Cycling UK » cycle lanes Cycling info - advice and tips Tue, 17 Dec 2013 18:15:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Two good reasons to build cycle lanes and go cycling Wed, 14 Aug 2013 07:38:40 +0000 28-sept-don

Cycle lane protected from road offers solution to congestion and a safe place to cycle. No wonder it is popular with cyclists

cycle path<br /> I'm glad the law allows us to take the most practical solution. It is good to allow a degree of pragmatism and common sense rather than be rule bound. I'm not opposed to cycle paths, they can be good and they can encourage cycling. The kind of <a href=

The road over Iffley Bridge

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An attempt to slow down traffic in Oxford Fri, 21 Jun 2013 07:45:05 +0000 Jack Straw lane is a narrow road, just big enough for two cars to squeeze past. It also provides a short cut from the city centre to the J.R. Radcliffe Hospital. Because traffic in Headington is often very congested, this minor road provides a convenient short cut, and is popular with taxis and other drivers. I’d heard that the Oxford city council had experimented with road markings to try and change drivers behaviour – providing road furniture which encourages slower speed, and discourages overtaking of cyclists.


The new road markings. I like it!

Richard Mann of cycling campaign group Cyclox said:

“We think the designs are excellent. Jack Straw’s Lane has a problem with being a bit of a rat run.
“We have always looked to the Netherlands and to Denmark. Sometimes the ideas work in our context and sometimes they don’t, but it is great that the county council is trying these things.” (Oxford mail)

I went to have a look and see whether it has made much difference.

The aim is that the more unusual road surfacing will make drivers more reluctant to overtake and keep to a slow speed. When I was there, quite a few were obeying the 20mph speed limit, but about 20% weren’t. I could tell they were speeding because there is one of those 20mph speed cameras (well not really a camera, just a sign comes on to say 20mph!) You probably won’t even spot it in photos, but it is there.

There was quite a high % of cyclists using the road. The hill is quite steep, so the cyclists fly down, but struggle up. Cars do overtake cyclists going up the hill, but then some cyclists are doing 5mph up the hill. To be honest, if you’re struggling up a hill, you don’t really want a car revving its engine, impatiently behind you. It’s best if they overtake with plenty of space.


The most testing moment was when two cars pass mid-way, there isn’t much room to breathe, and one taxi flying up the hill was a bit impatient. The 20mph warning sign flickered on, but it seemed little deterant.


Back down the hill, I saw some cyclists get boxed in by parked cars and cars coming down. That’s the problem with small sections of road calming measures, they are only partial to the road.

Overall, I think it’s worth a try. If I came across this road whilst driving, I think it would have the impact of reminding me this was a quiet back street and one to be taken slowly.   As a cyclist, I wouldn’t expect much difference. But, if it makes a few drivers overtake more carefully, then it is worth it.

It also reminds me of:

Naked street experiment - removing road signs. Hans Monderman sought a radical approach to traffic management. He is famous for testing the validity of his schemes by walking backwards into moving traffic. His philosophy was the importance of putting the responsibility onto the road user, rather than trying to direct motorists. Hans said:

“We’re losing our capacity for socially responsible behaviour. The greater the number of prescriptions, the more people’s sense of personal responsibility dwindles.”

Cycle path and road markings at bottom of Jack Straw lane and Marston road.


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Guide to Cycle Paths Fri, 01 Mar 2013 17:37:59 +0000 tavistockplace
photo Joe Ahearn (link)

“When Camden Council conducted research into the reasons for the success of Dutch cycle infrastructure one of the most obvious differences they discovered was that the Dutch cycle on the right rather than the left. To test how significant this is they are conducting a controlled experiment on Tavistock Place to compare the relative safety of wrong-way cycling. Cyclists approaching from the Westminster ride conventionally on the left of the path and then switch sides at this crossover section to continue towards Islington on the right. “(link)


In recent years, the number of cycle paths in the UK have increased substantially. In theory, they have the potential to make cycling safer, more enjoyable and reduce friction between different road users. However, because of the haphazard nature of creating cycle paths, there seems little continuity in design and implementation. It means we have cycle paths ranging from the good to downright bad and some just silly.

