Lucky escape for law-breaking rider

A Manchester cyclist has been caught on film riding through a red traffic light – and straight into the side of a double-decker bus he had somehow failed to spot. Thankfully, the rider seems to have got away unscathed.

The incident, filmed by a motorcyclist, happened at the junction of Portland Street and Oxford Street in the centre of the city.

As the person taking the video notes, not only did the cyclist not see the bus, but the “driver is oblivious” too as he turns right at the junction and continues on his way.

The incident is reminiscent of one filmed in London’s Trafalgar Square in January. On that occasion, the cyclist started going through the lights while they changing, contrary to the Highway Code, which says red and amber “means ‘Stop’. Do not pass through or start until green shows.”

Other vehicles were still crossing the rider’s path, including a lorry, the driver of which seems to have gone through on red, and once again the cyclist had a very lucky escape.

Even when traffic lights are green, the Highway Code tells road users to exercise caution. It says: “Green means you may go on if the way is clear. Take special care if you intend to turn left or right and give way to pedestrians who are crossing.”

While riding through a red light is ilegal, many cyclists believe it can be justified at times for safety reasons.

In February, journalist and author Jack Shenker was stopped and fined close to Holborn tube station in central London under the Metropolitan Police's Operation Safeway after going through a light on red, and he subsequently explained to road.cc why he did that.


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.