New investment for cycling

1 week ago (12:47 PM)
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Terry Vaughan

Orton, walking is certainly healthy. But how far do you think the average person can or will walk? Many people commute significant distances.


You do realise the bikes are also "transport"? Clean, healthy, low cost transport?

Greg becker

More cycle lanes and generally more priority to non polluting modes of transport is definitely a good thing for London. Perhaps cleaner air might encourage more people to walk as well as cycle. Wouldn't it be good if the journey to work was something to look forward to! Instead of an unhealthy dread.


Brilliant and very positive news. Finally somebody is trying to make London a better and less polluted city. But we need even more and safer cycle lanes and get rid of more cars from the streets of London. So this is one step, but step two should already be in the making and be implemented asap. And yes, would be great to classify cars with different degrees of pollution and have car free days like Paris, Bogota etc... Thank you!


Don't do it. TFL's cycle lanes have screwed up traffic all over London. Just look at the permanent congestion from the A13 all the way through to Central London. It's equally bad from Westminster heading along the embankment and up Tower Hill - permanent gridlock. We were told the cycle lanes would only add a few seconds to journeys. It takes more than half an hour longer (off peak) to do journeys and emergency vehicles are frequently left stranded in traffic whilst cycle lanes lie empty. Cyclists also frequently ignore the cycle lanes preferring to cycle in the roadway. Traffic congestion in London has never been so bad - the average speed of traffic has fallen to its lowest ever. All thanks to TFL.

Terry Vaughan

Shapgroup, you can only say that if you ignore the fact that people cycling are part of the traffic. There's not much congestion on a good cycle track, they work just fine, and roads without them are effectively closed for most people who want to cycle.

If you don't like cycle tracks, blame the other drivers. If they could be trusted to drive safely there would be no need for the tracks.


Somewhere in this thread is some data from TfL detailing the journey times on roads where the new segregated cycle lanes have been built.

I think the biggest increase was four minutes for one of the routes (in one direction).

"Traffic congestion in London has never been so bad - the average speed of traffic has fallen to its lowest ever."
Have you got a source for that assertion ?

peter caton

Well said shapgroup TFL have done a very poor job in handling the essential traffic in London we can only hope they do a better job in future but now it's becoming political things can only get worse as most politicians are only good at selling themselves with false promises which they know won't work except get them votes


This is all positive stuff, but please look at for something GREEN, NEW and even better than a bike or current!


Apparently if you use the magic medals you can put out over 1hp!

Sadly the chap has got torque and power confused. Longer levers = more torque but slower rotation, to no overall benefit.


When you walk you get knocked over by motorised skateboarders with no bells, no lights and no respect for pedestrians. Cars and motor bikes suffer congestion charges, parking charges (or fines), road tax, insurance charges, MOT charges and yet cyclists are getting £150M with no charges whatsoever?


"Cars and motor bikes suffer congestion charges, parking charges (or fines), road tax, insurance charges, MOT charges"

You're serous????

You really are aren't you!!

Tell you what mate. Let's get everyone who currently cycles (taking their life in their hands with drivers as deluded as you on the road I'd say) leave their bike at home AND USE THE CAR INSTEAD..!!.

...and then we'll see just who's causing the congestion.

Life is so so complicated isn't it! Much better to retreat into a fantasy world isn't it!

...but the trouble comes when you get that world you've cretaed mixed up with the real world.


Cyclists pay the exact same amount of vehicle tax & congestion charges as cars producing a similar amount of CO2.

peter caton

Well said Ted, cyclists should be made to pay something towards this extra investment which will only make matters worse for essential traffic

Sal Jacobson

stop wasting our money.
The cyclists are the most selfish people on the road. Stop all the enw cycle lanes which are making London an impossible city to move around. Stop the 2 way in Baker Street and Gloucester Place which will make it even more dangerous for cyclists.
Spend our money on making roads safer and fill in the holes. Make pavements safer fill in holes and broken paving stones.


