Wrong way motorway cyclist lives to tell the tale

Mystery rider alarms motorists but evades police

by Mark Appleton   April 8, 2011  

M62 motorway Calderdale by Mark Evison.jpg

The list of those spotted and sometimes convicted of doing things they shouldn’t on Britain’s motorway network is extensive and bizarre.

Who can forget the Kenyan cyclists caught going for a training ride on the M61 before the Manchester Commonwealth Games back in 2002? Or those with longer memories may even recall their trailblazing fellow African sportsmen who went for a training run on a motorway near Sheffield while preparing for the 1991 World Student Games.

Today we can add an as yet, and probably never-to-be, indentified cyclist who was spotted during the late afternoon rush hour on Wednesday, pootling along the hard shoulder in the opposite direction to the traffic flow on a busy stretch of the M62 near Brighouse in West Yorkshire.

Alarmed motorists called the police but the rider who exited the motorway at the Junction 25 westbound interchange at Clifton, made good his escape and lives to ride another day.

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A few years ago I was driving back from Gatwick Airport along the M23. As I crossed the flyover crossing the M25, I spotted a cyclist riding along the hard shoulder of the M23 in the other direction. He was on a cheap mountain bike (funny how even a quick glance could tell me that) carrying a large back attached to his bars that hampered his steering and was about to cross the slip road from the M25 to the M23, an incredibly busy bit of road. I didn't have a mobile phone with me or a passenger sitting alongside me to use it and wasn't able to call the police. I hope someone did.


posted by OldRidgeback [2581 posts]
8th April 2011 - 11:23

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I rode 110km today and about half of it was along a motorway.

I know it is against the law in the UK but I don't really see the problem.

abudhabiChris's picture

posted by abudhabiChris [696 posts]
8th April 2011 - 15:57


I've never seen a cyclist on a motorway yet, but I did see a cyclist on the A4174 dual carriageway, cycling on the wrong carriageway, in the wrong direction near the central reservation. Either daft, stupid or both, but you wouldn't walk or drive that way, so why cycle?

the_mikey's picture

posted by the_mikey [155 posts]
8th April 2011 - 21:52

1 Like

A3 (70mph and no hard shoulder) - Legal to cycle on the road................M61(70mph, hard shoulder and wider lanes that the A road)- Not legal. Where's the sense?

Further: Small country lanes (60mph and no visibility).

I still wouldn't ride on either the A road or motorway but country lanes????

posted by Posh [47 posts]
9th April 2011 - 12:55

1 Like

Riding on the hard shoulder of a motorway you're probably further away from the traffic, have far greater visibility, and at far less at risk of collision than on many of the roads with bike lanes or that are signed as "preferred cycling routes". I know I ended up by accident on short stretches of freeway once or twice while touring, side roads shown on the map just vanished, I took a chance and rode along the freeway/motorway/autovia. Noisy, illegal, but not dangerous.

ajft's picture

posted by ajft [11 posts]
11th April 2011 - 4:40