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Tuesday 21 January 2014

Safe clearance to pass cyclists.

There is clearly much confusion over what is the correct clearance for drivers to safely pass cyclists. The Highway Code vaguely talks about giving them as much space as if passing another car, yet cycling groups demand anything from three feet to infinity. 

Clearly what is wrong with the Highway Code rule is that the clearance that drivers will pass cars at will not only vary from driver to driver but also depend on the speed of the car being passed and the speed of the overtake. So in bumper to bumper slow moving traffic, or multiple lanes, under this rule, nobody could ever pass slower vehicles. The fact is that, at slow speeds, drivers pass cars with only a few inches of clearance. So rule 163 is totally subjective and meaningless. Just from their picture, we can see that to pass a car, or worse an HGV or PSV, on that road, would be with a far less clearance than shown here for the cyclist.

The problem with measurements, whether three feet or sixty feet, drivers don't use tape measures and nor do cyclists for that matter so that too, although a matter of fact, cannot be measured during a drive and thus too is rather meaningless.

We must first accept that the clearance given by drivers will be entirely their judgement call and if effected without collision or causing a cyclist to fall off, it will corroborate that the driver's judgement was correct; no matter how perceived from the cyclist's perspective. Cyclists may claim what they like but the outcome justifies the means.

But there must be a solution to this knotty question and since it does cause so much animosity, I have applied my thoughts to the matter. Given that the rules so far make no sense, then here is a brand new rule which will work because it is so obvious: Leave as much clearance when passing a cyclist that it is physically impossible or unlikely for the cyclist to deviate to the extent that a collision can result without it being the cyclist's fault. After all, that is the object isn't it?

But what is a safe distance for cyclists to pass other road users and vehicles? Most dooring accidents only happen because a cyclist passed too close to a stationary vehicle for their own safety for example. And fast silent cyclist passing too close to other cyclists can cause them to react suddenly too. Why is it that cyclists only want to impose rules on others but not accept them for themselves?

But why not add a sub-paragraph? Cyclists should not obstruct faster traffic over long distances and stop if necessary to assist it to pass. Cyclists should stay single file, not allowed to pass other cyclists or more than a set number of parked cars without having to get off and walk.

After all, anything else would be imposing one's speed on others and inconsiderate too wouldn't it?  

Maybe we're asking the wrong questions first. Let's first discuss why we must have cyclists on the road at all now. 

I now await the fury of the ardent cycle lobby, who always seem to detest logic, with a sad expectancy.


  1. Keith fantastic subject. The DFT has some interesting details on this. Cycle Infrastructure Design (CID), Department for Transport Local Transport Note 2/08, October 2008. Section 2.2.2 ( page 17.

    The dynamic envelope of a cyclist on the road may be taken as 1 meter. As the name suggests, the dynamic envelope changes depending on the situation but the basics of it is the required space a cyclists needs to keep in motion. Corrections are made to avoid hazards and to keep balance.

    When a vehicle overtakes a cyclist, the space they should leave you is in addition to the dynamic envelope. The DFT recommend that in addition to the dynamic envelope of 1m, cars passing at 30mph should add another 1.5m when passing. In total that equates to 2.5m from the cyclist (this distances is measured from the wheel of the cyclist to the edge of the car). How many drivers do we see passing cyclists at such a distance?
    The DFT recommends that larger vehicles (buses, HGVs) should give a total of over 5m when passing a cyclist at 30mph.

    As for your rules you want to add. I think your first is covered well with the other rules, 212/213/163/167. Your second, is covered by 169

  2. Thanks for that CG. I will indeed look at these as and when it reaches the top of my To Do items.

    However I do not agree with the additional 1.5 m. It means that even on A trunk roads it wouldn't be possible to pass a cyclist ever and especially if 2 abreast. The point I make, as in the HC photo, if we had to exaggerate clearance of passing HGVs that much, there would be no passing at all.

