Before I make my comments I would advise that I am not a cyclist, in fact I can not ride a bike, I tried to ride one in my early teens and fell off and never went on a bike again. This, however is not a reason for me to not comment on cyclists safety, I am concerned for their safety on the road, as I am for any road user.
Today, at approx 1.30 pm, I was driving in north Derbyshire on the road from Hope to Bamford, in the direction of going to Bamford and at the point where the 50 mile speed limit changes to 40 mile speed limit there are road works, where the traffic follow is controlled by temporary traffic lights, allowing only single lane traffic, for approx 300 – 400 yards. When the lights changed to green, the traffic started to proceed towards Bamford. At approx. half way into this controlled flow of traffic, what do we see approaching us,, but a cyclist, although in the cycle lane for the direction he was going, it did mean that he had gone through the red traffic light, which was stopping all the other traffic. To view this cyclist, he was dressed as through he was a seasoned cyclist, as he was in all the right attire. What concerns me is why he thought that the red traffic light did not apply to him. The cycle lane was only separated from the roadway by a single white line and it’s width only just sufficient to accommodate the cycle and cyclist. He was riding as though he had no concern for his own safety from the oncoming traffic. Only a slight deviation from either the cyclist or any of the vehicles approaching him would have caused a major accident in which many would be injured, if not dead, especially the cyclist.
Currently there is an increase in the amount of cyclists on the road, in some, no doubt, due to the successes of the Tour de France and Olympics. I do not object to the cyclists on the road, but do feel they should abide by the Highway Code. Unfortunately the law of this country is not currently stating, that cyclists need to know the code or in fact show that they know the code or that the cycles are of road worthy condition. In fact anyone can get on a bike, go on the road with no training and no road sense.
Further on, on the road from Bamford to Hathersage, going to Hathersage, there was 2 or 3 cyclists going towards Hathersage and a car was trying to overtake them. The car in doing so went into the flow of the oncoming traffic in the drivers frustration to get passed them. The car driver , in this instance should have waited for a suitable gap in the traffic flow approaching and then overtake, which I did. So before someone says it is not always the cyclists, but mainly the drivers of other vehicles at fault, in most cases I would agree. All road users need to show more consideration for their fellow road users and in doing so, the roads would be much safer for all concerned.
If any cyclists or in fact, any interested party read this, please see the following:
General rules, techniques and advice for all drivers and riders (103-158)
Traffic light signals and traffic signs. You MUST obey all traffic light signals (see ‘Light signals controlling traffic’) and traffic signs giving orders, including temporary signals and signs (see ‘Signs giving orders’, ‘Warning signs’, ‘Direction signs’). Make sure you know, understand and act on all other traffic and information signs and road markings (see ‘Signs giving orders’, ‘Warning signs’, ‘Direction signs’, ‘Information signs’, ‘Road markings’ and ‘Vehicle markings’).
[Laws RTA 1988 sect 36 & TSRGD regs 10, 15, 16, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 36, 38 & 40]
You and your bicycle
Rules for cyclists (59-82)
REMEMBER the Highway Code is there for all road users to follow and to do so, is in the interests of safety for all concerned.