Priority of cycle tracks across side roads

In summarising the results of their recently-conducted survey into the opinions of both members and non-members into varying types of cycling infrastructure, the CTC had this to say on the particular matter of cycle tracks –

Respondents were offered a set of conditions that CTC suggested be met before implementation of cycle tracks. These include cyclists having priority over turning traffic, adequate width and a high standard of maintenance. Support for these conditions was very high, with 88-95% of respondents saying that these were very or quite important.

Later in that report of the survey, the CTC go on to say –

Traffic regulations in the UK only permit cyclists to have priority over vehicles entering or leaving side turning[s] in very restricted circumstances. In nearly all cases cyclists must give way and are sometimes blocked from crossing with barriers, as in Figure 3, an image from Oxford. By contrast, rules in the Netherlands (Figure 4) permit priority for cyclists over side roads, without the need for anything other than road markings and some signs.

This is the vexed question of priority for cycle tracks across side roads, which is a particular bugbear for the CTC. Roger Geffen, their campaigns director, had this to say in the Guardian last year, in response to the findings of the Understanding Walking and Cycling report –

[An] important pre-requisite for segregation to work is legal priority for cyclists at junctions, given that this is where around 70% of cyclists’ injuries occur. In countries like Denmark and the Netherlands, if you’re on a cycle track and travelling straight ahead at a junction, the law says you have clear priority over drivers turning across your path

Obviously that’s the way things should work, but the CTC are concerned that we just can’t do that in this country.

This is the picture of a cycle track in Oxford that the CTC refer to in their report on infrastructure, used to illustrate the ‘lack of priority’ in the UK –

This is plainly awful design.

The cycle track runs along Park Street in Oxford, and the side road is a minor entrance into the University Science department. There should be no barriers, and the track should have priority across the side road.

There is, of course, no UK legal requirement for barriers like this at junctions. This is just sloppy, lazy engineering. The CTC suggest that barriers ‘sometimes’ block crossings, but they should also have made plain that such a tactic has no basis in regulation, and that they should be removed. Indeed the most idiotic section of barrier has disappeared since the CTC’s picture was taken. There was no legal requirement for it to be there in the first place.

Barely a hundred yards from this complete mess of a junction, the cycle track crosses another side road, in slightly smoother fashion.

No barriers, and no ‘give way’ markings. Cyclists would seem to have priority – albeit unclear, and potentially dangerous.

The CTC claim that a lack of priority is basically what we have to expect from cycle tracks under UK law, regulations of which mean that cyclists ‘have priority over vehicles entering or leaving side turning in very restricted circumstances.’

Is this true? A respondent to their survey – quoted in their report – doesn’t seem to think so.

It would be good to have new rules to support right of way at side roads as a default, but I don’t see them as essential since as far as I can see, high quality Dutch style segregated tracks could be built with currently available give way and priority markings.  

This stands in disagreement with the CTC’s claim about priority for cycle tracks only being available under ‘very restricted circumstances’. What’s the reality?

The relevant document is the latest edition of The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions, 2002, available as a huge 300MB pdf (hereafter TSRGD) – this 450 page beast sets out how signs and markings can and should be set out on British roads; it’s the bible of what is permitted.

The portion on ‘Give Way’ markings is found in Section 4, ‘Road Markings’, under Regulation 25. That regulation is online here. The subsection of this regulation we are concerned with is 25 (6), which states that

Where the transverse lines are placed in advance of a length of the carriageway of the road where a cycle track crosses the road along a route parallel to the transverse lines, then the requirement shall be that no vehicle shall proceed past such one of those lines as is nearer the cycle track, in a manner or at a time likely to endanger any cyclist proceeding along the cycle track or to cause such a cyclist to change speed or course in order to avoid an accident.

This is a lengthy way of saying that give way lines on a side road, placed before a cycle track crossing that side road, apply in the usual fashion – don’t cross that line if in doing so you make the cyclist change speed or course.  This subsection 25 (6) s a new addition to the TSRGD; it is not present in the Regulation 25 of the 1994 TSRGD, a document which seemingly has nothing to say about cycle track priority, or cycle tracks at all.

So cycle tracks can have priority over side roads, it seems.

It’s not quite that simple though; we also have to refer to the ‘General Directions’ section of the document, about how precisely to apply the signs. Regulation 34 (2) is found in the section covering ‘Signs to be placed only at specified sites or for specified purposes’, and states that

The marking shown in diagram 1003 may only be placed on the carriageway of a road in circumstances such that regulation 25(6) (transverse lines placed in advance of a cycle track crossing a road) applies, if the length of the road which is crossed by a cycle track consists of a road hump extending across the full width of the carriageway and constructed pursuant to—

(a) section 90A of the Highways Act 1980(a) and in accordance with the Highways (Road Humps) Regulations 1999(b); or

(b) section 36 of the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984(c)and in accordance with the Road Humps (Scotland) Regulations 1998(d).

This is, again, a lengthy way of saying that a cycle track having priority across a side road using give way markings must consist of a road hump; i.e. the cycle track must run along that hump. (‘Diagram 1003’ is simply the familiar double-dashed ‘Give Way’ line painted on a road). That hump must be constructed according to condition (a) if you’re in England, namely

So in plain English, we can have cycle tracks, with priority, across side road junctions, marked with give way markings, provided they run across a hump.