    What is the point of acknowledging the cyclists wobble space with the 1 m then adding another 1.5? That is the point of the Dynamic Envelope isn't it? But we are back to the tape measure again. Cyclists perception is based on the 'vulnerable' nature of their situation. I am afraid that safe passing space is the sole judgement call of the driver and is infinitely variable too. I am afraid that cyclists want it all their way. They want to dictate their speeds to drivers by daring them to pass them, but not make way for the faster transport, often ignoring drivers patiently following them over long distances too. That cannot be right either. And that's what infuriates drivers so much.

    I really think my rule is far more achievable and practical.

    1. Practical is good- and achievable, but maybe there is a sort of presentation problem with your idea? Vehicles should 'stop if necessary to assist [faster traffic] to pass'? I guess you have in mind that situation where the cyclist considerately pulls into a bramble bush so we can get past without actually having to run them over (which frankly is a pain). That's all grand -but now you've put that in print like that, they might start asking *us* to get out of the way, when we're bumper-to-bumper in town and going nowhere fast? I mean, you hardly believe the cheek, but some of these buggers say we are holding *them* up!

    2. Hi T,

      Of course sarcasm can be funny providing it's realistic. Walkers step to one side frequently without having to dive into bramble bushes. There is no excuse to impose your speed on other road users without allowing them to pass. That applies to cyclists too.

      Bumper to bumper? That's exactly when two wheels are an advantage whether cycle or moped. That's why most of my commuting was on two wheels. But these cars are there by necessity. Do cyclists really imagine that people would choose to do that day in day out. All the more reason to consider them on the open road

    3. "But these cars are there by necessity. Do cyclists really imagine that people would choose to do that day in day out"

      I don't know. Half of all journeys by car in London are less than 2 miles - can those really all be considered 'essential'? My trips in London by bike would be a lot quicker if these vehicles weren't there - my average speed by bike's a lot faster than by car.

    4. Simon you think and write as a cyclist. Most people from our 60 million know that cycling isn't viable and isn't for them. So cycle but don't have a superior view of those who don't. Joggers are in a minority too but most of us think it's daft so don't do it.

      How do you know what that car was used for over 2 miles? A bag of cement in the boot? Moving several people around? Take it from me cycling for you is only temporary for most people and unless you're fortunate to stay healthy, you will also stop cycling too. We can't base our economy on that.

      You cannot carry loads at high speed for hundreds of miles on your bike. That's why our society wasn't built on manpower transport either walking, running or cycling. That's why you depend on all motor transport and drivers.

      When will you respondents address the correct statement about 'essential'. It isn't about individual journeys but what is essential transport for the community to survive. So far not one of you can face that so keep changing the statement instead.


  3. 'We must first accept that the clearance given by drivers will be entirely their judgement call and if effected without collision or causing a cyclist to fall off, it will corroborate that the driver's judgement was correct'

    Assuming they've allowed enough space for the cyclist to fall off without going under the car's wheels then the above is true.

    'Leave as much clearance when passing a cyclist that it is physically impossible and unlikely for the cyclist to deviate to the extent that a collision can result without it being the cyclist's fault.'

    It's either physically impossible or it's unlikely, it can't be both so which would you go for? Can we build in some tolerance on your new 'rule'? Or if it's the cyclists fault that's their tough luck is it?

    'Cyclists perception is based on the 'vulnerable' nature of their situation'

    Obviously, they don't have a warm metal box to sit safely in, and why shouldn't it be? Cyclists get very limited protection from road design so they have to look out for themselves. What is wrong with that?

    'safe passing space is the sole judgement call of the driver and is infinitely variable too'

    So cyclists should just leave it to chance and hope that the variables favour them today/ tomorrow/ the day after?

    To me, your post shows significant apathy towards cyclist's safety. Lines such as 'They want to dictate their speeds to drivers by daring them to pass them, but not make way for the faster transport' almost suggest you believe that a driver's right to get somewhere quickly is more important than a cyclist's right to get somewhere safely.

    1. Driving is a privilege, not a right.

    2. For a start that isn't original & simply shows you copy idiots. Driving goes back 1000s of years and built society and has always been a right. Do you think we go through all this for fun? Without drivers you now die. So no, unlike cyclists, all drivers are needed.

