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Woman spotted riding on hard shoulder near Milton Keynes yesterday afternoon

Police on the M1 yesterday escorted a cyclist off the M1 motorway, where she had been riding on the hard shoulder.

The rider was spotted at 2.55pm between junctions 13 and 14, a stretch of road that crosses the border from Bedfordshire into Buckinghamshire close to Milton Keynes, reports MK Web.

Police accompanied the cyclist to an overhead bridge and let her on her way after advising her not to ride her bike on the motorway in future.

Cycling on motorways is banned under section 253 of the Highway Code, but occasionally cyclists do end up on them, whether due to a mistake on their part or because they deliberately ignore the law. Last month a cyclists was reported rding along the hard shoulder of the M6 and earlier this year we reported on an incident in which police in Devon stopped a rider going the wrong way down the hard shoulder on the M5.

Perhaps the most celebrated instance of cyclists inadvertently ending up on a motorway came in 2002, when two members of the Kenya squad training for the Commonwealth Games in Manchester used the M61 to train.

Dressed in national kit, they spent three quarters of an hour riding along the hard shoulder before being stopped by police, who treated the episode as “a genuine mistake” on the riders’ part.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

24 comments

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Tarquin [6 posts] 2 years ago
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You can legally ride on the motorway in Australia, regularly see riders doing it. Not too bad until you come to a junction!

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beej.a [40 posts] 2 years ago
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Riding on motorways in Australia is illegal... and dumb... real dumb. there are signs on most motorway on ramps stating bicycles aren't aloud.

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Jonathing [67 posts] 2 years ago
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Perhaps it speaks of the car centric view people have of transport that even when using a mode more suited to country lanes people still end up on main roads because that's the way they've always gone. I regularly see people walking on the verge of main roads in the peak district. Where there's not exactly a drought of traffic free routes.

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Huw Watkins [89 posts] 2 years ago
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Seems to be a divergence of opinion re. Australia so here goes:

"You can cycle on freeways in parts of Australia. The State of Victoria allows cycling on rural freeways because they "usually provide the most practical route for cyclists" and they "carry relatively low volumes of traffic on entry and exit ramps that cyclists need to cross." Cycling is not permitted on urban freeways because "there are other routes that cyclists can take." On the rural freeways cyclists are expected to ride in single file and as near as practical to the side of the hard shoulder."

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therealsmallboy [162 posts] 2 years ago
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Daft bint. Just plain stupid, I don't even like driving on the motorway let alone riding my bike!

All it takes is an HGV driver having a tug in his cab and you're brown bread.

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3cylinder [94 posts] 2 years ago
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Same in the US; cycling is allowed on rural freeways & may be the only route available. I can't think of a motorway equivalent in the UK since there are invariably other options. I find it hard to believe that someone would choose to cycle on a motorway....mind you, at least you'd get a decent hard shoulder unlike on many dual carriageways where it is legal to cycle. Maybe not so crazy.....

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andyp [1438 posts] 2 years ago
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meh, these things happen. Spent about 10 minutes accidentally riding on an Autobahn in 2006. That was interesting. New chamois please...

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Some Fella [890 posts] 2 years ago
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When i was younger, fitter and faster (and dafter) i cycled down the M602 in Salford.
Only one junction - it was 4am in the morning and it was in the days before CCTV.
Of course, i do not condone such reckless and potentially lethal behaviour and please let my stupidity stand as a lesson to us all.

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monty dog [446 posts] 2 years ago
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Managed to get myself onto Ireland's only motorway, north of Dublin about 25 years ago - I was trying to get to Belfast by the quickest route!

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Tony Farrelly [2856 posts] 2 years ago
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Shaun Audane reckons he was stuck in traffic on the M25 in Essex a few years back when a guy in full lycra on a road bike nonchalantly rode past - he watched him carry on to the next junction and then turn off.

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Colin Peyresourde [1637 posts] 2 years ago
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Let us laugh at these countries where they do not have clear distinction between their motorways and less major roads.....

OK, don't. In fact I was on the A329 one time and didn't notice it had become the A328(M). Still, I was flying. Doubt anyone noticed.

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northstar [1108 posts] 2 years ago
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This is proof that they are the most direct routes, ergo parallel cycle routes are required.

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notfastenough [3661 posts] 2 years ago
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Liking the 'confessions' aspect to these comments!

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CanAmSteve [245 posts] 2 years ago
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Varies by state - Maine, with more moose than cars on I-95 (for example) doesn't allow bicycles on the Interstates or any other "controlled access" highway. But there are plenty of options. Out west where there are no alternatives, you might be allowed on a divided highway (so similar to Oz)

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Argos74 [373 posts] 2 years ago
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Me and my brother found ourselves on the hard shoulder of M4 as young lads, we must have been 13 or 14 at the time. I'm still not sure how. Police spotted us, and pointed us in the direction of a slightly safer road going over the motorway.

Youthful japes  4

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Bexleyhillbilly [46 posts] 2 years ago
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I've followed a "cycle lane" marked Liphook alongside the A3, which gave up on an army tank range without warning about a mile short of its supposed destination. Had to cycle along the dual carriageway itself - 70 mph traffic and no hard shoulder, but at least I didn't meet any tanks.

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Carl [135 posts] 2 years ago
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I've spotted two cyclists on the motorway as well as a guy walking his dogs. Fuckwits.

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eurotrash [88 posts] 2 years ago
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Found myself on a motorway once not too long after taking up cycling... I didn't know it was for motor vehicles only, and got a bit of a talking to from a guy in a tow truck. Fair enough, lesson learned.

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jazzykoenig [16 posts] 2 years ago
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Cycling on busy dual carriageways is bad enough. I've been forced to do that once or twice because of no alternative routes and feared for my life.

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Nick T [913 posts] 2 years ago
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Quite often those people you see walking their dogs on the motorway are parked up on the hard shoulder because they would rather not have to clean dog muck out of the boot.

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wheelsucker [58 posts] 2 years ago
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Statistically the Motorways are the safest places for cycling..fewer cyclist deaths than any other road  39

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Cycleoptic [18 posts] 2 years ago
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For an example of why it s not advisable to cycle on a motorway, try cycling down the a316 near Staines, most motorists think they are already on the m3, with speed and behaviour to match.

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Carl [135 posts] 2 years ago
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The dog walker I saw wasn't driving. He walked off the roundabout and down the slip road, passing several big blue signs saying it was a motorway.

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mogrim [49 posts] 2 years ago
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In Spain you're allowed to ride on motorways (autovias) if there's no reasonable alternative.

In fact, just yesterday I rode a two km stretch of the M501 - not the nicest of roads, must be said, but an unavoidable part of the loop I was doing.