@"stop wasting our money"

stop wasting space on these threads.
Get informed. Have a look at some facts if the incessant daily 24hour gring of traffic is not sufficient for you to be able to see sense.


Definitely a good idea. Lots of people don't feel safe cycling in London so hopefully the superhighways will go some way to help with that. We also need to get cyclists off the pavement!


I fully understand the approach being taken by the Mayor to improve the roads for cyclists. However as a mere pedestrian could some of the money be spent on ensuring that all cyclists understand that they have to recognise that pedestrians are entitled to cross the road when the green man is being shown and that pavements are not short cuts when the traffic lights are red. If I get knocked down by a cyclist and injured, they have no insurance and I would probably be blamed for trying to cross the road.


Without excusing cyclists who don't stop at lights when there are people crossing, you clearly regard this as a bigger threat to life, limb and lung than the motor cars infesting the streets.

Have a walk down Euston Road. Breathe deeply. Have a think about what you've written.


If cycling is to continue being encouraged cyclists generally must become more responsible and aware of pedestrians around them.
I walk a lot for enjoyment and for health but am now almost constantly in fear of cyclists behind me or coming towards me on the pavement often at high speeds. I feel very aware that I should not deviate from a straight line in case I confuse an on-coming cyclist. Stepping out from a side alley recently I was millimetres away from being bowled over by a very large man on a very large cycle going very fast...he didn't even apologise. I now have to stop and look both ways when I walk on to the pavement from the alley.
Pedestrians should feel safe - we are doing just as much for the environment as cyclists after all!


No cycle lanes in London are a wast of public money , they are built to passife a small minority of. People who are great at using public media
Most people that commute around London try to use London buses or London taxi cabs . But even they find it impossible to get any were due
To cycelest pulling across roads in front of them . Coursing major accidents and blaming every one else . If you need to exercise on the way to work
Walk or run that would save London a small fortune and get the buses and taxis moving again


No cycle lanes in London are a wast of public money , they are built to passife a small minority of. People who are great at using public media
Most people that commute around London try to use London buses or London taxi cabs . But even they find it impossible to get any were due
To cycelest pulling across roads in front of them . Coursing major accidents and blaming every one else . If you need to exercise on the way to work
Walk or run that would save London a small fortune and get the buses and taxis moving again


No cycle lanes in London are a wast of public money , they are built to passife a small minority of. People who are great at using public media
Most people that commute around London try to use London buses or London taxi cabs . But even they find it impossible to get any were due
To cycelest pulling across roads in front of them . Coursing major accidents and blaming every one else . If you need to exercise on the way to work
Walk or run that would save London a small fortune and get the buses and taxis moving again

Terry Vaughan

Mick, can you give an example of a major accident caused by someone on a bike? Because I've never heard of any. Just one will do. We all know of cases where drivers cause major accidents, for example the lorry driver who killed four people.

John H

Would a cyclist jumping a red light into the path of a car or other vehicle crossing on a green light, causing or at the very least contributing significantly to a collision between them, qualify as major? It would to me. And I've seen it happen Terry.

Terry Vaughan

John, you can call it major if you like, but I tend to reserve that description for accidents involving multiple deaths, which are not uncommon when drivers ignore the rules.

If someone goes through a red light into the path of a car, it will be by mistake. They might have failed to see the light. They did fail to see the car. Training won't stop that, because everyone knows it's against the law to go through the red. Stronger enforcement would deter it. There is little of that, so offending by both bike riders and drivers is common.

It can be dangerous for a bike rider to wait for the green. That's because many are hurt by careless drivers at junctions, and it helps them to get clear of the traffic. In some countries, treating the lights as give way signs when turning is permitted for bikes. It's found to be safer. And investigations show that the bike rider ignoring the lights is rarely a contributory factor in accidents. In fact, cycling through a green light is risky if drivers go through their red light. People are killed by that.

Think about this. Going through a red light is very similar to crossing a stream of traffic at a junction without lights. All traffic does that. People stop, wait for a gap, then cross when they think it's safe. Sometimes they get it wrong. Junctions are always black spots for accidents.