More than anything, we need road planners to be bolder in actually designating more space for cycle paths. We widen roads to make dual carriageways, often all we need is a couple more feet to create a really good cycle path. A good cycle path is much more than painting a white line on a pavement and hoping it all works out fine.

Good Cycle Paths

cycle paths
This cycle path is separate from the road. It doesn’t conflict with pedestrians and is wide enough for dual way. This is an ideal cycle path for an inner city path. It is the kind of path which would encourage a huge range of new people to start cycling.

Cycle Lanes Integrated in Roads

Cycling Oxford

This is a relatively narrow cycle path on a road. The benefits of this kind of cycle path is:

  • Increase cyclists’ comfort and belonging on the carriageway.
  • Enables cyclists to pass stationary traffic in traffic jams.
  • Makes cars more aware that cyclists may be using roads.

Potential Problems

    • Cyclists may be encouraged to move on the inside of moving cars and lorries which could be dangerous if vehicles veer inward or turn left.


  • Anecdotal evidence suggests cycle lanes may encourage cars to pass closer to cyclists because they feel that as long as they  are not in the cycle lane, they can get closer.

My Experience

Overall, I support this kind of cycle lane. It is usually better than nothing. More than anything it reminds drivers of our right to be on road. At peak time, roads are frequently congested, and this makes it easier to pass stationary traffic. However, I am aware of their limitations. Just because there is a cycle path to left of road, doesn’t mean I will always risk undertaking. You have to use your common sense. Also, another issue is that the best place to cycle is arguably 1 metre from the edge of road and parked cars this means cycling outside of the cycle lane, but then motorists will beep at you for not being in cycle path. See: Best position to cycle

It depends on the road. I’m keener on cycle lanes in city centres than on open road

Cycle Paths of Limited Use

cycle path

This is the kind of cycle path I don’t use. I don’t use it because

  • a) it is narrow and shared with slow moving pedestrians
  • b) every 100 metres you have to give way to cars turning left or right.
  • Basically it is a cycle path with continual obstacles.

In its defence, I some cyclists still prefer using this disjointed shared use cycle path rather than using main road. If I cycled very slowly, I may prefer the same.  But, I’m just glad this kind of cycle path is not compulsory. Perhaps it is better than nothing as cyclists get a choice depending on their preferences. (see also: Bad cycle lanes)

Stupid Cycle Paths

cycle path

To slow down speeding motorists, traffic calming measures have been installed so there is only room for one car to pass. There is also a pathetic attempt at a cycle path here. In practise I never use it because it is full of broken glass, grass and weeds. It is also at the bottom of a steep hill. You are speeding down quite nicely at 30mph but then have to slam on the brakes, to give way to cars. With a little bit of foresight, care, a way could have been designed to slow down cars without narrowing road and making it more inconvenient for cyclists.


Overgrown cycle path.

Shared Use Cycle Paths

  • Shared use paths – when cyclists are allowed to go on pavements that have been marked for shared use.
  • Unless paths are marked it is illegal to cycle on the pavement.
  • Sometimes pedestrians and cyclists may be segregated by single white line.

One of the biggest complaints about cyclists is when they use the pavement. Many pedestrains (especially old people feel uncomfortable when people cycle on the pavement. Shared use paths often aggravate this by taking a pavement and painting a white line on as a shared use cycle path. Where possible I tend to avoid these. Unless it cuts a corners, makes journey quicker or is much safer. When using it I do remember pedestrians should be given priority and go slow.
Not much room with bus stop. See: Shared use cycle paths

But, also I’m not keen on shared use cycle paths because pedestrians have been my biggest cause of accidents. On three occasions I have been knocked off in shared use cycle paths because pedestrians suddenly change direction without looking. I wasn’t going fast, but it’s something you have to be aware of.

However, although people often worry about accidents, the number of reported accidents is quite low (Buckinghamshire County Council, link). Also accidents tend to be minor rather than major

Short Cycle Paths

cycle paths
There are quite a few entries for competition of shortest cycle path.


