Highway code - Cylists must use cyclepaths

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Arthur Clune, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. Arthur Clune

    Arthur Clune Guest

    I haven't seen this mentioned here yet:

    http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=4303

    The Driving Standards Agency has begun a public consultation
    on a revised draft of the Highway Code - it can be viewed at
    http://www.dsa.gov.uk/highwaycode

    The major problem is a proposed new rule telling cyclists to
    use cycle routes when practicable and cycle facilities ... where
    they are provided (Rule 58). If confirmed, this would open the
    way for driver's insurance companies to seek to reduce the damages
    for any cyclists injured by their clients, on the basis that the
    cyclist's failure to use a nearby cycle facility (in accordance
    with the Highway Code) represented "contributory negligence"

    --
    Arthur
     
    Tags:


  2. MSeries

    MSeries Guest

    Arthur Clune wrote:
    > I haven't seen this mentioned here yet:
    >
    > http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=4303
    >
    > The Driving Standards Agency has begun a public consultation
    > on a revised draft of the Highway Code - it can be viewed at
    > http://www.dsa.gov.uk/highwaycode
    >
    > The major problem is a proposed new rule telling cyclists to
    > use cycle routes when practicable and cycle facilities ... where
    > they are provided (Rule 58). If confirmed, this would open the
    > way for driver's insurance companies to seek to reduce the damages
    > for any cyclists injured by their clients, on the basis that the
    > cyclist's failure to use a nearby cycle facility (in accordance
    > with the Highway Code) represented "contributory negligence"
    >
    > --
    > Arthur


    I have already raised my concerns with my MP, he has responded and said
    he agrees with me and will raise it with the minisiter concerned. The
    CTC urge concerned cyclists to contact their MPs and provide a template
    for such purposes.
     
  3. Jo

    Jo Guest

    Arthur Clune wrote:
    > I haven't seen this mentioned here yet:
    >
    > http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=4303
    >
    > The Driving Standards Agency has begun a public consultation
    > on a revised draft of the Highway Code - it can be viewed at
    > http://www.dsa.gov.uk/highwaycode
    >
    > The major problem is a proposed new rule telling cyclists to
    > use cycle routes when practicable and cycle facilities ... where
    > they are provided (Rule 58). If confirmed, this would open the
    > way for driver's insurance companies to seek to reduce the damages
    > for any cyclists injured by their clients, on the basis that the
    > cyclist's failure to use a nearby cycle facility (in accordance
    > with the Highway Code) represented "contributory negligence"
    >


    Who is going to define the words 'should', 'nearby', and 'practicable'?
    In daylight I use a cycle route to and from work, because it is shorter
    and more pleasant. I work shifts, so sometimes my journey is at night. I
    use the road then, as the area the cycle route goes through has been the
    scene of a number of rapes, assaults and murders. The route does not run
    alongside the road, so is it 'nearby'? I do not consider the route safe
    to cycle alone at night, so is it 'practicable'?
    When I use the road, there is a cycle lane at one point which I do not
    use because it eventually turns left, when I need to go straight on. To
    get out of the lane at the junction is both difficult and dangerous. I
    have been shouted and hooted at by drivers for not using the cycle lane.
    Is it 'practicable' when it isn't going where I want to go? (even though
    part of it runs alongside my route.)
    If better definitions are not provided I can't see how this can be
    enforced.
    I could also rant about drivers who use cycle facilities - parking in
    cycle lanes (particularly dangerous when the cycle lane is actually a
    cycle contraflow...) and pulling up to ASLs - but I won't just now!
    Jo
     
  4. Matt B

    Matt B Guest

    Arthur Clune wrote:
    > I haven't seen this mentioned here yet:
    >
    > http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=4303
    >
    > The Driving Standards Agency has begun a public consultation
    > on a revised draft of the Highway Code - it can be viewed at
    > http://www.dsa.gov.uk/highwaycode


    How did you miss that then? It's been well aired here recently in
    several threads.

    > The major problem is a proposed new rule telling cyclists to
    > use cycle routes when practicable and cycle facilities ... where
    > they are provided (Rule 58).


    It's /not/ a new rule, it is the old rule #47 updated to include the new
    'facilities' which didn't exist in 1999.

