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Casual rider was overtaking gridlocked traffic

A young cyclist was spotted speeding past gridlocked traffic on the M56 this week with his hands off the bars - sparking a fruitless police hunt.

The young man was photographed riding casually - without a helmet - along the hard shoulder at around 5pm on Monday.

Paul Monks, a passenger who saw him near junction three of the M56 where it meets the M60, said he believed he joined the motorway at Wythenshawe.

Paul told the Manchester Evening News: “We were in traffic and he was moving faster than us. I saw him coming up in the wing mirror. I had to take a picture of it. He didn’t even have his hands on the handlebars. He was messing about with his earphones and changing the song from what it looked like to me.

“I thought he was really taking a gamble. He just shot past us. It’s obviously a bit dangerous.”

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police confirmed motorists had reported a cyclist ‘pedalling like crazy’ on the hard shoulder.

Earlier this month we reported how A family of four, who are believed to be from outside of the UK, were escorted from the hard shoulder of the A74(M) motorway in Scotland.

Police received reports from drivers that two adults and two children were cycling on the hard shoulder of the Scottish motorway in Dumfries and Galloway.

The family were found by police near the town of Beattock on the motorway - which stretches 48 miles from Gretna in the south all the way up to Abington in South Lanarkshire - before being escorted off.

The police reports say that the family were traveling southbound near Beattock, which would suggest that the family were helped off the road at junction 15.

If that was the case, and the family were escorted off the road at junction 15 near Beattock, speculation suggests that they may have joined the motorway at junction 14 - which is 14 miles away.

Whether or not the family spent 14 miles on the hard shoulder is unknown at this point, fortunately though there have been no reports of the family coming to any harm. The police have also reported that no further action will be taken.

In February of this year a 12-year old boy was found by Greater Manchester Police cycling on the M60 near Barton Bridge.

The police said he was escorted from the motorway, taken home, and "strongly advised" against cycling on the motorway in front of his parents.

Cycling on motorways is not permitted in the UK.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.