Why not ride in the middle of the road?

Greg Woodford's picture
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The Daily Mail asked "Is this the dumbest cycle lane in Britain? Blundering workmen paint path in the MIDDLE of busy road". CTC's Greg Woodford explains why sometimes it is OK to cycle in the middle of the road.
A typical cycle lane
A typical cycle lane

On 8 May 2012, The Daily Mail published an article condemning "blundering workmen have painted a cycle lane down the centre of a busy road - because cars were parked down the edge".

There was lots of discussion on CTC's Cycle instructors' Facebook page. Which got me thinking about the whole process of 'safe riding positions'.

As CTC's leading cycle instructor trainer I often get asked questions about road positioning.

"The answer always is ride where you can see and be seen and this is often not by the kerb but towards the middle of the road"

Although I have not actually cycled along Stotfold Road in Arlesey, Bedfordshire, it is in my opinion much safer to be near the white lines than be hidden by the parked cars.

This painted bicycle looks to me as though it is an advisory, encouraging cyclists to ride their bikes away from the parked cars. If the parked cars are there all the time, then to encourage you to cycle far away from their door opening space is a perfectly valid suggestion, in my opinion.

So what do you think? Let me know in the comment box below.

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