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TOPIC: Right of way at junctions

Right of way at junctions 12 Mar 2018 15:26 #3702


I hope that someone in a position of authority can confirm the situation of who has the right of way when turning left off Green Lanes across a cycle lane into a side road, for example, Barrowell Green or Green Dragon Lane.
Imagine a cyclist is in the cycle lane. You have overtaken the cyclist because you are travelling faster. You indicate that you are turning left and you start slowing to make the turn. To me it is quite clear that unless someone is crossing the side road, I have the right of way because the cyclist is behind me. If the cyclist is ahead of me then the cyclist has the right of way.
Every single cyclist I have spoken to firmly believes that if I am turning left and I am ahead of them, that they have the right to undertake me as I turn left and that I must give way even though they are coming from behind me and I cannot see them because they are in my blind spot. Surely this is plain undertaking which is not allowed. Clarification please before someone dies! FYI, as I realise that this is a potential problem I always check the cycle lane as I approach my turn. And I always get bipped by the car behind me for slowing down at the turn!

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Right of way at junctions 12 Mar 2018 16:55 #3703


Hi Caroline. This is all covered by the Highway Code under rules 182 and 183. It works the same way as a bus lane - so you wouldn't pull across the path of a bus in a bus lane so you shouldn't pull across a cyclist in a cycle lane. In general your actions eg turning or overtaking shouldn't cause the vehicle ahead to have to slow down or take evasive action. In your your example you are expecting the cyclist to brake. The term under-taking hasn't been used in the highway code since the early 1970's which shows how long it takes to change habits.

PS there is no such thing as "right of way" and never has been. Rights of way are what you give walkers when they want to be able to walk through someones back garden. The term in the HC is "priority " which is of course much less precise term (and that is its purpose).

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Right of way at junctions 12 Mar 2018 17:02 #3704


The cyclists are correct. Highway Code Rule 183 states: "When turning - keep as close to the left as is safe and practicable [and] - give way to any vehicles using a bus lane, cycle lane or tramway from either direction." You can read the highway code here: www.highwaycodeuk.co.uk/road-junctions.html and both rule 182 and 183 are of interest.

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Right of way at junctions 12 Mar 2018 19:24 #3705


Hal and Niki are correct, though I'd have a sympathy for the driver of a very long vehicle beginning a manoeuver to enter the side road before the cyclist(s) arrived. And if I were cycling - which I often am - I'd be very cautious because lorry drivers have often been unable to see people coming up behind them on left (Hopefully though the worst of the period when that happened quite a bit is behind us).

Personally I'm very interested, and really quite angry, that Caroline G. gets bipped when she slows down for a cyclist(s). I put it down to driver 'sense of entitlement': how dare she slow down for a mere cyclist(s)? However, at another level you could say that she and the Highway Code are joining buses stationary at the new type of bus stops in persuading drivers to drive more slowly and patiently. Cities (apart for railway equivalent roads like the A10 & A406) are for people not fast vehicles.

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Right of way at junctions 12 Mar 2018 22:53 #3706


The Highway Code is very clear:

182 Use your mirrors and give a left-turn signal well before you turn left. Do not overtake just before you turn left and watch out for traffic coming up on your left before you make the turn, especially if driving a large vehicle. Cyclists, motorcyclists and other road users in particular may be hidden from your view.

So this applies in any circumstance where the cyclist is to the driver's left, regardless of whether there is a cycle lane (there's no cycle lane shown in the drawing).



183
  • When turning keep as close to the left as is safe and practicable
  • give way to any vehicles using a bus lane, cycle lane or tramway from either direction.

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Right of way at junctions 13 Mar 2018 12:20 #3707


At the risk of being castigated as a Top Gear supporter, I'd like to point out the challenge a faster moving cyclist in a dedicated nearside cycle lane presents to a motorist slowing to turn left. All well and good with what the Highway Code says , but as with any such rule, mutual respect and understanding from each group about the other is required. Cyclist will need to be on the look out for cars ahead of them signalling to turn across the cycle lane and not rely on a sense of entitlement to carry on regadless, just as much as a driver will need to look to the nearside cycle lane.

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Right of way at junctions 15 Mar 2018 12:37 #3713


Except a "fast moving cyclist" will already be doing 15-20mph along there (I do) so a competent driver will either pass the cyclist by an appropriate distance before left turning/hooking, or slow down alongside the cyclist and wait a few seconds to pass behind them.

Those sections of the highway code are not to protect cyclists several hundred meters away from a turning vehicle, they are for the approach to a junction. A fast cyclist doing 30 kph has 8 metres per second coverage, therefore 20-30m is plenty for them to let off the speed and the car cross safely.

Worth noting that those kind of cyclists though are probably in the main carriageway (if they don't like speed interruption) anyway and if a car ahead indicates they'll move into the line of traffic and pass the car on the other side like a scooter or motorcyclist would.

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