      I was first to note that by the way. That's an example of ' original.'

    3. By saying 'Driving goes back 1000s of years' are you stating that people were driving long before the idea of putting an engine into a vehicle was thought of and long before somebody thought of using animals to pull a cart?

    4. The right of any one individual is a right, which can be revoked if the standard of their driving falls too low. You know this to be true, Keith. Society doesn't suddenly collapse because some individuals aren't allowed to drive.

      Driving is not a right under any legal or moral definitions in use, in any nation in the world that I am aware of.

      So driving IS a privilege, it is not a right. Kevins statement is correct, no matter how you look at it.

      As for 'all drivers are needed', this is nonsense. You're telling me that the guy down the road who drives 2 miles to work and drives 2 miles home is needed? But because I cycle 3 miles to work and 3 miles back I am not? Justify that claim, Keith.

    5. Please, expand on what you're trying to say, are you trying to say that cars have been around for thousands of years?

    6. Cab you are so simple. As road cycling's currently a right, so is driving too. Why is one a privilege and the other not? The right to place oneself in danger is often revoked as could cycling be. At the moment both are rights equally.

      Again you are ignoring the simple statement at the head of this blog and arguing against your own presentation. Time wasting.

  4. perhaps the answer to this quandry is you can pass as close as you like to a cyclist as long as you are going slow enough to stop if they fall off. if you are not able to stop in time or react in time you are perhaps too close so therefore the faster you are going the more room you must inevitably leave. therefore if you as the faster traveller wish to pass where there is not much room perhaps slowing down seems like a good idea. its perhaps counter intuitive that slowing down will make your journey faster but trust me it works.

    1. I think 'going close as you like' could cause the cyclist to fall off. Yes I think that even giving cyclists a wide berth, drivers will invariably slow down too. However I cannot accept your final point. A reduction from a potential safe 60 MPH to follow a cyclist for a mile at 12MPH. multiplied several thousand times a day nationwide is very costly. I am guessing that you are not on the road all day long. Then you would be more aware of the time added on over eight hours.

      But what is wrong with cyclists moving over or stopping to allow other road users to pass safely? It's in their own safety interests.

    2. there really is nothing at all wrong with pulling over and stopping to let cars past and when safe to do so i do. but lets examine this a little more closely, as a cyclist i am slower than a car so will be overtaken. a motorcyclist is faster than a car (in acceleration terms at least) so will car drivers pull over to let them past. and if judged purely in terms of importance a car driver and a cyclist must be less important than a truck so are we going to pull over for them (where safe to do so)? I can and for that matter will cycle on the pavement when a few conditions occur 1, this will prevent me slowing other traffic 2, there are no pedestrians or the path is wide enough to pass pedestrians safely. 3 if pedestrians are on the path i pass them slowly and use my bell to let them know i am there (as per the highway code)

    3. Yes car drivers should be aware of motor cyclists and move over to make their overtake easier. I am a lifetime motor cyclists but the difference here is that invariably the car is travelling to the limit and thus not impeding motor cyclists to the extent of say having to wait at about 10 MPH in a sixty zone for cyclists. It's a total different order of hold up & slowing. In any event, motor cyclists very rarely depend on the actions of drivers since their power and speed potential with a small footprint makes them much more independent than drivers on other road users. One of the joys of motorcycling.

      So far as HGVs it's very rare that it isn't the HGV imposing his limit on others and not the other way around. My view is that any driver who ignores his tailback over a long distance whether a private car of HGV is driving without due consideration and the foundation of overtake accidents. Cyclists are also guilty of the same conduct but simply not breaking the law as if they were drivers.

  5. In many respects Ben F typifies the attitude towards logic and good sense from lots of cyclists so I am pleased to publish it and then address his points.

    1) He misses the point. Providing it wasn't the driver's actions that caused the cyclist to fall off then the driver is blameless.

    2) Semantics and childish for an important matter. Unlikely? Physically impossible? Is the driver going to worry about wording whilst determining what he must do? Is that what cyclists would prefer?