Photo by Phil D, flickr

Obstacles in Cycle Paths
watch out for bikes

A major limitation of cycle paths is that they often have obstacles in them. Interesting post at Birmingham Cyclist on how to stop cars parking illegally in cycle lanes. [link]

Cycle Lane

See: Rules on using cycle paths for more on obstacles in cycle paths


Integration of Cycle Paths

A key issue with cycle paths is are they integrated with paths and roads. Often a cycle path is designed and it goes straight into a parked car or fades away when you need it most.
Cycling Bristol

Cycle path in Bristol

Cycling Oxford
Cycle path abruptly ends, making it difficult to join a narrow road of fast moving traffic.

Rules on Cycle Paths

In the UK, it is not compulsory for cyclists to use cycle lanes. The Highway code states: Use of cycle lanes is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer – Rules on Using cycle lanes

Car Users

Most cycle paths in the UK are ‘advisory lanes’. These have a dotted line. This means cars must not drive in cycle lane, unless unavoidable.


This very narrow cycle lane is a mandatory lane (solid white line) it means Cars MUST NOT use or park in. Mind you it’s so small cars would struggle to drive in their anyway.

National Cycle Network

The national cycle network. A combination of custom cycle paths, quiet roads and scenic traffic free paths.

Cycle Paths

Some cycle paths are very scenic and a real joy to ride. Hopefully the network will continue to grow. They encourage beginner cyclists, nervous of using roads to get started.  This is wide enough to allow cyclists and pedestrians to mix.

Having a Laugh?


from Warrington Cycle lane facility of the month! [thanks to Pete for reuse of photo]

Feel free to post your favourite cycle facility in comments!



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How Amsterdam Got Its Cycle Paths Sun, 06 Nov 2011 08:25:13 +0000

Fascinating video below about how Holland became one of the top countries for cycle use in the world (and also the safest).

The interesting thing is that in the post war period

  • the Netherlands experienced many changes other countries did
  • rise in wealth – increased numbers of cars
  • City centres became clogged with traffic
  • New Developments promoted heavy car use.
  • Limited cycle facilities neglected or removed
  • Cycle use rapidly fell as the motorist gained the upper hand and cycling became more dangerous.

This change sounds very familiar to other countries like US and UK (cycle rates by country)

The difference is that, in the 1970s, in many Dutch cities there was a concerted effort to build proper integrated cycle paths and limit car use in city centres.


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No Room for Cyclists Tue, 02 Aug 2011 09:59:23 +0000 5-car-in-way

Sorry, no room for a cyclist.


Delivery vans block the way.

Cycling in Wet

Obstacles in road to slow down motorists, but means you can’t cycle past. But, you can get to breathe in the car exhaust fumes whilst you wait.


Cycle Paths

This ‘cycle path’ has concentrated too much on the eco-friendly approach.

Cycling Botley Road

A cycle path that lasts at least until the next junction.

Cycling on High Street Oxford

Good luck!



Cycle paths for van parking


The British integrated transport system. Car Parking facilities conveniently situated at end of cycle path.


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Laws and Rules about Cycling Wed, 29 Jun 2011 06:51:45 +0000  

Cycle Paths

The Highway code reflects some legal requirements.

  • At night your cycle MUST have white front and red rear lights [Law RVLR regs 13, 18 & 24)] This is a law.

The Highway code also offers ‘advisory notices’ on how you should behave.

  • E.g. You should keep both hands on the handlebars except when signalling or changing gear.

The difference is that there is no legal requirement to keep both hands on handlebars – so it is OK to drink a bidon and eat a banana without risk of prosecution… It could be considered ‘best practise’ to keep hands on handlebars.

Generally, rules and laws are there to promote a more harmonious and safer experience on the road. When people ignore road traffic laws it can be both frustrating and dangerous. But, whilst it’s important to be aware of all the legal issues around cycling – you can’t beat plain common sense. If you cycle blindly through a red traffic light whilst under the influence of drink, you shouldn’t need a law to tell you it’s a dangerous thing.