John H

I would certainly call it major Terry, as I'm sure you would if you were the victim.

I have no problem with and understand the advantages of cyclists not waiting for a green light, but only if they carry out a thorough safety check before proceeding. Some don't, and I have witnessed a few.

What I saw was clearly not the result of a "mistake". It was the result of negligence, born I would suggest, of habitualised disregard for the safety rules in this situation.

This cyclist made no attempt to check to his left or right as he entered the junction.

Had he done so, he could not possibly have failed to see the car that he cycled into the path of.

His speed was also a contributory factor of course.

You must accept that whoever goes through a red light - driver or rider - they can present a danger to other road users?

You say there is little enforcement of red lights. Do I really need to point out to you that many traffic light controlled junctions have cameras installed specifically to catch and deter motorists from running red lights? Cars are easily identified, but not cyclists.

As you must know, motorists are now being encouraged to do a "double" double check - checking to their left, their right, and then repeating this, specifically so that a cyclist is more likely to be spotted.

We should all be doing our best to make these black spots safer for ourselves and those we share the road with.

Terry Vaughan

"This cyclist made no attempt to check to his left or right as he entered the junction."

John, if that's true, then it's virtually certain he failed to notice the lights. No-one would deliberately cross a traffic stream without looking. You can't prevent mistakes, and he paid the price. But you were there and I wasn't. Either way, that was one of the small proportion of cycle accidents in which the rider was at fault. Going through any junction, with or without lights, has the potential to endanger others. So everyone needs to take care. If everyone followed the rules there wouldn't be so many accidents. The question is how to ensure that they do. Your solution would cost too many lives.

Cameras or not, motorists routinely cross amber and red lights, as you must see all the time. So why do you think number plates on bikes would make any significant difference to behaviour? Especially to people as reckless as you say that individual was. The risk of a collision didn't stop him. A vigorous enforcement campaign might make a difference to ordinary light jumpers, but let's have one against motorists first, because they are the real danger.

Robert Munster

Whilst what you say is probably technically true, it is highly misleading.

Although many drivers do jump red lights, this is normally less than a second after they have gone red from amber. I'm certainly not condoning this, but it isn't usually dangerous, unless someone starts off extremely quickly on the next phase (which has been the cause of a number of tram crashes in Croydon). Going through the amber isn't dangerous at all, as the light phasings are designed to allow for this happening, and indeed it is permitted if it is unsafe to stop. (Obviously sometimes it will be impossible to stop, but oddly the Highway Code does not seem to allow for this!)

Cyclists however routinely sail straight through red traffic lights as if they weren't there. You suggest that this cyclist didn't see the red light, but that is inexcusable if true (which I find very hard to believe actually). There are many things in a road environment that it is easy not to notice, but traffic lights are hardly one of them! I am sure I have never seen a car drive straight through a red light in the manner described.

Another issue is that many drivers and cyclists stop farther forward than they should, breaching the stop lines. Drivers usually do this by less than a metre. Cyclists will often proceed right up to the edge of the junction, breaching any pedestrian crossings in the process (and also putting themselves in greater danger if a separate collision occurs).

Cyclists also often move off before they get the red+amber phase, let alone the green. They presumably know the regular traffic light phases, but this is very risky as most traffic lights now are capable of varying phases and may miss out certain phases at times. This may mean you are expecting a green, but actually someone else is getting the green and is not expecting you to come from another road. (I've been caught out by this as a pedestrian too!)

Very roughly, I'd say 50% of (lead) drivers stop correctly at a red light behind the stop line, and wait for the green before crossing the stop line, compared with maybe 10% of cyclists. Including those who do stop but in the wrong place, this improves to about 90% of drivers and 20% of cyclists. But if you exclude the second after the lights have gone red, I'd say over 99% of drivers stop at a red and wait for the green, compared with perhaps 25% of cyclists. These are estimates based on static observation, and I will add mainly in the London suburbs. I get the impression that central London cyclists are better behaved in this respect, which may be due to the greater police presence. I was observing at Elephant & Castle once during a traffic police operation, and around a third of both cyclists and drivers were spoken to by the police for various mostly minor infringements (mostly failing to indicate in the case of vehicles).