What else is needed? A useful document is the Traffic Signs Manual, which explains, as simply as possible, how highway engineers should implement the conditions found in the TSRGD. Chapter 5 (pdf) deals with Road Markings, and has this to say about the implementation of the above.


3.25  Regulation 25(6) [from TSRGD] enables the marking to diagram 1003 to be used to give priority to a cycle track crossing a road. The length of road crossed by the cycle track must consist of a road hump, which should be of the flat-topped type. The hump must extend across the full width of the carriageway, in accordance with direction 34(2). The marking to diagram 1023 should also be provided, together with a longitudinal warning line to diagram 1004 on each approach. The hump must be marked with diagram 1062 (see para 21.9). The Give Way marking should be placed on the carriageway of the road, not on any part of the hump.

Again, 1003 is the double-dashed line. The hump must be flat, and extend across the road (obviously enough). 1023 is the familiar triangular ‘Give Way’ marking. A ‘longitudinal warning line to diagram 1004’ is simply a dashed central dividing line of the kind usually found between carriageways. Finally, diagram 1062 are the solid warning triangles painted on the upslope of the hump itself.

The picture below (courtesy of Google Streetview) seems to me to be a textbook example of how this has been done, literally by the book. It’s the start of the Bath end of the Bath-Bristol Railway Path.

We have the give way markings either side of the track (1003), together with the triangles (1023). The continuous flat, hump across the road. The (more than slightly faded) solid triangles on the hump (1062). And finally the ‘longitudinal warning lines’ (a dashed central divider to you and me) either side of the crossing (1004).

I have been informed by Paul James, while discussing this issue of cycle track priority, that Transport for London are of the opinion that DfT regulations mean a second set of give way markings cannot be placed within 5m of a junction.

I certainly have not been able to find such a clause within the discussion of cycle track priority. The best I can do is a section contained within LTN 2/08, Cycle Infrastructure Design (pdf), which has this to say

On a bent­out crossing, the cycle track approaches are deflected away from the main carriageway to create a gap of one or two car­ lengths between the main road and the crossing. A gap of about 5 metres is required to accommodate one car. The arrangement allows drivers turning into the side road extra time to notice the crossing and provides somewhere for them to stop for crossing cyclists without obstructing traffic on the main road. It also allows a vehicle waiting to exit the side road to do so without blocking the crossing point. [my emphasis]

Note, however, that this is only a statement of the length required to accommodate a car, not a formal stipulation. In addition, it only applies to the design of ‘bent out’ crossings, not crossings in general – indeed the previous section, 10.3.6, says

Where the crossing is placed on a road hump, it may be better if  it is “bent out”

‘May be better’. Crossings don’t need to be bent out. And even if they are, the distance mentioned is only suggestive, not a stipulation. I think TfL might be getting the wrong end of the stick, if this is the source of their ‘5 metre’ claim.

There are crossings in the UK which quite obviously do not meet this requirement.

(picture courtesy of David Arditti)

The 5 metre suggestion is actually quite sensible; indeed it accords with best Dutch practice, which sets the cycle track crossing back from the main road, allowing drivers to come off the main road and pause before giving way to the cycle track. It also means vehicles queueing to get on to the main road needn’t block the cycle track while queuing. An example in Assen –

But in any case a UK cycle track need not be ‘bent out’. It can run in a straight line, remaining parallel to the road, like this example, again from Assen –

If there is not much queuing traffic coming out of the side road, this is a sensible design, provided that the geometry of the junction is sufficiently tight to force slow entry speeds.

Again we have UK examples of this type of design –

(again courtesy of David Arditti)

The design is obviously inferior, particularly in the width of the track – but we can do this in this country. David Arditti has documented plenty of examples, mostly of this form. This track does not meet the strict requirements of TSRGD, because it does not have give way markings on entry (only the triangle markings on the hump), but I see no reason why  this could not have been done properly.

The new cycle tracks on Old Shoreham Road have even fewer markings –

(picture courtesy of Jim Davis)

I think this is slightly underdone – the painting of triangle markings on the hump at the right hand side could be a useful addition here, along with a continuous line along the hump, to give an extra implication of priority.

So the big question is – given both the provision in law for cycle track priority, and the evidence of plenty of cycle tracks with priority in the UK that accord with law to varying degrees of strictness – does this statement from the CTC

Traffic regulations in the UK only permit cyclists to have priority over vehicles entering or leaving side turning in very restricted circumstances

reflect reality?


I am grateful to David Arditti for pointing out in the comments where TfL’s aforementioned 5 metre ‘requirement’ originates – the Appendix of Transport for London’s London Cycling Design StandardsIn Appendix C we find these two diagrams –

The first shows a cycle track without priority, continuing (more or less) without set back; the latter does have priority, being set back ‘5m or more’.

It is worth noting, as David points out, that these are only suggestions, not legal requirements. I have no idea where John Lee’s belief that the law is against cycle tracks having priority unless they are set back 5 metres originates.

This entry was posted in CTC, Department for Transport, Infrastructure, London, Priority, Road safety, Subjective safety, The Netherlands. Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to Priority of cycle tracks across side roads

  1. On the subject of priority for crossing traffic doesn’t the highway code already state that motorists have to yield to pedestrians already crossing a road when they are turning onto it? Of course even with that in place you still take a gamble. We’ve recently had a new zebra crossing installed in Croydon on what was already a fairly blind turn. The approach to it has been covered in an anti-skid covering and the crossing itself isn’t even 2m from the turn, I’ve already seen 1 driver come to a skidding halt (an they where coming from the much safer giveway to the left!) to avoid people crossing….