Also, the next time a motorist beeps at you for cycling two abreast or 1 metre from edge of road, it is quite a comfort to know that what you are doing is perfectly legal and within your rights.

Common Questions on Cycling and the Law

Is it legal to cycle on pavement?

No, it is illegal to cycle on pavement (footpath by side of road) unless, it is marked as shared use cycle path [Laws HA 1835 sect 72 & R(S)A 1984, sect 129]. Cycling on pavements can lead to a fixed penalty notice of £30.

Can children cycle on pavements?

No. However, children under 16 are unlikely to be issued with fixed penalty notice. In theory, police and community support officers are supposed to use considerable discretion in dealing with people who cycle on the pavement. This is to reflect the difference between a young children seeking a safe passage on the pavement and others who might be cycling at high speed putting pedestrians at discomfort. See more at: cycling on pavements

Can you cycle on Bridleways and Footpaths away from the road?

The law specifically relates to footways by the side of a highway. In theory, if you are on a footpath away from a road, it is legal to cycle – unless there is sign saying otherwise.

Can you Cycle across Pelican Crossings?

No. The highway code states ‘Do not ride across a pelican, puffin or zebra crossing. Dismount and wheel your cycle across.’ However, you can cycle across a ‘toucan crossing’ A toucan crossing is  a wider version of pelican crossings. It will have an extra light to indicate a green cyclist.

To confuse matters, some pelican crossings have an extra green light for cyclist. A green cyclist light gives the indication it would be OK to cross on the bike.

Can you cycle on Dual Carriageways?

Yes, unless there is a specific sign saying cyclists prohibited.

Motorways are prohibited to cyclists.

no cyclingno cycling sign, might appear on some three lane dual carriageways.

Can you cycle in Bus Lanes?

Yes. Most bus lanes are open to cyclists unless indicated otherwise by signs.

Can a Cyclist cycle in the middle of a lane?

There is no law stating where on the road a cyclist must be. There are different guidelines offered. One guideline is to cycle ‘well clear of kerb. 1 metre on in centre of the left lane’ (best position on road for cyclists) and (Direct Gov link) However, this would also mean ignoring small bicycle lanes.

Telford Case

On one occasion a judge in Telford found a cyclist guilty of ‘inconsiderate cycling’ he was cycling on a single carriageway and the police stopped him because cars were having to overtake him across double white lines. They said he should have crossed over to a cycle lane off the road. Fortunately, this was overturned on appeal and it remains the case that cyclists are not legally obliged to use cycle paths (Victory for cyclist who refused to stay in gutter)

Note, in the US, generally bicycle specific statues state ‘to ride as close to the right as practicable’


Lights – Legal Requirements

It is a legal requirement to have a working front and rear light at night. You must have a rear reflector and amber pedal reflector [Law RVLR regs 13, 18 & 24)]

Can you use flashing lights?

According to Direct Gov [link] it is now permissible to have flashing lights, though in built up areas they recommend steady lights.

Can you use LED Lights?

For a long time LED lights were a grey area. They are now legal if they meet approved British standard specification. In theory, lights that don’t meet approved standards are not legal. Many cyclists may unwittingly use non-approved lights but feel they offer effective light. (bicycle lights)

Can you carry someone on bike?

No, it is illegal to carry someone on bike, unless it has been specifically adapted to carry a second passenger [Law RTA 1988 sects 24, 26, 28, 29 & 30 as amended by RTA 1991]

Can you be prosecuted for Drinking and cycling?

It is illegal to be riding a bike whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol. [Law RTA 1988 sects 24, 26, 28, 29 & 30 as amended by RTA 1991]

Can you use a mobile phone whilst cycling?

It is not illegal per se to use a mobile phone while cycling, though you could be prosecuted for careless or inconsiderate cycling contrary to section 29 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. However, there have been suggestions that this could be changed and it soon could be made illegal to talk on a phone while cycling.