    3) Luck doesn't come into it. Cycling among large moving machinery is a dangerous choice. So yes having chosen to do it, then doing it badly can only be laid at the cyclists door. He comes from the school that believes that everything must be a driver's fault no matter how a cyclist behaves.

    4) Cyclists perception of safe distance stems from their own self imposed vulnerability and is nature, unheeded, telling them I'm not happy here. That is why their idea of a safe distance is probably incorrect. This is corroborated by the outcome whereby no incident resulted. To then accost drivers, as many do, is bound to result in a bad reaction especially if the driver did nothing wrong.

    5) Yes that is exactly a summary of what road cycling is. A big risk. What else can mixing and mingling with large machines operated by complete strangers be but foolhardy? There are many dead and crippled cyclists can verify that and must regret that particular last ride.

    6) But drivers do have the right to use appropriate speeds unimpeded by cyclists. And yes motor transport is essential for our survival whereas cycling isn't. But here we see that this was the response to the fair expectation that cyclists make way as soon as possible for faster traffic. A classic response which amounts to a cyclist's right to dictate the speed of others and dominate any road they use.

    So far there has been no sensible alternative to better my new rule though.

    1. quick question for you here regarding number 4 and perception. do you think that drivers perception of danger is distorted by safety devices in cars? i don't drive myself so am curious on this one would drivers drive safer if instead of an airbag there was a giant spike sticking out of the steering wheel?

    2. LOL.but no I don't think drivers drive to what's in the car but to what they are looking at. But it's the cyclist's own vulnerability that makes them feel vulnerable. In their ideal world there would be no motor vehicles on the road. For drivers, why would they welcome any additional hazard or obstruction like horses or cyclists?

      But it would be remiss to fail to understand that a cyclist's judgement of clearance isn't severely clouded or incorrect.

    3. Of course that last line should be 'is' not 'isn't'.

  6. Cyclists in Britain don't do themselves any favours by riding flimsy racing bikes with skinny tires and rims that buckle every time the hit a pot hole. Cyclists, particular commuter cyclists should be riding more upright, sturdy bikes, perhaps with duel suspension and thick durable tires to deal with modern road terrain. Perhaps then they would need so much "wobble room". Keith's right the roads are for sharing, drivers should be allowed to overtake slow cyclists in the same lane. As long as the pass isn't aggressive and the cyclist in not impeded in any way I can't see the problem.

    1. Thanks for that Brad. Well motorists are allowed to pass cyclists in the same lane if not too close.

      As it happens I toured Europe in 2013 with a specific aim to actually see what's going on there for real. And yes the spandex clad racing types just were not to be seen. Nice upright roadsters that imply nice upright sedate riding to go with them. You can see it under cycling on the DU site. But also the majority are not commuting the long distances as they are here but very local.

      But what surprised me most was the distinct lack of cycling in Belgium, France, Germany, Czech Republic, and Poland. So our cycle lobby is really kidding our politicians about European cycling it seems.

  7. Cycling and walking rates in Germany are far higher than in the UK, despite similar levels of car ownership.

    PS You are mad.

    1. You are wrong. I did a tour of Europe specifically with this myth in mind. See the shots from Belgium to Poland on you Also commuting is short distance and not fast Lycra clad either. Nice sedate uprights. Err but the topic is about safe passing distance. Does the little hard saddle affect cyclist's thought processes?

      Your last remark seems to show a very low mentality:-))

    2. Currently, only 2 per cent of trips in the UK are made by bike, compared with 14 per cent in Germany and almost a third in the Netherlands.

      I have no idea why you are so worked up about something you know next to nothing about.

    3. I am not worked up about anything but you certainly seem to be. Try to stick to the topic which is about passing space. And being personal just show ignorance not any logic.

  8. Cycling already has a 14.5 % mode share up from 9.5 % mode share in 2002 to according to new figures (2011) released by Mobility Panel Germany.

    ‘It’s been a revolution from below,’ explains Bettina Cibulski, spokesperson at ADFC, Germany’s national cycling association, who believes that the national plan is more of a political response than an agent of change.