  2. Richard Mann says:

    Cyclists certainly take priority here: (the “obligatory” hump markings are missing). There are several like this along Marston Road. Whether the cyclist has formal priority over the turning vehicle is debatable, but almost all cyclists “read” those crossings as giving them priority, and almost all motorists accept that they have priority (the hump does most of the work).

    The barriers on Parks Road are on University-owned land that isn’t technically highway, so it was a pretty poor example for CTC to pick. There is a genuine visibility issue there, though it could have been dealt with less obstructively. Since the outer barrier has been removed, it’s no longer much of an obstruction (and in any event, most cyclists use the cycle lanes on the road).

  3. davidhembrow says:

    I also wondered about the insistence by the CTC that it couldn’t be done in the UK, because I’ve seen examples in Britain too.

    For example, these in Cambridge: 1, 2, 3, 4.

    • davidhembrow says:

      Oh, please scrub that comment. I just realised I was looking at the Dutch style “shark’s teeth” and not the actual British give-way symbols. I’d mis-remembered how it is.

    • Those are odd ones, because there’s a give way marking in the road, as well as on the cycle track. Both parties apparently have to give way to each other, which is pretty poor design. It wouldn’t take much to adjust them to look like David’s example in my post.

      • Rad Wagon says:

        The “idea” is that no-one has priority, so everyone should stop/slow. That way everyone is more considerate. In reality you get people driving pointing out the cyclepath give way lines to people cycling saying “why didn’t you stop?” whilst pulling out to improve their (car-based) restricted view. So it reverts to the law of the biggest bullying their way forward.

  4. Cyclestrian says:

    “The picture below (courtesy of Google Streetview) seems to me to be a textbook example of how this has been done, literally by the book. It’s the start of the Bath end of the Bath-Bristol Railway Path.”

    I can see how this could be improved. There are two white lines crossing the cycle path that detract from the continuity and priority of the cycle route.

    Really we should look at such junctions as a crossroads of a major road (the cycle path) and a minor road (vehicular) and mark it up accordingly in the conventional way. A dashed median line on the cyclepath, even if it doesn’t aid passing cyclists, would be another visual hint to drivers that they do not have priority. Give way signs might be overkill though!

  5. OK. I think one thing you have missed here is the London Cycle Design Standards, which, though not legal requirements, may have influenced the CTC and may influence designers across the country. These, in the Appendix C diagrams pp199–200 suggest that if the 5m setback is not present, cyclists should be made to give way when crossing a two-way side road.

    This is a reference to the most recent published edition, 2005, and in fact there is an improvement here from the previous edition (a reference to which I do not have to hand, but you might find it), where it was indicated that the only circumstance in which a track could have priority was if the side-road was one-way going into the main road. This influenced a lot of traffic engineers in London to refuse to construct cycle tracks with priority at junctions – I had direct experience of this.

    The diagrams and recommendations in both editions of the LCDS were drawn up by John Lee of TfL. I have discussed this issue with him. He is firmly of the opinion that the law is against cycle tracks generally having priority over minor roads unless set back 5m, and he believes the Camden cycle tracks (inc. Royal College Street) are legally challengeable. I think he is wrong and don’t know where he has got this idea from. Indeed the Camden tracks have been operating for 12 years without being legally challenged, and the engineers who originally put them in did their homework and did not believe there was anything illegal about them. However, the LCDS may be where a lot of this problem is coming from.

    • Thanks for this David – I had looked at the TfL Cycling Design Standards, but only Chapter 6 (pdf), ‘Signs and Markings’. This chapter does mention priority of cycle tracks over side roads, subject to the markings and hump stipulated in TSRGD. There is, however, no mention of the 5 metre ‘requirement’, which only features in the Appendix C you mention.

      Like you I have no idea where this opinion that priority should depend on the amount of setback has come from. It might be worth asking John Lee for the basis of his opinion.

  6. I believe that pedestrians in Holland and Germany can continue across a side road at a junction without waiting. That is, anyone going straight ahead on the main road, whether on foot, cycling or driving has the priority over people turning off. This continuity of priority means that drivers, and other road users, expect to give way when turning off in, whereas in the UK pedestrians should wait on the pavement, giving way to turning traffic. It would be worthwhile considering whether we should campaign for such a change here too – it will facilitate pedestrian journeys and long-term make for safer segregated routes. However it shouldn’t be allowed to be an excuse to avoid implementing cycle paths that continue over junctions in the meantime!

  7. Pedestrians crossing a side road do actually have priority over turning traffic in the UK – see – though this only applies once the pedestrian has started to cross, so maybe it’s different in other countries. The rule as it stands seems reasonable to me – if it was actually observed.

    The problem is that the real rules of the UK roads aren’t found in the Highway Code, but in the rulebook of the jungle: might wins. A growling motor wins every time, in fact most people assume that motor vehicles have priority at all times. In fact, I’ve asked many people if they knew about this pedestrian priority rule, and not one knew it existed!

    Perhaps a government ad campaign to remind drivers of their responsibilities is in order?

  8. PaulM says:

    Your first picture shows the eastern facade of Keble College (“this is a collage, but think of it as a Fair Isle sweater”) which brings back memories of my own 4 idyllic years there, 35 years ago, as a chemistry undergraduate.