Having said that, jumping red lights isn't necessarily dangerous, if you can see clearly that doing so would not bring you into conflict with any other road users. (Of course, this is true of cars and other motor vehicles as well as bikes, even if the circumstances are a bit more limited.) So I'm not bothered if a cyclist slows down, checks nothing is coming nor any pedestrians about to cross in front, and proceeds with caution. However I frequently see cyclists jump red lights in a way that requires other people to take avoiding action, and this is not acceptable. I have had to do so myself on a number of occasions, mainly as a pedestrian.

I'd say about 5% of cyclists approaching a junction jump lights in a way that is potentially dangerous (to themselves or others), compared with well under 1% of vehicle drivers (excluding those which were not lead vehicles). You are, maybe subconsciously, sowing confusion by comparing potentially dangerous red light jumping by cyclists (5%) with all traffic light infringements by motor vehicles (50%).

Earlier in this thread I pointed out that you can't physically segregate cyclists at junctions, which is where the majority of crashes happen. I think you said that the traffic light phasing would keep cyclists and vehicles apart - but that will only be true if cyclists and drivers stop whenever there is a red light and wait until they get a green.

Terry Vaughan

Robert, if you think my comment is misleading, I shall try to clarify.

You are partly right about the different ways in which drivers and bike riders cross red lights. At junctions, it is usually as you describe. But many drivers cross the stop line and block the bike box at any point in the cycle. At pedestrian crossings I see no difference. It’s common for both bike riders and drivers, including bus drivers, to go through at any point in the light cycle.

There are people commenting here who set great store by the law when it comes to cycling. (Lawless driving doesn’t seem to bother them so much.) They say it’s wrong to go through the red, regardless of the reason. I point out that many drivers do it. Round my way, they do it all the time. There aren’t many bikes here, but I would say most of them stop as they should.

There is rarely an accident, presumably thanks to the safety margins that drivers gamble on, but they do happen from time to time. A recent reported case involved a taxi driver crossing when a bike rider had priority. The rider died. Accident investigations show that the majority of accidents involving bikes are the fault of the driver. It may be the great majority. How many of those accidents involve light jumping by either party I don’t know.

You see people sailing through the lights as if they weren’t there. I don’t see that. I see most people stop, and many cycle slowly through the red and either stop at the turning point or wait for a gap before continuing. But I do say that no ordinary person would cross a stream of moving vehicles without looking. Neither you nor John H would do it. So in the case referred to, if that is what happened, it is highly probable that the rider failed to see the lights. That’s careless, inexcusable, and proved to be dangerous. My point is that, whether it was a mistake or deliberate recklessness, the training that John wants wouldn’t help because the danger is obvious to anyone, and registration numbers wouldn’t be much of a deterrent to people willing to ride in front of moving traffic without checking the way is clear. They don’t stop drivers from breaking the law.

Drivers break the law and highway code routinely, of course. As well as many going through the red light, many ignore the code when overtaking bikes, many fail to give way to bikes that have priority, and they all break the speed limit. All those things are or can be dangerous to bike riders.

Robert Munster


What is misleading is that you appear to be equating dangerous behaviour by cyclists with illegal behaviour by drivers. Drivers frequently break the law regarding traffic lights, but it is rarely significantly dangerous. Cyclists also frequently break the law regarding traffic lights, but often in a way that certainly is dangerous (primarily to themselves). Passing a red light more than one second after it has started is probably 100-1000 times riskier than doing so in that first second (the precise timings also depends on speed and the layout of the junction).

So I think people are quite justified in criticising many cyclists' behaviour at lights; in terms of legality there might not be much in it, but in terms of safety there is. As it is illegal, action could be taken by the police, but it is difficult when cyclists cannot easily be identified.