Cycle Pathscycle

Do you have to use cycle lanes / cycle paths / shared use cycle paths? The highway code states:

Cycle Lanes. These are marked by a white line (which may be broken) along the carriageway (see Rule 140). Keep within the lane when practicable. When leaving a cycle lane check before pulling out that it is safe to do so and signal your intention clearly to other road users. Use of cycle lanes is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer. Rules on using cycle lanes

Similarly it is not compulsory to use shared use cycle paths (usually part of pavement by side of road)
Shared Use Cycle Paths

shared use path

These allow cyclists to use pavements by the side of the road. However, it does not mean a cyclist has the right over other pedestrians. The code of conduct for cyclists says they  should be willing to give way to a pedestrian even if they veer into the cycle part. Shared Use Cycle paths
More on cycle paths
Furious Cycling
Not just an urban myth, there is a law about ‘furious cycling’ “…causing bodily harm by wanton or furious cycling under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, which carries a maximum jail sentence of two years. Cycling Weekly link of cyclist prosecuted under the furious cycling lay.
The 1847 Town Police Clauses Act. also  mentions (under section 28) it is an offence for “Every person who rides or drives furiously any horse or carriage, or drives furiously any cattle.”
Can a Cyclist be Charged for Speeding?

Yes, cyclists can get a speeding ticket. See: speeding ticket for women doing 68mph (US)
Cyclists have been fined for not speeding. Cambridge Cycle campaign (cyclists doing 25mph in 30mp zone)
Can Cyclists Ride Two Abreast?

Yes, the highway code advises:
You Should never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends.
This leaves some room for interpretation (what is narrow, busy or bendy road). However, it is an advisory notice. There is no law against cycling two abreast. More on cycling two abreast
Can You Undertake Traffic?

The highway code states: 151 In slow-moving traffic. You should • be aware of cyclists and motorcyclists who may be passing on either side. Obviously this should be done with great caution as it is potentially dangerous.
Traffic Light Conversation
Red Lights
Cyclists must obey red lights. It is illegal to break them.
Some have suggested a change to law to allow cyclists to filter left, even at red like in some European countries. However, this is unlikely to be adapted. More discussion at: Laws and common Sense
Do Children Have to Wear Helmets?

In the UK there is currently no law stating children must wear helmets when cycling.
Can you cycle wrong way down a One Way Street?

No, unless it is signposted that you can. There have been proposals to allow cyclists to cycle wrong way down one way street. But, currently you must not cycle wrong way down one way street. (Direct Gov)

Electric Bikes

The legal limits for electric bikes in the UK.

  • Speed limit of 15mph
  • Weight of 40Kg
  • Maximum power of 200Watts
  • Max power of 250 watts for tricycles and tandems
  • Electric Bikes

Penalties For Infringing Law

  • Cycling on pavements by roadside. Max fine £1,000. In practise, fixed penalty notice £30
  • Furious Cycling. £200. Can be imprisonment, banned from driving a car.
  • Drunk in charge of bicycle (licensing act 1872) – 1 month prison and £200 fine.
  • Electric bikes cannot be riden by under 14. £500 fine.
  • Dangerously riding bike, max fine £2,500
  • Riding bicycle without due car and attention max fine £1,000

Other Issues

When considering all the legal issues surrounding cyclists one tends to also think of all the laws that motorists routinely break.

  • Breaking speed limit
  • Driving with mobile phone

Also there are many cases of driving which is very dangerous, yet there is no specific law being broken.

  • passing too close
  • Not paying enough attention. i.e ‘sorry mate, I didn’t see you’

The above factors frequently result in serious / fatal accidents, whilst cycling infringements tend to put mainly the cyclist in harms way. Over 2,300 people die on UK roads, but with the odd exception, these are not caused by ‘furious cyclists’ therefore it is perhaps understandable that there is a fear that

US v UK Law

This page is mainly about the UK. However, from a rough understanding it seemed from studying the issue, laws in the US tend to be stricter about legislating the movement of cyclists. Many states have laws that cyclists must cycle as close to right as possible. There seems to be a greater willingness to ticket cyclists in US. Perhaps one factor in why US has one of lowest cycle rates in country