    I used to cross that road from the porter’s lodge, visible just to the right of the right-hand tree in the picture, to the science park directly opposite, notably to the University Science Museum where many of my lectures were delivered. My memory of the road, and indeed of Oxford as a whole, was that traffic was pretty sparse, apart from the main drags such as St Giles, and Banbury and Woodstock Roads, and even there it wasn’t particularly intimidating.

    Like almost all students, and most dons, I got around on a bicycle, one of the many thousands around the city, all marked with a compulsory registration mark to identify the owner if he should lose it or leave it chained to the wrong railings. Mine was KC801. Even then car parking was just about impossible, in a landscape of 16-17th century buildings all cheek by jowl, all no doubt legally protected from unsympathetic “development”, such as car parking.

    I’m trying to imagine what can have changed so radically. I am sure that Parks Road still takes you into a warren of Cotswold stone ancient buildings, separated by narrow alleys and with virtually nil car parking anywhere. It doesn’t take you to a central destination, and it doesn’t function well as a through route either. In fact, it should have all the qualities to be a perfect example of where segregated infrastructure is NOT needed. So how can Parks Rd have become so hostile that an off-road cycle path would be needed?

    • Richard Mann says:

      In 2000, the northern half of Parks Road became part of the only east-west through route when the High was closed 0730-1830 every day. See (Keble Road was also blocked at the Banbury Road junction at the same time).

      So it’s pretty busy. It is 20mph with cycle lanes along most of its length, and the traffic is pretty slow-moving, so it’s OK for even fairly timid adult cyclists. The route on the pavement was done at the same time to link Norham Gardens to the southern half of Parks Road (part of NCN51). The junction of Parks Road with South Parks Road is a bit of a mess, but the shear number of pedestrians at certain times of day makes it difficult to improve.

  9. David says:

    What hope has cycling got when then this gets changed to this at the last minute because “Through these discussions it was concluded that the proposal to give cyclists priority over traffic did carry a high risk of road safety problems with particular concern over drivers turning left off Boroughbridge Road not having sufficient time and space to give way for cyclists crossing Ouseacres.”
    Really, what, this is just like a dutch design with a car lenth of space after the turn before the crossing – a good design, just like the TFL design.

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  11. Eric D says:

    It seems that cyclists often won’t get priority because motorists will kill them !
    There’s a lot of unspoken ‘Might is Right’ going on here.

    Incidentally, I came here to compare a recent incident in Reading, involving a car turning right across a physically-segregated Bike&Bus Lane

    I guess the driver would have seen a bus, but don’t know that the driver expected the cyclist to give way.

    Google StreetView shows the junction being remodelled May-Jul 2014 : a couple of feet narrower and flowerbeds ! It would be better half that width.

    Ironically the comments include
    “we need to find a way to separate cycles from main vehicular routes.. just as we use pavements to separate pedestrians from vehicular routes.”
    It _was_ a segregated lane – the only answer is overbridges or subways.

    • Eric D says:

      So the system rewards people with the greater potential to cause damage.
      Perhaps cyclists need to think up ways of causing more damage ?
      Joke !)

  12. UK laws are manmade laws, they are not the laws of physics. You can equally not be allowed to go faster than the speed of light nor can you go around building cycle priority crossings without a raised table like this, but one is possible to violate, and thus is changeable, and the other isn’t. When our laws don’t make sense, they must go.

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  14. Michael Hall says:

    The pro cycling Nottingham Council so called road safety department do not have a clue about the basics of road safety due to the obvious dangers that now exist since they took it upon themselves to give priority to cyclists who use a footpath that crosses several side road junctions onto the main ring road because it runs parallel to the ring road. Cyclists can come from any direction both sides of the ring road. Many more are seen riding straight over these side roads without slowing or stopping although they cannot be seen adequately by all moroists.
    It would be all very well if any motorist travelling on these side roads towards the ring road
    could see cyclists or running pedestrians suddenly appearing from behind the numerous fences, large hedges and trees that do not allow adequate vision of said road users. This situation is deemed OK by the council because of the ideology that overrides the priority of road safety in any event because the give way white lines are now there for motorists to give way to something he cannot see adequately.
    I notice two completely different situations in the photos depicted by the writer of the article & yet there is no reference to the totally different vision situation at the five junctions.
    I would have thought that vision is of paramount importance as regards what a motorist or a cyclist/ pedestrian can see when negotiating any junction.

    It must be made clear that at all times the Highway Code must be observed for road safety to be effective at all road junctions in respect that ‘due care and attention at all times must be observed by all road users when negotiating all road junctions’.
    It should be indelible in all road users minds that there is no such thing as priority for one road user for another. If a road user thinks this is the wrong philosophy then he may end up dead.

    I am proud of my 54 years NCD and my wife’s 40 odd years NCD. She has never had any accident whatsoever in all her driving years since I taught her but now she does not like negotiating these junctions as she says they are not right and feels jepodised regards the blame aspect. This is of course what the pro cycling ( not against car driver liars) council want = get out of the car !

    • pm says:

      “Many more are seen riding straight over these side roads without slowing or stopping ”

      You mean they do pretty much exactly what every motorist in the country does as a matter of course? When has a driver, driving along a main road at speed, ever given way to side roads?

      You are lucky if they slow down or give way when they _don’t_ have priority. Last month, as a pedestrian, late one night, I encountered a car hitting 60-70mp shooting straight across a junction at a quiet 20mph limit residential side-road, AGAINST the priority of the junction. A cyclist wobbled across that junction on the priority arm about a minute later- had they been there earlier they’d likely have been killed.