I have to say, if you don't see cyclists sailing through lights as if they weren't there, you can't be very observant. Try watching practically any pedestrian crossing. Having said that, you then say you have seen people cycle through the red and then stop or wait for a gap, which is pretty much what they would do if the lights were not there.

Arguably, the laws regarding traffic lights are stricter than they need to be, for both motor vehicles and cyclists, but in both cases it does provide a limited additional layer of safety by reducing the scope for errors. A cyclist (or driver) may check and think it is safe to proceed, but not have noticed an approaching vehicle that has priority. I don't think that happens often, but if the cyclist (or driver) had obeyed the lights there would be no possibility of it happening.

If we are talking about safety and the need (or otherwise) for segregated lanes then whether people are obeying the law is of itself of no relevance. Indeed, breaking the law can sometimes be safer. Whilst not condoning law-breaking, what really matters is what risk is involved in any particular course of action.

I have not seen any credible evidence that the majority of cycling accidents in London are the fault of the driver, although "fault" is a rather subjective (and emotive) concept, which is why I generally try to avoid using such terms. Some courses of action are sufficiently risky to warrant being ruled unlawful, but it does not follow that some law being broken automatically implies "fault" as it may not be relevant to the case. I would however say that the majority of accidents could be avoided by greater care by both/all parties involved. This is certainly the case for many, probably most, of reported incidents involving cyclists in London.

Terry Vaughan

Robert, there are two ways to judge how dangerous light jumping is. One is from the accident statistics, and the other is from anecdote. Investigations by the police indicate that in the majority of accidents involving bikes, jumping a light was not a factor. If bike riders do it as often as alleged, how dangerous can it be? As for anecdote, you and John H see dangerous cycling, I don't. I do however encounter lawless and risky driving frequently.

I think we can say that a driver inclined to go through red lights will do so as late as they think they can get away with. I sometimes see them doing so when the opposing light is green. Really they are doing the same as the bike rider - weighing up the risk and going for it. It does seem to me that drivers amber and red gambling don't take care in the way that bike riders do, but it is hard to tell. Perhaps they do. If not, it wouldn't be surprising, as they are less vulnerable than bike riders. They have less to lose. But it's also not surprising if some bike riders take some risks, because most are young adults in a hurry to get to work, probably the least risk-averse group. They accept risk simply by cycling in traffic.

You suggest I am unobservant if I don't see people cycling through a pedestrian crossing. I live in the suburbs and don't go into the centre all that often. Perhaps that's why I don't see it. What you can't have missed is drivers going over a zebra while pedestrians are on it (though actually most are very good at zebras round my way), going through light controlled pedestrian crossings on the red, or turning at side roads and expecting pedestrians (who have priority) to keep out of their way.

Going through a red more than one second after the change is only 1000 times more dangerous if people don't look first. If they do look, it's no more (or less) risky than crossing a junction without lights. It's hard for a bystander to know how aware a person cycling is of what is around them but I stand by the common sense view that hardly anyone will cross a traffic stream without looking, with or without lights. There are plenty of cycling accidents at uncontrolled junctions. They happen when the bike has priority and the driver pulls into or out of a side road. People have to be constantly on the alert for this, and are advised to cycle well out in the lane in the hope that they will be seen, and to deter overtaking at junctions, because drivers as a group aren't very good at noticing bikes or taking care around them. The recent Jeremy Vine case shows how that can end.

"...the majority of accidents could be avoided by greater care by both/all parties involved. This is certainly the case for many, probably most, of reported incidents involving cyclists in London."

I don't doubt that careless cycling causes some incidents. But before you say most, where is your evidence? But in any case, no reasonable amount of training or enforcement, and no registration scheme, will eliminate carelessness. They might not even reduce it. And they would come at a high price. A more effective way to improve safety would be to provide cycle tracks.

I understand your reluctance to use the words 'fault' and 'blame', but sometimes they are justified. Drivers can make mistakes, but when they knowingly overtake bikes too closely and run into them, those words would apply. Or when a driver is drunk or drugged, or using their phone, or driving a poorly maintained vehicle. Etc.