    --
    Matt B
     
  5. Jo <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I could also rant about drivers who use cycle facilities - parking in
    > cycle lanes (particularly dangerous when the cycle lane is actually a
    > cycle contraflow...) and pulling up to ASLs - but I won't just now!
    > Jo


    And cycle lanes that are apparently shared-use for parking.
    What's the use of that ?


    In the HC, there seems to be a conflict between the advice to use
    the cycle lane, use the cycle box, and avoid riding on the left
    of stationary traffic. How do you get to the cycle box without
    riding up the cycle lane ? A cycle lane that ends just short of
    the junction at least indicates to the cyclist that cars are
    likely to turn left across his path but the illustrated cycle
    box has a complete left-hand lane approaching it.

    -adrian
     
  6. dkahn400

    dkahn400 Guest

    Jo wrote:

    > When I use the road, there is a cycle lane at one point which I do not
    > use because it eventually turns left, when I need to go straight on. To
    > get out of the lane at the junction is both difficult and dangerous. I
    > have been shouted and hooted at by drivers for not using the cycle lane.
    > Is it 'practicable' when it isn't going where I want to go? (even though
    > part of it runs alongside my route.)


    Unfortunately where cycle lanes are concerned the proposed rule 60
    would instruct us to "Keep within the lane wherever possible." It's
    clearly possible for you to use the lane in your example. The proposed
    rule does not say "Keep within the lane except where to do so would be
    difficult or dangerous". Incidentally this is not new. The current rule
    49 has the same ridiculous wording.

    > If better definitions are not provided I can't see how this can be
    > enforced.


    It can't be enforced because it's not a legal requirement. The problem
    is that after a crash failure to follow the rule could be regarded as
    contributory negligence. Also cyclists can be accurately accused of not
    following the Highway Code when they ride according to the standards
    set out in Cyclecraft. The revisions are clearly intended to undermine
    cyclists' rights to be regarded as legitimate road users.

    > I could also rant about drivers who use cycle facilities - parking in
    > cycle lanes (particularly dangerous when the cycle lane is actually a
    > cycle contraflow...) and pulling up to ASLs - but I won't just now!


    Well of course this is illegal and could be enforced. But it isn't
    because cycle "facilities" are not regarded seriously by officialdom as
    anything other than a) a means to keep cyclists out of the way of real
    road users, or b) a disguised traffic calming measure.

    --
    Dave...
     
  7. dkahn400

    dkahn400 Guest

    Matt B wrote:
    > Arthur Clune wrote:


    > > The major problem is a proposed new rule telling cyclists to
    > > use cycle routes when practicable and cycle facilities ... where
    > > they are provided (Rule 58).

    >
    > It's /not/ a new rule, it is the old rule #47 updated to include the new
    > 'facilities' which didn't exist in 1999.


    No it isn't. The current (not old) rule 47 simply states "Use cycle
    routes when practicable". It does not say "where provided" which
    appears to remove the cyclist's freedom to decide about practicabilty.
    If the facility is there you are expected to use it.

    --
    Dave...
     
  8. Arthur Clune

    Arthur Clune Guest

    dkahn400 wrote:
    >
    > No it isn't. The current (not old) rule 47 simply states "Use cycle
    > routes when practicable".


    Indeed. My understanding is that it is this change in wording that
    is the crucial bit here.

    --
    Arthur Clune
     
  9. MartinM

    MartinM Guest

    Arthur Clune wrote:

    > dkahn400 wrote:
    > >
    > > No it isn't. The current (not old) rule 47 simply states "Use cycle
    > > routes when practicable".

    >
    > Indeed. My understanding is that it is this change in wording that
    > is the crucial bit here.


    I don't see the word _must_ in red in that new document so they would
    have to argue that it was more practicable to use the farcility than
    ride on the road in any negligence claim.

    BTW not sure what the point of the CTC chap holding the warning sign is
     
  10. MartinM wrote:
    > Arthur Clune wrote:
    >
    >> dkahn400 wrote:
    >>>
    >>> No it isn't. The current (not old) rule 47 simply states "Use cycle
    >>> routes when practicable".

    >>
    >> Indeed. My understanding is that it is this change in wording that
    >> is the crucial bit here.

    >
    > I don't see the word _must_ in red in that new document so they would
    > have to argue that it was more practicable to use the farcility than
    > ride on the road in any negligence claim.