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Rules on Using Cycle Lanes Tue, 14 Jun 2011 05:50:14 +0000 There is often a perception amongst motorists (and in Youtube video below NY police) that cyclists are legally obliged to stay in the cycle lane. On a few occasions, some motorists have suggested I move off road into some kind of cycle path (usually shared use on pavement)

The UK Highway code states:

63 Cycle Lanes. These are marked by a white line (which may be broken) along the carriageway (see Rule 140). Keep within the lane when practicable. When leaving a cycle lane check before pulling out that it is safe to do so and signal your intention clearly to other road users. Use of cycle lanes is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer. Multi-lane carriageways (133-143)

mandatory lane

A really wide mandatory cycle lane in Oxford

For Car users:

Cycle lanes. These are shown by road markings and signs. You MUST NOT drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a solid white line during its times of operation. Do not drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a broken white line unless it is unavoidable. You MUST NOT park in any cycle lane whilst waiting restrictions apply. Multilane Carriageways

Mandatory cycle lanes seem quite rare, unless they are on double yellow lines.

How Often is Practicable to Use Cycle Lanes?

not always..



There is actually a cycle path to the left. It is as the bottom of a fast descent. I never use it, and the road has been narrowed.


I have had the odd motorist remonstrate for not using shared use cycle paths. The main reason is I usually don’t think it’s safe to use certain shared use cycle paths

  • it’s dangerous for the cyclists because there are so many junctions to negotiate.
  • It’s not pleasant for pedestrians to have to share narrow pavements with cyclists.

Therefore in this case, I tend to ride in road. See: Bad cycle paths

Shared use cycle paths can have their place, especially for cyclists not confident cycling in the road and who like to cycle slowly. But, since I tend to be cycling relatively quick I tend to avoid them. I do fear the day when cyclists are not allowed to use roads, but only use shared cycle lanes at a ‘pedestrian pace’.

1 Metre Rule


Recently, I posted about the suggested one metre rule in the best position on the road for cyclists The interesting thing is that it is the same government site, which suggest cyclists cycle 1 metre from edge of road. But, if we follow that advice it means ignoring narrow cycle paths.

Another feature of cycle paths is that some feel it can encourage motorists (and coach drivers in above pic) to actually pass closer to cyclists because it is like a lane.

Are Cycle Paths Ever Any Good?

cycle path<br /> I'm glad the law allows us to take the most practical solution. It is good to allow a degree of pragmatism and common sense rather than be rule bound. I'm not opposed to cycle paths, they can be good and they can encourage cycling. The kind of <a href=

Cycle path featured above definitely creates a safe environment for cycling. Also the physical barrier makes parking a van in cycle path quite difficult (though it still happens!)


Different types of cycle lanes in the UK


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Buses and Cyclists Tue, 29 Mar 2011 07:08:12 +0000 Cycling Oxford

What happens when a nice wide road narrows? – an accident blackspot.


Cycling Oxford
At this point in road, buses tend to leave plenty of space as the road is wider.
Oxford high street is quite good, in parts. But, just before these lights, one lane becomes two lanes. It means that wide vehicles like buses are tempted to squeeze past, leaving too little room.
Cycling Oxford

two lanes for turning left and going straight on. The cycle lane on left hand hand side disappears.

Cycling by Magdalen College Oxford

What Can be Done About it?

  • As a cyclist you just ride in a good sensible position 1-2ft from left. Don’t squeeze into the gutter trying to make room for impatient vehicle.
  • Don’t overtake on Underside. This is most dangerous manoeuvre for cyclist. A very high proportion of cyclist fatalities are related to large vehicles turning left, when you undertake, you are not visible.
  • Be careful overtaking other cyclists. Often I see cyclists move out into middle of road without looking or signalling. This is dangerous and annoys drivers.
  • 3 Feet rule. A 3 feet rule for overtaking bikes is unlikely to become law. But, if your a big double decker bus, common sense would dictate that this as a minimum would be good rule of thumb when overtaking cyclists.
  • Many large vehicle drivers are good and wait. But, some are needlessly impatient and
  • In the old days, they used to pass laws to widen roads, even if it meant demolishing houses. Just another two feet would make many roads safer for cyclists. I’d love to see some roads widened – even if it meant taking two feet of property from private school gardens and Oxford colleges.


