November 13, 2010 at 9:40 pm #74368
I have a question — everywhere I go I see cars parked in cycle lanes. Is this legal? I know weekends are a car parking free- for-all, but what about on week days? I also know that the halfhearted bikes painted on the roads sporadically don’t count as anything legally. I’m talking about cars parked in well marked painted cycle lanes (such as the ones on this website).
If it is illegal, I plan to begin photographing some of these cars and reporting them here. It may do nothing in reality but at least I’ll feel like I’ve tried. If enough people do it, maybe it could change things.November 13, 2010 at 10:14 pm #81375
Looking at the Highway Code online, it would suggest it is NOT legal to be parked in a cycle lane.
Rule 140 states:
Cycle lanes. These are shown by road markings and signs. You MUST NOT drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a solid white line during its times of operation. Do not drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a broken white line unless it is unavoidable. You MUST NOT park in any cycle lane whilst waiting restrictions apply.November 13, 2010 at 10:42 pm #81376
Parking restrictions are indicated by yellow lines and the accompanying plates. A cycle lane has no legal effect so far as parking is concerned, which is one of the many reasons UK-style cycle lanes are pointless.
You have to travel to the Netherlands to see how cycle lanes should be done. I almost never ride in cycle lanes in the UK; when I cycled from the Hook of Holland to Amsterdam, almost 100% of the ride was on cycle lanes.November 13, 2010 at 11:15 pm #81377
If the cycle lane has a solid white line it is mandatory – at least during the hours of its operation. If dashed it is only advisory, so has no legal force.
The slightly bizarre cycle superhighways, which often have no white line at all, just blue all over, have absolutely no legal force, relying on good manners.
Even in the cases where it is technically illegal it is unusual to see much being done about it. TfL’s big office building on Blackfriars road houses a number of police, and they can often be seen parking in technically illegal places for more convenient access to their desks (bets was when I saw 3 police motorbikes parked on the pavement, then cycled past the canteen -visible from the road – and saw a group of police in biking leathers apparently having breakfast :-p )November 15, 2010 at 9:20 am #81378
Don’t you know breakfast is urgent Police work??November 15, 2010 at 10:49 am #81379
Blue’s and Two’s on to get to my local kebab shop quite often…
#disgraceNovember 15, 2010 at 10:21 pm #81380
As I was ready to cross Grays Inn Road at Ampton Street this morning, a police BMW stopped on Grays Inn Road behind the cycle box at the red light. Then it just inched forward while the red light was still on until completely blocking the box. So not only did he know the box was there by stopping properly, he then chose to ignore the lines completely. Idiot. What hope is there for any kind of enforcement?November 16, 2010 at 1:38 pm #81381
Why weren’t you in front of him maintaining your position?November 16, 2010 at 3:00 pm #81382
I would have done exactly that had I been in his lane – in fact I was crossing the road he was on so was at 90 degrees to him – hence why I got such a good view..November 21, 2010 at 7:50 pm #81383
radii8ParticipantQuote:If the cycle lane has a solid white line it is mandatory – at least during the hours of its operation. If dashed it is only advisory, so has no legal force.
So who do we lobby to get cycle lanes made into a solid white line instead of dashed? Would it be the council or tfl (and if tfl, who would we contact?)November 21, 2010 at 8:06 pm #81384
It would be the local authorities in most cases, but the problem is that most London roads have limited width available and it’s simply not practical to keep cars out of most cycle lanes via solid lines or (to borrow from another thread) kerbs.
But I think London is in any case one of the friendlier cycling cities. We have tonnes of bus lanes, and congestion means that in many places bicycles (even BBs!) can keep up with traffic speeds, so personally I see cycle lanes as pretty much an irrelevance here.November 22, 2010 at 10:02 am #81385
I agree. Bike lanes can be useful when motor vehicles can’t access or park on them, such as shared use foot and cycle paths that provide a clear route when the roads are completely blocked by traffic.
But otherwise they don’t add much and can even be dangerous, though still giving a false sense of security. Cyclists trying to keep religiously to a bike lane constantly have to manoeuvre around parked vehicles, so popping into and out of drivers’ line of sight rather than cycling assertively and taking the lane.
There’s one such on the King’s Road along the bridge over the railway line between West Brompton and Imperial Wharf stations. It follows a kink in the westboud lane (just before you come to the One winebar on the left) and places cyclists using it directly in the path of drivers who often don’t notice the kink and continue in a straight line.February 3, 2011 at 4:34 pm #81386
I don’t think most cycle lanes are designed by people who actually cycle; rather it’s town planners who get the bus or tube to work making most of the road transport decisions!July 22, 2013 at 1:19 pm #88081
Good point, if cycle lanes were designed by cyclists, they would be very different indeed. It’s not just a case of ‘we need more them’, it’s also a case of how we design them! We need a Cycling Minister!
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