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Spate of motorway cyclists in recent weeks causes headache for police

A cyclist was spotted pedalling along the M57 during rush hour yesterday, prompting police to launch a search for him.

North West Motorway Police received reports of a man cycling on the hard shoulder of the motorway at Switch Island, just after 7.30am.

Police found no sign of him, despite multiple sightings by road users.

Motorway message signs were used to warn motorists that they might encounter the cyclist illegally riding on the road.

@NWmwaypolice tweeted: “J7 M57 Switch Island. Report of a male on a pedal cycle riding on the hard shoulder, heading towards St Helens @HighwaysNWEST attending.”

40 minutes later another tweet was issued saying: “@HighwaysNWEST attended the area - no trace of the cyclist.”

Back in February we reported how a young boy took a wrong turn on the way to the Trafford Centre in Manchester and ended up on the M60.

The child, thought to be aged around 12, was stopped by police on Tuesday afternoon pedalling along near Barton Bridge, at junction 11 of the M60.

Police say the youngster managed to cycle up a slip road and ended up on the anticlockwise motorway carriageway. He was taken home and “strongly advised” in front of his parents.

​A Greater Manchester Police spokesperson told the MEN they were called to Barton Bridge after the boy was spotted on the carriageway at 2.45pm.

She said: “The boy was about 12 years old and was on the motorway on his pedal bike at junction 11 of the M60.

“He had joined the M60 and had also been seen on the bridge of the M60 going anticlockwise.

“He was picked up by the police on the motorway. It looks like he was heading towards the Trafford Centre.”

And just last week we reported how police in Surrey fined a cyclist they found cycling on the M25 as he headed for London Heathrow Airport along the hard shoulder of the busy motorway. The man had earlier been told to get off the motorway by Highways England officials.

Theman aged in his 30s from Feltham, was initially traveling along the hard shoulder of the anti-clockwise carriageway between junctions 11 and 13. He was escorted off the motorway by Highways England officers and given guidance for an appropriate route.

A short time later the cyclist re-appeared on the slip road of the clockwise carriageway of the M25 traveling in a clockwise direction between junction 13 and 14 before continuing his journey on the spur road to Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport. He was stopped by officers from Highways England and an officer from Surrey Police Roads Policing Unit was called to assist.

PC Tom Richardson of Surrey Police said: "As well as cycling along an extremely busy motorway during the rush hour traffic the cyclist would have also crossed motorway slip roads so it is extremely fortunate that there was not a more serious outcome to his trip.

"The act of cycling on the motorway hard shoulder is clearly reckless and dangerous and the man not only put his own life at risk but other road users too.

"A cyclist coming towards you on your morning commute on the M25 would be completely unexpected and could cause alarm - another example as to why motorists should remain alert and vigilant at all times."

"If we get reports of people cycling on motorway we will intervene and further action may be taken."

Martin Crosswell, Highways England Operations Manager added: "Safety is Highways England’s number one priority so it is important that all road users follow the Highway Code and listen to the advice given out to them by our team of Traffic Officers.

"The actions of this man were irresponsible and could have caused a serious incident."

Bicycles, along with some other types of vehicles, as well as pedestrians and horse riders, are banned from motorways under Rule 253 of the Highway Code:

Prohibited vehicles. Motorways MUST NOT be used by pedestrians, holders of provisional motorcycle or car licences, riders of motorcycles under 50 cc, cyclists, horse riders, certain slow-moving vehicles and those carrying oversized loads (except by special permission), agricultural vehicles, and powered wheelchairs/powered mobility scooters.

 

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.