    ”Young, urban, well educated people have started cycling. And this group gives an example to the rest of the population, who have also started to cycle.”
    There’s lots of figures to demonstrated this growth: in 2002, every person cycled on average 0.33 trips per day, in 2011 this was up to 0.5 trips. Extrapolated to the whole German population of 82 million, this means about 41 million cycle trips every day – or a stunning 14 million additional daily cycle trips compared to 2002. If we saw the same growth across the EU-27, it would mean an additional 80 million cycle trips. (Note that ECF wants to see 15% of all trips done by bike in Europe by 2020).

    “Extrapolated to the whole German population of 82 million, this means about 41 million cycle trips every day”
    There’s even better news; the increase in daily cycling in Germany came mainly at the expense of car use which dropped from 57.3 % to 52.8 %. While walking faltered somewhat ( 23.8 % to 21.1 %), public transport saw an increase, up from 8.9 % to 9.9. %. The German case contradicts the widespread belief that an increase in cycling comes at the expense of public transport.

    - See more at:

    Worth remembering that Germany has a kind of Presumed Liability, where drivers know any collision will be expensive for them.

    When I cycled round Berlin I was astonished at the courtesy shown by drivers- they were very different from the reckless drivers I'm used to in London!

    1. I am very impressed with your stats. But see my pictures on The extrapolation is a classic Ministry of Guesswork number. I don't agree with your perception of UK drivers and the fact is there is more death from home accidents than from all causes on the road so UK drivers are clearly better than you are perceiving them.

      Because Germany has assumed liability doesn't make it right. Germany invaded Europe twice in the last century and we didn't agree with them and opposed it.

      But what has all this to do with the topic? Try to focus.

    2. So Pete, you're saying your photographs taken wherever the hell you happened to be trump stats measured and collated over time in Germany?

  9. For a start stats can be selective and not on a rationale base. The climate change & 20 zones where I have exposed the stunt are examples.

    But no. Those were just snapshots of what I was observing and unlike stats they don't lie.

    It turns out all the cyclists I observed were very local on nice sedate uprights and in normal clothes as in the pictures.

    We have Oxford & Cambridge where they are flat too, lots of cyclists all local, and not interested in racing style either.

    Yes Berlin is pretty flat and again the same pattern. So no, Europe isn't about cyclists at all. My photos show the opposite and corroborate what we were seeing & looking at.

    I tend to believe the evidence of my own eyes before stats anytime. Stats can be made to support anything. Haven't you learned that? I am pleased to say the majority of UK drivers will believe my statements supported with photos and feel much better about themselves too.

    1. I live in Aachen, Germany. It's not particularly flat. Though not quite like NL or DK, cycling is very normal here. People of all ages do it for reasonably short trips, more often for errands, rather than commuting. Lycra is a rare sight on german streets and most bikes are rather utility vehicles. I don't know how you could not see lots of cycling people here. Modal share in cities is generally between 5 % and 30 %, typically between 10 % and 15 %.

      Almost all german drivers perfectly manage to give cyclists a wider berth of 1.5 m as required by german law. How comes brit drivers seem unable to do so aswell? The width of carriage ways is certainly not the reason, as even in Germany that berth is usually only possible by distinctly entering the opposite lane.

    2. Hi Andre,

      Don't misunderstand. Of course you will have large towns, as we do like Oxford, Cambridge, London, Norwich that lend themselves to more cyclists. But the cycle lobby here is clearly overstating European cycling. For a start I am delighted you had confirmed that the cycling tends to be local, and not of the racing style being promoted here.

      But we are not experiencing any driver clearance problems here. Our accident stats are the best in Europe. What we have is a very loud cycle lobby group who refuse to applaud our drivers.

      The fact remains that Germany would run very well without cyclists, but collapse without its drivers. Why do cyclists find that impossible to accept?


    3. Fact remains, that german cities and towns would rather collaps if not a significant percentage of trips would be by bike, feet, or public transit. The majority lives in urban and suburban environments. So it wouldn't at all run well without a significant part of people cycling.

