The UK Highway code contains a comprehensive section on cycling rules. Many cyclists fall foul of the law either by being unaware that these cycling rules apply to them as well as motorists. Others just choose to ignore these cycling rules. Either way, there is no excuse! Fortunately, a high percentage of cyclists do follow these rules.
On our recent post Highway Code Cycling Section Part I we covered rules 59 to 70. On this second part we shall cover rules 71 to 82 .
Rule 71 – Traffic Light Stop Line
Cyclists MUST NOT cross the stop line at a set of red traffic lines. A number of junctions have an advanced stop line which allows cyclists to position themselves ahead of traffic.
Road Junctions (Rules 72 to 75)
Rule 72 (Junction on the Left)
When coming up to a junction on the left watch out for vehicles pulling out as well as vehicles turning across you. Before turning check for any undertaking cyclists (always worth doing a check over the shoulder in which direction you are turning). Never ride on the inside lane when a vehicle is indicating or slowing down to turn left.
Rule 73 (Long Vehicles)
Long vehicles need extra room to manoeuvre when turning. Be aware that the driver may not be able to see you, long vehicles such as HGVs have many “blind spots”. Stay safe and wait until the vehicle has completed the manoeuvre. The wheels of a long vehicle can come very close to the kerb.
Rule 74 (Turning Right)
When turning right check for traffic from the back first, indicate that you are intending to turn and gently move towards the centre of the road. Check one final time for traffic approaching from the back as well as oncoming traffic then turn. If there is a steady stream of oncoming traffic, it may be safer to wait on the side of the road and wait until there’s a safe gap. Alternatively, you can dismount and when it is safe to do so, walk the bike across the road.
Rule 75 (Dual Carriageways)
Vehicles move at a higher speed on dual carriageways, wait for a safe gap and then cross one carriageway at a time. Take extra care when crossing slip roads.
Roundabouts (Rules 76 to 78)
The correct use of roundabouts is covered by the UK Highway Code under Rules 184 to 190, full details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code/using-the-road-159-to-203
You may feel safer walking your bike along the pavement or verge, if you decide to ride around the roundabout and keep on the left hand lane, you should beware of the following:
- You may not be seen by drivers easily
- Be careful when riding across exits. You may need to signal right to indicate to other motorists that you are not leaving the roundabout.
- Keep an eye on vehicles crossing your path leaving the roundabout as well as for vehicles entering the roundabout.
Allow long vehicles extra room for maneuvering around a roundabout. DO NOT ride in the space they may need for maneuvering. It may be safer to wait for them to have cleared the roundabout before proceeding.
Crossing the Road (Rules 79 to 82)
- Equestrian crossings are for horses only, DO NOT ride across them
- DO NOT ride across a Pelican crossing. The name originated as an acronym for Pedestrian Light Controlled and it was formerly known as a Pelicon.
- DO NOT ride across a zebra crossing – The white lines on the road resemble a zebra’s coat hence the name.
- DO NOT ride across a puffin crossing (pedestrian user friendly intelligent crossing). The lights controlling pedestrians are on the near side of the road instead of across the road.
Cyclists are allowed ride across a toucan crossing. Toucan crossings are push button operated and allow cyclists and pedestrians to share the crossing. Cyclists and pedestrians will see the green signal together. The name comes from two can cross.
Cycle Crossings – Cycle tracks on the opposite side of the road may be linked by a signalled crossing. Cyclists are allowed to cross only when the green signal is shown.
Level crossings and Tramways – Take care when crossing tracks. Cyclists should dismount at railway crossings where a cyclist dismount sign is displayed.
Full rules can be found on this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code/road-works-level-crossings-and-tramways-288-to-307
The cycling rules in the Highway Code are there to keep cyclists and other road users safe.
Cycling rules found in the Highway Code as well as advisories are covered in the Bikeability course on levels two and three.