      (It particularly stuck in my mind because there was a police helicopter buzzing around overhead at the time, and I briefly wondered if the driver was speeding because they were escaping some crime or other- but from the local paper it turned out the helicopter was there for another incident entirely)

      I actually somewhat agree with you that just giving cyclists formal priority isn’t a good idea if nothing is done to enforce it, still more so if the visibility is poor, because the reality is you can’t trust motorists to obey the rules unless they are in some way forced to do so – its just not in their nature to obey rules, unless breaking them endangers themselves rather than others.

      But your post has a nasty whiff of victim-blaming about it, in its shock at cyclists doing what motorists do as a matter of course. Why is it morally worse to endanger yourself than to endanger others?

      • Michael hall says:

        You clearly do not know what the exact situation is re these junctions that give priority to any road user that chooses to and is incited to proceed across a blind junction.
        No motorist will do as you are suggesting if he values his and other road users safety. The post is about road safety and unless a person has actually seen these junctions for themselves the or she should not comment on the subject.

        I have this morning become aware that there is a petition for cyclists to have to obtain
        insurance cover when they are riding on the roads or among pedestrians. You will no doubt be totally against this splendid idea. Of course the insurance cover can be third party if the puchaser is confident that they are never to blame……….. Equality is the sensible approach at all junctions & I hope my 54 years no claims bonuses speak for something although I would wager you would degrade that fact.
        The other day a cyclist who is middle aged did not run into me when he was riding too fast
        across one of these junctions I mention. This was because I have my whits about me as opposed to the fact that he does not possess the same perception as I otherwise he would have observed more caution ( as per the Highway Code) at all road junctions. He did not see me
        that is why these junctions are dangerous because of the lack of reasonable vision of any approaching vehicle (bike or anything else on wheels).

        If you disagree that road safety should be observed by all road users then you like him are no doubt one of the militant cyclists who complained that they do not like stopping at junctions.
        You the militant cyclists want their own way and immunity from blame. The subjects are
        idividual as is ideology and road safety.

        • pm says:

          “No motorist will do as you are suggesting if he values his and other road users safety. ”

          A huge proportion of motorists do not value other road-users safety particularly.

          You are a troll, in any case, proven by your endorsement of that totally bonkers petition (which has already had to be retrospectively rewritten because it contained so many falsehoods)

          • Michael hall says:

            Whoever you are I hope you are looking forward to getting your insurance. On the other hand you like many responsible riders have insurance cover. This plus for motorists is essential the best thing that happened since the driving test. It will gain momentum because it is justifiable
            in the circumstances that no one should have road rights over another. Please do not deviate or twist what I say as you are doing. This is typical and a ploy to evade the truth and to do what is right. The end

            • pm says:

              The low chance of my cycling imposing any costs on others means that insurance isn’t likely to be cost-effective, sorry. If you have evidence of uninsured cyclists imposing significant costs on third parties please share it (but I doubt you have any, as you haven’t thought this through at all).

              In the meantime, how about you campaign for motorists to pay the costs they impose on others, such as the tens of thousands of deaths caused by traffic pollution?

    • Hello Michael Hall

      If you are interested in what makes a good cycle priority crossing, have a look at this:

      For cycle paths to be worthwhile, they need to allow smooth continuous cycling, not constantly giving way every 100 yards. Slowing or stopping to give way frequently wastes momentum and makes cycling tiring. As a rule, cycle tracks should have priority over side roads in built-up areas, just the same as cars travelling on the main road have priority over the side roads. In rural areas there will be far fewer junctions and speeds will be higher, so it might be more appropriate not to have priority there.

      If I may ask, what were you hoping to do by posting on here? Are you looking to have a reasoned discussion about cycle path priority, or are you just letting off steam? If you would like to discuss a particular road layout in Nottingham, perhaps you could post a link to google streetview.

      There are a whole host of reasons why compulsory insurance for cyclists is not a good idea. I’m sure if you go to the Cycling UK website you will find an explanation of this.

      • Michael hall says:

        Very few have a desire for reasoned discussion and as Keith Peat has said the time has long gone for that to be a reality.
        I see the BC has an automatic insurance for cyclists included in their £35 fee per anum.
        Is that unreasonable?
        The facts of the matter is that certain Councils do not have professional individuals designing
        road engineering. This particular instance here in Nottingham has been ‘rolled out’ along the main ring road. The ill thought of design and engineering at these junctions is as detrimental to cyclists as any other road user. Any thoughtful person who has to negotiate these now altered junctions will see that they are an advert against the motorist. Our aquaintance nearby says
        that they are not good for anyone and she is no less than a cycle tutor. She also is a car driver
        so therefore in my view she will have a more broad spectrum view of what is right and wrong about these priority junctions.
        I have cycled, rode a motorbike at 100 mph and have 54 years NCD so I feel that by experience I will not tolerate or stand idly by while an individual with no credible road safety acumen advertises his stupidity by doing what has been done.