      During winter with the occasional big snowstorm and people sudenly finding driving not the easiest thing to do, you get to see, how little motorised individual traffic is really necessary. Of course you have to have delivery of goods, Police, Emergency and Resque services and all that. But that's not what makes the streets unbearable, anyway. It's people sitting in metal boxes, one in each, that believe there is no other way to make the two miles to the super market, in order to buy one bottle of wine. People that think, that they themselves are the ones entitled to use space, pollute, make noise, and endanger others, in order to exercise some imaginated god given right on a convenient lifestyle.

      As to the statistics. Whatever the UK safety record may be, from what I've seen there; I'd not feel engaged to cycle there at all.

  10. Ahahahaha! KP, you're a deluded fool. So, driving's been around for thousands of years, eh?
    Bet they loved all those interal combustion engines the Romans used.
    Time for your medication, KP, then go back to sleep.
    Oh, and no, it isn't 1952 anymore. :-)

    1. Chariots were driven by drivers, so were oxon and sheep. Err what did they call the driver of a stagecoach? So all your inane giglling and calling me a fool was a bit silly really and ill thought out. Engage brain before opening mouth next time William.

    2. Seriously? You're reducing your crusade against cyclists to semantic differences between 'ride' and 'drive' now? This is getting crazy!

    3. Here it is. Promoting drivers has to be a 'Crusade against cyclists'. So I'm not entitled to point out that the 'driving' of the non man powered vehicles that built society and still needs them now, was the forerunner to today's non man powered vehicles?

      So much for cyclist's god Carlton Reid and his rubbish.

      BTW not all responses are published otherwise I would be handing the running of this blog to all comers. To avoid repetion, ping pong and to save time, I only publish selected comments .

    4. You know what, Keith, I don't think promoting drivers does have to be a 'Crusade against cyclists'. Why do these people think you are on a crusade against cyclists? They are easily confused. It's probably just the fact that all your you-tube vids are about what's wrong with cyclists. Or maybe it's the Twitter account explicitly responding to @cyclehatred. Could be that vid where you complain that a cyclist has trusted other road users not to kill him. Maybe it's those frank and forthright twitter exchanges where you use atleast three of your accounts to get reinforcements, as it were, against people who ride bikes. I don't know, it might be something else, and it's hard to see into the minds of such people. As I say, these chaps are easily confused.

    5. There you go. A defence of drivers is translated by THG as a 'Crusade against cyclists' what an Irony. So shouldn't there be a drivers' response to cyclists head cams by showing that it's really cyclists that need to be more critical of themselves and their riding? That even when doing it well, they are totally at the mercy of the unknown and complete strangers with big machines?

      It is about time that a lot of the Cycle Lobby mythology and propaganda is addressed by someone for drivers. The worst I say to cyclists is my own philosophy as a cyclist. I choose to do it, I know and accept it's very dodgy and I get on with it without moaning to high heaven. I suspect the majority of cyclists are like that too. But the Cycle Lobby are not content with that.

      Most of my time is not spent addressing cycling matters, but I do have to because the cyclists keep putting it on the driving agenda. Are we not entitled to respond to it?

  11. Posted for Simon Taylor

    As as a L.G.V. Driver of some 40+ years I rarely encounter cyclists in France, Germany, Denmark, Belgium and many other towns and cities on the continent, and when I do I have rarely had a problem passing them, many slowing down or even stop to let me pass. Here in the U'K it's a totally different scenario, cyclists riding in groups (sometimes 2/4 abreast) and using far more of the carriageway than is necessary. On occasions I've seen rude hand gestures from lone cyclists after I have past them giving them more room than the advisory stats.On many occasions I have been held up with 2 abreast cycles, and on one occasion the following police patrol vehicle overtook both the cyclist and me. The officer commented on my patience of staying behind the cyclist to avoid causing oncoming traffic taking evasive action and and then continued to charge the cyclist with obstruction by not keeping a reasonable distance from the edge of the carriageway, in response to this action the cyclist was violent and abusive to both myself and the two police officers and was arrested. It's this and like & minded cyclists that cause the problems, and their are too many of them,

    1. Thanks for confirming the reality of Europe. Few cyclists on most roads and certainly very few spandex clad racers but nice sedate upright local riding.