    Although the article cites other 'should' cases where claims of negligence
    were subsequently successfully challenged. I think the concern is that a
    court would have real difficulty not attributing contributory negligence as
    the cyclist would not have been in a collision if he'd been in a different
    place at the moment of impact.
     
  11. Matt B

    Matt B Guest

    dkahn400 wrote:
    > Matt B wrote:
    >> Arthur Clune wrote:

    >
    >>> The major problem is a proposed new rule telling cyclists to
    >>> use cycle routes when practicable and cycle facilities ... where
    >>> they are provided (Rule 58).

    >> It's /not/ a new rule, it is the old rule #47 updated to include the new
    >> 'facilities' which didn't exist in 1999.

    >
    > No it isn't. The current (not old) rule 47


    Yes, ISC.

    > simply states "Use cycle
    > routes when practicable". It does not say "where provided" which
    > appears to remove the cyclist's freedom to decide about practicabilty.


    Under what circumstances would cycle routes not be practicable if they
    /are/ provided?

    > If the facility is there you are expected to use it.


    When would using an ASL, cycle box or toucan crossing (note: they don't
    mention cycle lane) not be practicable?

    --
    Matt B
     
  12. dkahn400

    dkahn400 Guest

    MartinM wrote:
    > Arthur Clune wrote:
    >
    > > dkahn400 wrote:
    > > >
    > > > No it isn't. The current (not old) rule 47 simply states "Use cycle
    > > > routes when practicable".

    > >
    > > Indeed. My understanding is that it is this change in wording that
    > > is the crucial bit here.

    >
    > I don't see the word _must_ in red in that new document so they would
    > have to argue that it was more practicable to use the farcility than
    > ride on the road in any negligence claim.


    The proposed new wording is "Use cycle routes when practicable and
    cycle facilities such as advanced stop lines, cycle boxes and toucan
    crossings /where they are provided/, as they can make your journeys
    safer."

    "Practicable" applies only to cycle routes. For all other farcilities
    the rule, but not the legal requirement, is to use them where they
    exist.

    > BTW not sure what the point of the CTC chap holding the warning sign is


    No, I haven't quite worked that out either.

    --
    Dave...
     
  13. Richard

    Richard Guest

    Simon Bennett wrote:

    >
    > Although the article cites other 'should' cases where claims of negligence
    > were subsequently successfully challenged. I think the concern is that a
    > court would have real difficulty not attributing contributory negligence as
    > the cyclist would not have been in a collision if he'd been in a different
    > place at the moment of impact.


    Even more of a concern is that insurance company lawyers will reduce
    damages - there are many more cases that are settled pre-trial than come
    to court, and this is where the bulk of the danger lies.

    R.
     
  14. Mark McNeill

    Mark McNeill Guest

    Response to Simon Bennett:
    > I think the concern is that a
    > court would have real difficulty not attributing contributory negligence as
    > the cyclist would not have been in a collision if he'd been in a different
    > place at the moment of impact.
    >


    Exactly so, and unfortunately it probably wouldn't work the other way
    round: a cyclist who is struck when using a farcility would be unlikely
    to succeed if he argued that the Highway Code had a measure of
    responsibility for putting him there, whether it was the case or not.

    --
    Mark, UK
    "All progress is based upon a universal innate desire on the part of
    every organism to live beyond its income."
     
  15. dkahn400

    dkahn400 Guest

    Matt B wrote:

    > Under what circumstances would cycle routes not be practicable if they
    > /are/ provided?


    Judging by the cycle routes I'm familiar with, just about all
    circumstances.

    > > If the facility is there you are expected to use it.

    >
    > When would using an ASL, cycle box or toucan crossing (note: they don't
    > mention cycle lane) not be practicable?


    How did you miss that then? It's been well aired here recently in
    several threads.

    They don't mention cycle lane in that rule, but there is another rule
    to use the cycle lane wherever possible. Also the new rule uses the
    words "such as" and is therefore not limiting itself to the specific
    examples mentioned. "Such as" has a similar meaning to "including but
    not limited to".

    --
    Dave...
     
  16. David Martin

    David Martin Guest

    Matt B wrote:
    > dkahn400 wrote:
    > > Matt B wrote:
    > >> Arthur Clune wrote:

    > >
    > >>> The major problem is a proposed new rule telling cyclists to
    > >>> use cycle routes when practicable and cycle facilities ... where
    > >>> they are provided (Rule 58).
    > >> It's /not/ a new rule, it is the old rule #47 updated to include the new
    > >> 'facilities' which didn't exist in 1999.