      • Michael hall says:

        Dear Stephen I see that insurance is automatically given to members of BC so why would any cyclist have a valid reason to object to that.
        Some may think it possible to bamboozle their way through life but that is entirely the prerogative of some. Surely you know the basics of road safety do you not ie look right look left ect…..
        what you and some others assume is that you are able to bomb straight across any junction
        at will simply because so and so says you can.
        That is not how it works to obtain the status of 54 years of not having an accident.
        By rights I should have been dead a very long time ago because I have indulged in so
        called dangerous sports. The individuals had to have insurance in case a buddy was killed
        during our sport but I have never seen a problem or was involved in one.
        Being involved in something that requires split second decision for life or death tunes ones perception to a high degree whereas a road junction’s markings are somewhat like slow motion
        ie one has plenty of time to evaluate it.
        There will be accidents at these road junctions caused by selfishness and if the third dimension
        (insurance) is brought into the equation by enforcement it can only do good.
        For everyone.

        Incidentally I see the road junctions bar one in and around London are totally different in respect that drivers negotiating them can actually see ‘crossing’ cycles or running pedestrians on the approach to the crossings.Of course those junctions are sensible. In comparison these junctions in Nottingham that previously had a 50/50 blame category have now awarded an unequal blame status but as already said they incite cyclists and runners to expect a no blame status.

  15. many words. Can’t we just share the same space? I’ve ridden in Central London for a long time and it is only dangerous when you ride like a fool. I was a 100 mile a day bicycle dispatch rider in the 80’s when it was rare to even ride in the City – the only danger was pedestrians walking out (god forbid we blame them for anything!). When will cyclists learn to take responsibility for themselves and not seek to blame everyone else?

    • “Can’t we just share the same space?” No.

      • Michael hall says:

        We most certainly can share the same space but I must say that it is obvious that some riders
        as well as some motorists do not behave as they should for road safety. Even the
        road engineers can make a mistake and here in Nottingham they make glaring ones.
        The fact of the matter is that if all are insured it will bring into the equation a neutral
        party who will decide who is at blame in the event of an accident.
        Those who deny that insurance third party is not for them are irresponsible to say the least.

  16. Michael hall says:

    Mr Arditti by his writings is a person who adheres to the rules but many on this forum find an argument that does not exist.
    I put facts of ceratain road junctions that could not possibly obtain a road safety ordit & yet these works have been carried out. The only visible reasoning behind the alterations is a blatant
    attack on the motorist who has to use these junctions. As I said a motorist cannot adequately see around corners that has a cyclist approaching from both directions.
    This statement has been rubbished by those who do not know what they are talking about or do not care for road safety.
    All those who ride a bike and think they have priority at road junctions that they cannot see
    and do not slow or stop before crossing are on a death wish.

    • Hello again Michael.

      You are talking about two quite separate things: compulsory third party insurance, and safe design of cycle priority across side roads.

      Firstly, insurance. What do you expect compulsory insurance to achieve? Motor vehicles pose a grave danger to those in the surrounding environment, whereas bicycles do not. This is why motor vehicles need third party insurance. The difference in danger is very clear when one looks at the statistics. This is hardly surprising, when you consider that a bicycle at 15 mph has about 60 times less kinetic energy that a car at 30 mph. Should joggers have compulsory insurance? What if a jogger runs into an old lady by mistake? What about pedestrian insurance? Clearly there needs to be a line somewhere, and drawing that line between motorised and unmotorised vehicles is the right place, as can be seen from accident statistics.

      I get the impression that you think that making insurance compulsory would somehow reduce collisions, or that there is some kind of unfairness about the current situation. But the police have found that in 50% of car/bicycle collisions, it was the driver’s fault, whereas in 27% of cases it was the cyclist’s fault. To whom is this unfair? How would this be remedied with insurance?

      There would be an immense administrative cost to compulsory insurance, for very little benefit, and it would be a further barrier to those considering cycling.


      Secondly, cycle path priority across side roads. A good design will ensure that it is very clear who has priority, that there is good visibility, and that cars are already going slowly at the point where they give way.

      I don’t live in Nottingham, but here are two examples from google streetview.
      Example A:,-1.1823189,3a,75y,306.36h,82.64t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sRGyA7zNlV0W21PnND1mV5A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
      This is not bad. There is good visibility, and the cycle path is a contrasting colour. There is a car-length gap between the cycle path and the road. The corner is not too wide and sweeping, so cars should be going relatively slowly. It could be improved by:
      1. Continuing the contrasting colour for longer on either side, to make priority even clearer.
      2. Putting the crossing on a raised table to slow cars more.
      3. Clearer separation between pedestrians and cyclists, for instance through a different colour and a small, sloping kerb between footway and cycleway.

      example B:,-1.1862605,3a,75y,270.17h,79.04t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s_qCLL-lZLcm0m3fYBt3faQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
      This is not so good. Prioirity is less clear (no centre-line or contrasting colour on cycle path). Visibility is poor. I think there is more potential for conflict between bikes and pedestrians. Cyclists will have to make a sharp wiggle. In this case perhaps a continuous footway/cycleway would be better, keeping cycles close to the road, rather than “bent-out”. Better still would be reducing the width of the road by one lane in order to have enough space for a much better crossing.

      You seem to regard it as reckless to proceed at speed when the road markings show priority. When you are driving, do you slow right down every time you approach a side road, in case someone coming out of the side road thinks they have priority or has not seen you? There are lots of side roads which have relatively poor visibility of the main road. According to what you are saying, it is reckless to proceed along the main road at speed in these cases.

      • Michael hall says:

        Stephen— I came on this site to see the technicalities apertaining to road junctions in London and how junctions were engineered.
        It is clear that the junctions have been engineered in Nottingham incorrectly but you may think otherwise. With 54 years accident free driving I do not need anyone with your experience or any similar person telling me how to evaluate what I see with regard to road safety.