    2. Few cyclists on the road in mainland Europe because most places in Europe actually have PROPER cycling facilities, not dangerously narrow, strips of paint on the road, not to mention that in many Western European countries, cyclists(and those riding 50cc or less motorcycles) and pedestrians are given priority over motor vehicles, they are also seperated from motor vehicles, hence they don't feel the need to be able to keep up with cars or out accelerate them and so don't ride road bikes or wear lycra for commuting but segregation is NOT the only answer, education and COOPERATION is also an answer that also involves proper SHARING of the road space, also, even with the FAR superior facilities, it still isn't a legal requirement for cyclists in Europe to use those facilities, or to wear helmets.
      I mean, come on Keithy, this "motorist v cyclist" thing is getting to the point that it's comparable to racial segregation where people like you are the "white" people who think they're superior to the "black" people(cyclists) even though it really isn't the case and it's sometimes actually the complete opposite depending on the people involved in any altercations.

    3. The 'two tribes' is an invention by the cycle lobby. I am a cyclist and don't discriminate. But defending drivers and stating their case is interpreted as being anti cyclist. Europe has totally different history. Most of it invaded and occupied 40 to 45 then largely demolished too, they had to manage with cycles whilst our motoring thrived and became more established. Fact is we cannot afford to change our roads.

      What you cannot accept is that we all depend on drivers but not cyclists so there is no equal status; it's a myth.

  12. Just rejected a ill informed and personal diatribe from Mike Andrews. He fails to stick to topic and explain how, without tape measures, we can set passing space in feet and inches. Neither can he accept a simple reality we need drivers but not cyclists. In fact road cycling is proving to be deadly, and a hinderance, hazard and liability to other road users. I cycle regularly but know it's not necessary for my welfare, health and certanly is risky. Why can't cycling buffs be as truthful as I am? :-))

  13. I always took the 'give a person on a bike as much space as you would a car' instruction to mean imagine the bike is taking up as much space as a car and pass accordingly. This is also why it is recommended for people on bike to ride two abreast. This has always served me well.

    ps.I love my car, so spending a few extra seconds in it waiting for space to pass people on bikes is no real hardship.

  14. Two abreast is crazy and selfish. You mean that you use your own unprotected body to prove a point and obstruct other road users, dictating your speeds on them? The rule is keep to the left. So when there are driver following and waiting to pass you ignore them and don't pull into single file? Says it all really. No it's not a 'few seconds either'. You are thinking like a cyclist. Think like drivers who are not cyclists and have no interest in it either then you will be a better cyclist.


    1. Riding two abreast is perfectly legal. In many cases you cannot overtake a cyclist safely without changing lanes, hence riding two abreast makes no difference in the difficulty of the overtake. The reason cyclists are told to take primary in some situations is to stop dangerous overtakes where there is simply not enough space without changing lanes. Riding two abreast has the same effect.

      In large groups, it is far easier to overtake a tightly packed group than a long line of cyclists in single file.

      The rule to keep to the left means to keep to the left lane and has nothing to do with your positing on the lane itself. Cyclists do not have to ride in the gutter. Do you also drive right up to the edge of the kerb?

    2. 'Riding two abreast is perfectly legal' So is two cars two abreast and ignoring faster vehicles who wish to pass. I know the utterly stupid and reckless rationale that to use one's own body to obstruct heavy essential machinery is regarded as sensible advice by the cycling lobby- evidence if evidence is needed why they should be ignored totally-

      'In many cases you cannot overtake a cyclist safely without changing lanes, hence riding two abreast makes no difference in the difficulty of the overtake.' What utter nonsense. What is a 'safe' distance to pass? It depends on speed and in any case why do cyclists not also leave exactly the same amount of space when passing others, especially stationary cars in traffic queues? One law for cyclists and another for everyone else?

      But your whole premise shows why cyclists are a problem to drivers. You make these comments on the basis that society must have cyclists and it simply doesn't.

      Who suggests cyclists must be in the gutter?

      Two abreast is purely social and even riskier for those who do it.