Why Confusion Rules Over The Rules of the Road for Cyclists and Motorists

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Those who cycle – and those who don’t – may sometimes find themselves in an unwanted confrontation – as many are finding these days in London.

Plenty of motorists and cyclists think they know the laws of the road and the highway code all too well – but that tends to exacerbate any arguments, rather than defusing them.

But it turns out the law on whether or not cyclists are allowed to cycle two abreast (or side by side, to us and you) on the road is very clear.

It turns out it is perfectly legal to ride two abreast on a road.

Or, in other words, those riding a bike are perfectly entitled to cycle side by side on the majority of British roads.

The benefit for cyclists is increased visibility and the length of the obstruction for a driver is shortened when passing large groups.

However, Rule 66 of the Highway Code says you should never ride more than two abreast.

It stats cyclists should ride in single file on narrow or busy roads – and, even more importantly, when riding round bends.

Moreover, cyclists need to factor in the road conditions and should go into single file when necessary.

Drivers, meanwhile, should be aware that cyclists can legally ride two abreast.

When approaching large groups of cyclists, motorists should give them time, space and be observant when overtaking.

They may have to move out into the carriageway quickly to avoid a pothole, after all.

So motorists are urged to give them the same space when overtaking that you would a car.

If a group of cyclists are holding up the traffic, they should consider moving into single file, to let the cars pass, this helps to keep the traffic flowing.

There are reasons cycling two abreast is safer for both cyclists and drivers

1. It’s safer

Cyclists are more visible in this way. And it means drivers have to give them more room to overtake – rather than overtake in the same lane.

2. Drivers can overtake quicker

A driver can overtake a group of cyclists quicker if they are riding side by side than if they are riding single file.

So, now you know!