Robert Munster


I would have thought it unlikely that any single factor would be relevant in a majority of accidents, as there are hundreds of potential factors. I assume you are referring to light jumping by cyclists. It would be interesting to compare this with light jumping by other vehicles.

I don't doubt that cyclists generally do take some care when jumping lights; after all, as you say, a collision rarely results (which is why I'm personally not particularly bothered by it). Even if they are careless, they are likely to escape thanks to the vigilance of other road users. However, most accidents result from simple mistakes being made (often more than one). So it is still an unnecessary risk for any cyclist to take - as well as being one that is against the law.

The point about the first second after the red comes on is that no other flow will have received a green at that moment, so unless there is an unusually large distance from the stop line in question to the conflict area, or you are driving slowly, a collision cannot occur. (For those not aware, amber is fixed at 3 seconds, and red+amber at 2 seconds. There is usually, but not always, an all-red period inserted between.) Additionally, any other traffic will be travelling slowly having only just moved off, so will easily be able to stop.

If you go through the red much later than that, you carry the risk that you will make a mistake and come into conflict with other traffic. So the risk, whilst still low if you are careful, is far greater. Few suggest it is okay for motor vehicles to go through red lights (though they may tolerate minor breaches), so how has it come to be acceptable (to many) for cyclists to do so?

Junctions without lights are obviously less safe - safety is the only real reason we have traffic lights in the first place. However they are usually at locations with lower traffic volumes.

You may wish to check the Highway Code regarding pedestrians crossing side roads - rules 8 and 170. Contrary to popular belief, pedestrians only have priority in one very limited circumstance. Of course, drivers and cyclists should always approach pedestrians with caution.

When I say "probably most," that is my impression based on reading numerous reports. I qualified the "most" because I haven't gone to the trouble of making a tally of them, and there isn't always sufficient information anyway.

I would single out one thing cyclists could do that would greatly reduce the risk of cycling accidents, which is to not overtake other traffic on the nearside, especially near junctions. This is in fact clearly against the highway code (with two exceptions), although I do not think cyclists can be prosecuted for it because there is no offence of careless cycling. Much cycling infrastructure actually encourages it!

I didn't really want to go into these matters in such depth as they are peripheral to the thread, but your call for segregation will only be effective if there is considerably more adherence to the rules at junctions than there is currently. Very few cycling fatalities happen on the straight segregated sections of road which could be physically segregated.

Terry Vaughan

Robert, yes, in your first paragraph I was referring to cycling through the light.

" most accidents result from simple mistakes being made (often more than one). So it is still an unnecessary risk for any cyclist to take..." Yes, no doubt, and plenty of mistakes are made, fortunately without accidents resulting. But you miss the point that there can be a safety advantage. I've no idea how many people are thinking of that rather than of saving a little time, nor can I quantify the advantage.

I suspect that fear of prosecution does (still) deter motorists from crossing the red mid-cycle, or they would do so more often. As has been pointed out, bike riders aren't deterred by that so much. Both do an instant risk assessment - the risk of getting fined (very low if they don't push their luck), or of getting killed (very low if they check the way is clear). But of course both will sometimes get it wrong.

" is the only real reason we have traffic lights in the first place." Is that historically accurate? I suspect that they have more to do with keeping traffic moving. But it is normally the busiest ones that have lights and may be the most dangerous.

"Contrary to popular belief, pedestrians only have priority in one very limited circumstance." I don't know what popular belief that is. As at zebra crossings, the Code gives pedestrians no right to cross the road. They must either wait or take their chance. Not many drivers will stop for them at a junction unless they are directly in their path, and not many pedestrians will dare to claim the priority they should have once on the crossing.

I'm not aware of any evidence that overtaking on the inside causes a significant proportion of accidents. Overtaking moving traffic that might turn or pull in unexpectedly is dangerous. Passing stationary or near stationary traffic on the inside is safer, if care is taken to avoid the risk of people opening doors in the path of the bike, (which is also very common, though against the Code). Unsegregated bike lanes give little protection. But in my experience, it is common for drivers to overtake a bike and then immediately turn, and that causes very many accidents.