        It is also clear that no matter what some of you are confronted with you will try to tell the experience among us motorists what is right or wrong.
        No matter how vast a persons knowledge is of road safety you will argue with them that is why Keith Peat publicizes the opinion that the time for constructive debate is long gone.

        • You have stated that the current design of the junctions is “incorrect”. What, in your view, is the correct solution?

          As an aside, I don’t think that disputing the claims of experts (or “experts” as the case may be) is necessarily incompatible with having constructive debate. Mr Peat seems to do quite a lot of disagreeing with experts on his blog.

        • Mark Williams says:

          Do the junctions in Nottingham comply with the national regulations? If so; all you motorists have to do is simply adhere to the law and Highway Code in order to stay `safe’—irrespective of whether each of you has vast experience or not. If not; the council (or, ultimately, court) and not this ‘blog is the place to pursue it.

  17. Pingback: Filwood Quietway St John’s Lane & Wedmore Vale Consultation – our response | Bristol Cycling Campaign

  18. Zack says:

    Nice answer back in return of this issue with genuine arguments and describing the whole thing on the topic of that.

  19. Michael Hall says:

    Mark Williams The cycle tracks in Nottingham cannot possibly comply with any legislation that is contrary to road safety. That is why these cycle tracks have not obtained a final safety audit. The work should never have been designed as they are in the first place but due to thew car haters here in Nottingham things get done that should not be done. A few accident free ladies told one of the men involved in designing these cycle tracks that he has closed the door after
    the horse has bolted. ie the safety audit should have been gained before any work commenced
    that is detrimental to road safety.
    Since these stupid junctions were installed they have received close scrutiny from many local
    road users and even some cyclists are saying ‘they’ have done no one any favours.
    The reasoning behind the complaints is that as aid in the first instance ==== no one on earth can give way to something they cannot see. Blind junctions must be negotiated by both road users approaching a blind junction with the utmost care. That means even stopping when that person sees another at that junction. If anyone thinks he/she can behave otherwise ie in a careless manner then that individual may not live long to confront any future argument or discussion.
    The long standing saying by motorcyclists who are confident of being hurt in the event of a collision think that it is safer to give way than be right and not give way but be dead.

    • Mark Williams says:

      Then please proceed straight to the final sentence of my previous reply. No cyclist will want a genuinely dangerous or illegal track, presumably built by the cycle haters at the council to imperil cycling. You might be able to find some locals who will help with your prosecution. There is nothing we would like more than to see criminal [designers?] put behind bars!

      I have not seen the junctions in question, probably in common with most/ all readers here. But if I’m understanding your monologue correctly, it should be noted that it is now much easier to install new ‘STOP’ lines and signs on the carriageway approaching a cycle track than it was when this post was started. Maybe they would rectify the situation?

      • Michael Hall says:

        The people who designed these give way instructions are cycling lovers. I don’t blame anyone who likes cycling -I was one of them but I will not stand idly by seeing motorists hard earned no claims bonus as well as a hard earned reputation rubbished by those who do not have a fraction of the experience, expertise or knowledge of those who they degrade.
        The man I see re info gained from a Nottingham website states that the lead designer is an
        individual = John Mann who designed the most dangerous cycle track in Sheffield & now he has descended on Nottingham to design the Castle Boulevard cycle track and others. The cycle track in Sheffield according to the blog has been removed.
        Doesn’t say much for his expertise does it?

        I have a letter that is clear in the fact that during the 1980s the so called Nottingham traffic safety department were not safety conscious at all because they did not have a clue then about the road safety subject then & they have got worse as of now. There have been many road alterations here that drivers are bewildered with. However a lady road safety officer last year agreed that the junction of Forest Road and Mansfield Road very near the police Headquarters required a traffic light installing at that junction because if one cares to look at Google earth one can see a queue of about 30 cars waiting to get onto Mansfield Road to take their life into their hands by negotiating that junction.
        That astute lady in uncontactable to thank for the installing of those lights- probably had the sack for helping drivers—- how dare she didn’t she realise there is a campaign of hatred
        going on here towards the motorist as it is well understood ‘they’ the bastards are killing the planet

        • Mark Williams says:

          Sounds more like they are motoring lovers—which explains why they are only too eager to exploit soft, squishy, cyclists as plausibly deniable motor traffic ‘calming’. Bastards, indeed. Let us know the date of your court hearing(s).

  20. Michael Hall says:

    Mark Willliams you write a very short reply that does not make the slightest common sense
    The reply should address the lack of the ability of any road user to see a runner or a cyclist who chooses to proceed across these blind junctions simply because he/she knows the
    designers in their lack of wisdom have incited them to act irresponsibly i.e not slow or stop until the road is clear as do all motorist. If the motorists were inconsiderate and not careful at these junctions and I refer to the fact that this was years before these stupid junctions came into being there would have been many a flattened cyclist due to the fact that many a cyclist did not and will not conduct themselves in a careful manner at all times.
    It is interesting to note that I have on video a no hands cyclists and another on a phone
    riding on the pedestrian path ,not on the cycle track……..
    Keep em coming…….
    If you did not get it it is the car drivers who are hated here in Nottingham & no matter how badly
    cyclists behave excuses are being issued which condones their bad practices.