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Rush Hour in the Cycle Lane Fri, 04 Feb 2011 08:06:34 +0000 Cycling Oxford Iffley Road

On my way to work, I stopped at Magdalen roundabout to take a few photos. I only spent two minutes, but got several photos.

Cycling Oxford Magdalen Roundabout

I once read somewhere, Magdalen roundabout was an accident blackspot. This is partly because it is the main entry into town from the East. There are five exits, and most people coming from East take the High Street into town. But, you have to be careful as some cars don’t go straight on and take a side street to St Hilda’s college.

Cycling Oxford v

Definitely a 20mph speed limit on the surrounding roads, makes the roundabout more manageable. 20mph speed limits are often ignored, but congestion (and the numbers of cyclists) kind of forces drivers to be slow.
Cycling Oxford

Many people are intimidated by roundabouts, but it’s not too bad, if you give way to any traffic on roundabout.
Cycling Oxford

Iffley Road is quite narrow. This cycle lane is a ‘bit of a squeeze’ but since cars are often stationary or moving very slowly, it doesn’t feel too bad. Though if the road was an extra 2 feet wide, it would help.

- Just imagine if all these cyclists were in a car, the traffic jam would stretch back a long way.

Cycling Oxford Magdalen Roundabout


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UK Guide to Cycle Lanes Sat, 20 Nov 2010 16:16:20 +0000 Cycling plays a crucial role in the local transport system. It is environmentally sustainable, cheap and efficient, widely available and promotes health. Cycling facilities include:
CYCLE LANES - These are areas of carriageway designated and marked for use by pedal cycles. They can be either advisory or mandatory. Cycle lanes alert drivers to the presence of cyclists and give cyclists greater confidence. They can be introduced to help cyclists by-pass queuing traffic and lead cyclists to special facilities such as advanced stop lines at traffic signals. They are most useful where there are few side roads and no parking or loading requirements.
cycle lane
MANDATORY CYCLE LANES – These are marked with a continuous white line and are supported by a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO), which prohibit vehicles from driving or parking in the lane. Mandatory lanes must be discontinued at side road junctions but the use of a short length advisory lane may preserve continuity.


ADVISORY CYCLE LANES – These are marked with a broken white line and do not require a TRO. They can be continued across side road junctions. Both advisory and mandatory cycle lanes can be coloured to emphasise their presence. Cycle lanes are generally between 1.0m and 2.0m in width depending on flows and site characteristics although a minimum width of 1.5 meters is recommended. An additional 500mm “buffer” zone is recommended where a cycle lane passes alongside designated parking spaces.

CONTRA-FLOW CYCLE LANES - These are becoming more widely used as a cycle priority measure. They are mandatory cycle lanes which allow cyclists to travel against the prevailing flow of traffic in one-way streets, within the designated lane.

These are a relatively new innovation. They can be introduced in lightly trafficked roads where the site characteristics prevent the introduction of a formal contra-flow lane. they do not effect existing parking arrangements and are defined by signing and cycle markings at intervals

CYCLE PATHS – In some circumstances it may be considered unsafe to designate areas of carriageway as cycle lanes. Where pedestrian flows are relatively low it may be appropriate to provide a cycle way on the footway. It is recommended that footways are at least 3 meters wide if a cycle path is to be considered but, in practice they may be accommodated on narrower footways when flows and site characteristics permit. Cycle paths may be one or two-way. Cyclists and pedestrians may be segregated by a white line or some other feature or may share the full width of the footway. In either case complimentary advisory signing is normally provided.

CYCLE TRACKS - These are traffic-free, off-highway cycle routes normally shared with pedestrians. The Bristol to Bath Railway Path is a prime example of a successful cycle track. It forms a vital link in the National Cycle Network (NCN) and provides a high quality, safe pedestrian and cycle route, encouraging people of all ages and ability to walk and cycle, both for short and longer journeys, for leisure and commuting.
This information has been reproduced by kind permission of Bristol City Council

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