Robert Munster


Yes, I agree with these points.

The popular belief is that pedestrians have priority whilst crossing side roads, which you referred to earlier without qualifying it. I do find when turning into or coming out of side roads that most pedestrians will walk straight into the road without looking. I am, of course, always ready for this scenario.

The impression that I get is that cyclists do not like slowing down or stopping, perhaps because of the effort required to get going again. It is certainly a consistent theme across most of the more questionable aspects of their behaviour that I see. I suspect this is the main reason for them jumping lights, rather than a reasoned assessment of the safety aspects of the various available courses of action.

Although again I have not enumerated them, I think approximately a third of cycling fatalities in London in recent years have involved cyclists which had recently overtaken on the nearside - in most cases passing slow moving or stationary traffic, and sometimes in a cycle lane. Whilst this does not excuse the vehicle drivers which ran over them, keeping behind would clearly have prevented these collisions. It is also the main cause of near misses that I frequently see.

Overtaking, or passing, on the nearside is inherently dangerous, as drivers seated offside have a very limited vision of anything on their nearside. Drawing alongside, or passing on, the left of any vehicle indicating left (or the right of any vehicle indicating right) is clearly extremely foolish and dangerous, and should be a specific offence (unless also turning AND there are separate lanes available for both vehicles to make the manoeuvre in parallel).

Passing a stationary vehicle can still be very dangerous, other than at very low speed, as there may well be another vehicle manoeuvring, or a pedestrian crossing, in front of it which you cannot see until you get in front.

These considerations do of course apply to motor vehicles, but they mainly affect cyclists as they are much more often able to filter through gaps in traffic, whereas other vehicles generally just form an orderly queue.

Terry Vaughan

Robert, if motorists were less privileged by the Code, pedestrians would have priority at side roads. Drivers aren't expected to stop at every side road in case oncoming traffic wants to turn across their lane, so why are pedestrians? This is one reason why some people cycle in the carriageway in preference to a poorly designed cycle lane or track.

I think you may be right about people not wanting to lose momentum when cycling. That doesn't apply to drivers of course. Personally, I sometimes found stopping at the lights a bit of a relief.

I wonder if you can quote a source for the causes of cycling deaths? I'm not aware of any evidence to support your comment.

You have a point about the danger of passing an indicating vehicle. I'm sure you know that it's something drivers do. It's not uncommon for a bike rider signalling to turn right to be overtaken on the right. And drivers don't always let the bus go first. Passing a stationary vehicle as you describe is dangerous too. But remember that a person cycling is often sitting higher than a driver, and may have a better view than you might expect.

The conclusion I reach from all this is that it would be better to change the infrastructure to remove danger as far as possible, rather than creating new offences to little practical effect. If we have to rely on new offences, there are others I would support before yours.

Robert Munster


I don't think it is a question of privilege, but practicality. It is generally easier and safer for pedestrians to give way to traffic, and where this is not the case, there are various established means to over-ride the default (i.e. traffic lights and zebra crossings). It is essentially the same reason why all traffic gives way to trains at level crossings. I presume the exception when vehicles are turning into a side road is because a turning vehicle may be waiting and a pedestrian is able to cross meanwhile, but the turning vehicle may move off unexpectedly if there is a gap.

I'm not aware of a single source of the causes of cycling deaths, and nor did I comment on "causes" as such. But careful consideration of the reported facts of each case makes it clear that what I said applies, or is likely to, in many cases. Indeed, in a number of cases (a lorry at Bank comes to mind) it was specifically reported that this had happened, and the question was merely whether the vehicle driver had ample opportunity to spot the cyclist in mirrors and/or whether they had been indicating.

You say it is not uncommon for a bike rider signalling to be overtaken, but it is rare to see cyclists indicate in the first place! It would be very helpful, I think, if bicycles had indicator lights like vehicles.

