pedestrians walking along the route.

In cases where the bike lane is actually a shared use lane and also used by dog ​​walkers, families, children, people with disabilities and the elderly, the safest place for a confident cyclist is often the road. At the end of the video, we see the path narrowing to a section wide enough for a single pedestrian, bordered by a wall and dotted with lampposts.

In addition, at the place where the close passage is made, the cycle lane ends. Often the safest place for everyone – for pedestrians potentially using the shared-use path, the cyclist themselves, and drivers – is for the cyclist to ride on the road. It requires asking for a bit of patience when overtaking, but if it saves a cyclist — father, daughter, sister, friend, colleague — injury or worse, is that really asking too much?

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