    • Mark Williams says:

      So you keep droning. It seems ‘common sense’ is in short supply around Nottingham! I’ve already offered my best suggestion—the ball is now in your court, pun intended. What more could I (or readers of this ‘blog) do? Send us pictures or your video of these ‘blind junctions’ where the carriageway user cannot see but the cycle track user can. For now, practice ‘slow or stop until the road is clear as do all motorist’.

      • Michael Hall says:

        You have very limited ideas re the situation as it really is. If it were left to the numerous cyclists who misbehave on a regular basis= riding no hands on the bars + riding on the pedestrian path not the cycle track on the phone etc etc. The careful observance of these people is now on dvd
        and rightly so. John Bann is aware of these antics but continues to make unnecessary excuses for them. The lines should have never been instituted in the first place and as I said the
        right way of road safety is that the responsibiilty should be shared equally. You I would wager thinks otherwise ie cyclists are always right……..
        I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again……….. better to be alive and give way even though you have right of way and not give way but be dead.
        It boils down to one thing and that is some people do not have a clue about safety. This applies to the people that through ideology have done wrong….. NO COMPLETE SAFETY AUDIT AT THE TIME OF THE DESIGN STAGE .

        • Mark Williams says:

          Yes, all that is really clear so far is that it is cycle riders (and now runners) who are hated there in Nottingham by you and a handful of your fellow fruitcakes and that you selfishly wish to be pre­emptively indemnified against civil liability should you recklessly crash your motor car into one of them when they have priority. Also it irks you that your extremist opinion is not shared by the council highways department, the motoring insurance cartel or probably most road users. I have never been there and have only what ‘very limited ideas’ are presented in your comments to go by, once the many contradictions and repetitions are overlooked. So my failure to understand whatever point you are trying to make is entirely on you—work harder to improve your communication skills! John Mann/ Bann can speak for himself, if he really exists.

          What would your desired ‘right way of road safety is that the responsibility should be shared equally’ look like in practice, even if we agreed with your dodgy premise that mechanically propelled tonnes of metal are conducive to such equality? Four-way ‘STOP’ signs everywhere enforced by camera or no ‘GIVE-WAY’ markings at all anywhere? Remove all railway level-crossing barriers, permit cycling on motorways? You really are wasting all our time until you are prepared to state precisely what change you want to see or bring legal proceedings against those you are alleging to have ‘done wrong’ or acted unlawfully. A UK SAFETY AUDIT WOULD ALMOST CERTAINLY BE A COMPLETE WHITEWASH ANYWAY.

          FWIW, I always ride my unicycle no-hands or sometimes holding a GPS receiver (‘phone/ radio/ audio player usually clipped to waist)—and occasionally on our local footpath, although less so now that its cycling prohibition has been lifted… Stick that on your DVD and smoke it!

          • Michael Hall says:

            As usual no constructive criticism but rather pure drivel that represents your type of cyclist
            Totally irresponsible but well expected. That is called perception whereas your writings confirm you have no perception whatsoever.

  21. Mick Hall says:

    Additional Major Alterations are now taking place right now at the island on Castle Boulevard where the millions of pounds worth Cycle Lane ‘ radiates’ from. These alterations may well be due to the massive disruption to traffic flow that has been created by the cycle lane which takes up a far too big a percentage of the road that was. Castle Boulevard was one of the few roads in Nottingham that had quite free flowing traffic hence the regular sighting
    of the mobile speed cam hiding amongst the trees to target traffic going towards the City………. No sign of it now though due to the sluggish traffic post cycle lane ‘super highway’!
    It might be worth mentioning that there seems to be the same amount of cyclists now as there were before the super highway was built. It must be very disappointing to the ideologists that although there is water at the side of this super highway and it does look a bit like a
    ‘Little Holland’ there are no where near as many cyclists on it as there are in Holland.
    The intended 10% of all commuters ‘getting on bikes’ has not happened.

    An additional bugbear is the gridlock from Sainsburys and Curries and the other businesses nearby where 25 cars or so can be regularly seen waiting to left turn through the traffic lights onto the much too narrowed Castle Boulevard & now try to negotiate the Island’s alteration works which is presumably to better the traffic flow at that point.

    Many of the Alterations to the Nottingham City roads some of which have been major alterations
    have failed abysmally to better traffic flow. If a thousand years go by the ring road over the train bridge at Basford will I wager be the same gridlocking design. This will be directly because the money that drivers pay into the system will be spent as usual on something else which does not contribute to better traffic flow.

    Another 70 year old gridlock cause is the Nottingham Night Pub Island rendering the ring road -‘so called improvements’ , futile……..

    Can these designers be trusted to design a safe and usable set of junctions that have worked for 90 years to date on Middleton Bvd ? I and others think the answer is a resounding NO.

    • Mark Williams says:

      Does any of that have anything to do with the subject of this post? If so; it’s not clear from your rambling 382 word comment. If not; try again in a more relevant post or ‘blog. There are plenty of petrol-headed sites where your over-inflated sense of entitlement would fit right in.

      You cavil against an [IYHO] insufficiently motoring-supremacist agenda in Nottingham but then can’t seem to follow that through to its logical conclusion—of course the designers would be trying to frustrate ‘better [motor] traffic flow’ and of course they’ve set up cycling to take the backlash. This is not news to us! They might be trying to simply nudge residents towards less dependence on frivolous motoring, as it was ‘90 years’ ago. I (alone?) think that’d be a commendable outcome, yet using a contemptible and cowardly method. But it is not directly related to cycling and of limited interest to readers here.

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