I should however have qualified my comment about passing turning vehicles as referring to those indicating to turn i.e. on the approach to or at junctions, although it might do no harm to extend it to other situations, which would solve a lot of problems if enforced, including non-cycling related incidents as you say. I tend to agree regarding offences, but the situation I described is much more dangerous than most existing motoring offences.

Terry Vaughan

Robert, if the infrastructure were designed for it, people on foot and cycling and going straight on could have priority at side roads. It wouldn't be practicable on the roads and pavements and most cycle tracks as they are now. It isn't really comparable to train crossings at all - a train can't stop easily, but road vehicles can. But this is a side issue.

As for the 'causes' of accidents, no doubt some arise from poor cycling and others from poor driving. But you can't say that a certain proportion are caused by one or the other unless you have statistics based on proper accident investigations. The only evidence I am aware of suggests that most cycling accidents arise wholly or in part from poor driving. Possibly the great majority. That evidence is not very strong, but does agree with my own experience. People who witness cycling that looks risky, or is risky, should not jump to the conclusion that many accidents are caused by such behaviour. Some may be, that's all that can be said. And they should certainly not blame the victims for their own accidents, as some do here, without knowing the full circumstances of each case.

John H

Terry. In addition to "failing to notice" the red lights against him - which were perfectly visible - this cyclist must also have failed to notice the two lanes of stationary traffic that he overtook that were waiting at the red lights. He probably just needs a trip to Specsavers.

Please now tell us all what you would say if a car/van/lorry had failed to notice two rows of cyclists waiting at a red light in an Advanced Stop Line box, overtook them and went through the red and hit a cyclist crossing the junction from the right on a green light.

Terry Vaughan

John, I would say that that driver made an inexcusable mistake. He probably just needed to put his phone down. Some on here would say it was the cyclist's fault because cyclists are lawless, but it's an example of the sort of incident that wouldn't be prevented by your suggested training and licensing. The sort of thing that happens often at junctions without traffic lights, when a driver pulls out into the path of a bike, or turns across the path of a bike, or overtakes a bike then turns across it.

If the bike rider deliberately ignored the light, I say it is almost certain that he did look at the oncoming traffic, thought it was safe to cross, and misjudged it. An inexcusable mistake.


All great ideas. I welcome them.


Our roads were not built for cars, bus lanes, pedestrians AND cyclists. Reserved lanes may be all very well for the young and fit; for the old, disabled and very young, they are a menace. Introduce them by all means on wide, open highways but not in urban and suburban roads.

Terry Vaughan

Dalevargas, the opposite is true. Most people cycling today are the young and fit, the ones who are willing to risk the traffic. The old, disabled and very young need the cycle tracks.

Gordon Hickman

When cyclists pay road tax and have insurance then they have a say also when they stop riding up one way streets the wrong way and riding through red traffic lights and breaking the laws of the road they can voice an opinion till then they should keep there mouths shut.

Terry Vaughan

Gordon, are you suggesting that motorists don't break the laws of the road?


@When cyclists pay road tax!!!!!!



to much money spent on cycle lanes, they just clog up the roads , cyclist do not pay road tax they are not insured Too much cycle lobby and not enough thought for the poor old motorist. The lorry drivers are blamed for everything. I have seen the stunts the cyclists pull, but they never get the blame


Please stop wasting money on cycle lanes which to be fair are hardly used outside of peak times and concentrate on traffic pinch points and work out how to keep london moving as you keep telling us that you are doing but nobody is seeing the benefit from.


@ keep london moving

Keep cars moving

There fixed that for you (BTW - cars create A LOT of problems...not sure you've been made aware of that fact?)

Ed Tree

Like most cyclists, I am also a driver. I see cyclists regularly doing foolish things and many need more education and respect for other road users and pedestrians. More police enforcement of cyclists is required. I also see drivers behaving badly. I recently was nearly hit by a driver drifting into a cycle lane whilst texting. I do think that it would be good for drivers to get a bicycle proficiency certificate before getting a provisional driving licence if physically able so they understand the issues that cyclists face.


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