    > >
    > > No it isn't. The current (not old) rule 47

    >
    > Yes, ISC.
    >
    > > simply states "Use cycle
    > > routes when practicable". It does not say "where provided" which
    > > appears to remove the cyclist's freedom to decide about practicabilty.

    >
    > Under what circumstances would cycle routes not be practicable if they
    > /are/ provided?


    Lane on the left hand side of a road. You want to turn right. If you
    must use the lane then you cannot position your self appropriately.
    Lane running round the outside of a roundabout.
    Cycle farcility requiring slowing to an almost crawl to navigate past
    trees, bollards and pedestrians and having to cede priority at every
    road crossing - turn a 10 minute on road ride into a half hour of rouad
    nightmare.

    > > If the facility is there you are expected to use it.

    >
    > When would using an ASL, cycle box or toucan crossing (note: they don't
    > mention cycle lane) not be practicable?


    When it doesn't go where you want. WHere it puts you in an unsafe
    position re other traffic. Where your cycle cannot physically fit into
    such a ficility (but you don't know that till too late) where the cycle
    facility suddenly decides to veer off somewhere else other than where
    the road goes without warning. Where the cycle facility is not gritted
    or lit so badly that you are suddenly dazzled just where teh facility
    executes a sharp turn above a ditch (vis the new one along the arbroath
    road)

    And that's just a few from my own experience.

    Every motorist is also breaking that rule because they are not using
    the facility. After all, it doen't except people who would rather be
    taking their cars..

    ...d
     
  17. MartinM

    MartinM Guest

    Simon Bennett wrote:


    > Although the article cites other 'should' cases where claims of negligence
    > were subsequently successfully challenged. I think the concern is that a
    > court would have real difficulty not attributing contributory negligence as
    > the cyclist would not have been in a collision if he'd been in a different
    > place at the moment of impact.


    sounds like another half baked idea, how do they identify a road as
    being so dangerous that it requires a farcility alongside it? ;
    Interesting to see what would happen in a case where a cyclist was hit
    by a left turning car as he crossed a side road on a cycle path,
    Shirley the contributory negligence there would be using the cycle lane
    and placing yoursefl out of the driver's direct field of vision (no I'm
    not volunteering!)
    When will they realise that the only way farcilities will have any
    effect is when there is a complete separate cycling infrastructure like
    in the Netherlands?
     
  18. "dkahn400" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    > The proposed new wording is "Use cycle routes when practicable and
    > cycle facilities such as advanced stop lines, cycle boxes and toucan
    > crossings /where they are provided/, as they can make your journeys
    > safer."


    "Cycle route" in the *legal* sense refers to a route that is recommended for
    cyclists which can be both on and off road. It may or may not have cycle
    lanes and cycle paths for whole or part of its course, but these are in no
    way related to the "route".
     
  19. Mark McNeill

    Mark McNeill Guest

    Response to Jo:
    > I work shifts, so sometimes my journey is at night. I
    > use the road then, as the area the cycle route goes through has been the
    > scene of a number of rapes, assaults and murders. The route does not run
    > alongside the road, so is it 'nearby'? I do not consider the route safe
    > to cycle alone at night, so is it 'practicable'?


    It seems to me that this point is more likely to make an impression on
    TPTB than more abstruse arguments about road positioning.

    --
    Mark, UK
    "An obstinate man does not hold opinions, but they hold him."
     
  20. dkahn400

    dkahn400 Guest

    Mark McNeill wrote:
    > Response to Jo:
    > > I work shifts, so sometimes my journey is at night. I
    > > use the road then, as the area the cycle route goes through has been the
    > > scene of a number of rapes, assaults and murders. The route does not run
    > > alongside the road, so is it 'nearby'? I do not consider the route safe
    > > to cycle alone at night, so is it 'practicable'?

    >
    > It seems to me that this point is more likely to make an impression on
    > TPTB than more abstruse arguments about road positioning.


    This only applies to cycle routes. Under the proposed rule changes all
    other facilities are to be used where provided, and cycle lanes
    additionally where possible.

    --
    Dave...
     
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