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Police set the law straight after car passenger's 'use the f*cking bike lane' rant at cyclist

Cyclist was riding alongside Mini Holland bike lane in Enfield - quite legally, as Met pointed out

Police in Enfield, north London, have reiterated on social media that cyclists are not obliged to use cycle lanes after a video appeared on Facebook with the passenger of a car shouting at a rider to “Use the f*cking bike lane!”

Monday moaning: Why don't cyclists use cycle lanes

The passenger adds: “They spent millions on the bike lane. F*cking use it, you mug,” while the cyclist continued to ride along, ignoring the rant.

The video was filmed on Monday on Green Lanes and uploaded to a Facebook page called Spotted Enfield, with the comment “£42 million well spent, indeed.”

The Metropolitan Police Service in Winchmore Hill, which Green Lanes runs through, wrote yesterday on Twitter: “Sadly it has come [to] my attention that there were two road rage incidents yesterday evening on Green Lanes.

“In both incidents motorists laid into cyclists for not being in the cycle lane. One you can view in Spotted Enfield.

“Kudos to the cyclist for trying his best to ignore the driver’s abuse!

“In the second incident a bus driver laid on his horn for a very long time behind the lady riding in front.

“Please think of the cycle lanes as a safe space for insecure cyclists and children.

“Not ALL cyclists will use them all the time and that is their right.”

Rule 63 of the Highway Code says “Use of cycle lanes is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer,” and often faster-moving cyclists will avoid them particularly on routes with many side roads, as is the case with Green Lanes.

That £42 million figure mentioned on Facebook refers to the total amount being spent under Enfield Council’s Mini Holland scheme after it won £30 million in funding from Transport for London.

As with a similar scheme in neighbouring Waltham Forest, the project met with strong opposition from some locals.

However, as this article from Clare Rogers of Better Streets for Enfield and Enfield Cycling Campaign explains, people opposed to the initiative indirectly helped highlight its benefits.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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31 comments

Avatar
Cyclespeed Tours | 4 years ago
3 likes

Reasons I don't use cycle paths;

1. They are full of sharp stones and glass so puncture prone

2. They are often right next to parked cars so you risk getting 'doored'

3. You often don't have priority at junctions so have to completely stop and take your chances

4. Kids, dogs, scooters wander into them

5. Not designed for speeds above 20-25km/h

6. They cross numerous private entrances and garages, so be alert, because a car coming out is not looking for you.

Some cycle paths are OK, but generally very few. Some are downright dangerous. Mostly I feel far safer on the road, and usually ride faster than the cars anyway.

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Judge dreadful | 4 years ago
0 likes

There aren't many of these types of cycle lane ( particularly in town ) I will use. They tend to be covered in all sorts of sharp stuff, and aren't well maintained. I'll only use them if I'm passing stationary traffic, or something big and / or odd shaped.

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Philh68 | 4 years ago
4 likes

Why is it people in cars can’t understand that a road bicycle is designed to be ridden on roads?

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maviczap replied to Philh68 | 4 years ago
4 likes
Philh68 wrote:

Why is it people in cars can’t understand that a road bicycle is designed to be ridden on roads?

Simple....... Culture long engrained car culture, and a lack of most folk being able to ride a bike

Whereas in countries like Holland they understand bike use, because everyone uses one at a very early age

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hawkinspeter replied to Philh68 | 4 years ago
2 likes
Philh68 wrote:

Why is it people in cars can’t understand that a road bicycle is designed to be ridden on roads?

Maybe they get confused with all the off-road vehicles that get driven on the road.

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racyrich | 4 years ago
6 likes

As usual it's the utter inconsistency in policing that's infuriating.

Launch a threatening tirade at a cyclist while armed with 1.5 tons of motor vehicle, police do nothing.

Launch a tirade at a commuter for eating an egg - £1500 fine.

https://metro.co.uk/2019/11/12/city-worker-fined-1500-screaming-commuter...

 

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Hirsute replied to racyrich | 4 years ago
1 like
racyrich wrote:

As usual it's the utter inconsistency in policing that's infuriating.

Launch a threatening tirade at a cyclist while armed with 1.5 tons of motor vehicle, police do nothing.

Launch a tirade at a commuter for eating an egg - £1500 fine.

https://metro.co.uk/2019/11/12/city-worker-fined-1500-screaming-commuter...

 

Strictly speaking, the passenger was not in charge of the vehicle, but I get your general point.

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Pantster | 4 years ago
11 likes

So police have acknowledged "2 road rage incidents" yesterday alone. What are they doing about them other than posting on social media

 

A bus horn is not for blasting at cyclists. That use is contrary to Highway Code. They have a video of abuse being shouted from a car at vulnerable road user. What are they doing about that?

 

unless action is taken it reinforces people's view that they can get away with it

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hawkinspeter replied to Pantster | 4 years ago
6 likes
Pantster wrote:

So police have acknowledged "2 road rage incidents" yesterday alone. What are they doing about them other than posting on social media

 

A bus horn is not for blasting at cyclists. That use is contrary to Highway Code. They have a video of abuse being shouted from a car at vulnerable road user. What are they doing about that?

 

unless action is taken it reinforces people's view that they can get away with it

Totally agree.

There's no place for aggression and emotional responses on the streets (though it can be difficult to not respond when on a bike) and certainly not when you're in control of heavy machinery.

I'd hope the police sent out warning letters to the registered keepers at the very least.

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Philh68 | 4 years ago
6 likes

Interfering with public transit is not the answer. You’re not just upping the hate pattern between rider and the driver but inconveniencing possibly dozens of people who are not to blame and like you are just trying to get to their destination. Leave the buses alone. We want more drivers on them instead.

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Rik Mayals unde... | 4 years ago
5 likes

I get that so many times, use the cycle lane, use the fucking cycle lane. I've been close passed by Stagecoach buses, then brake tested by them, only to be told to use the cycle lane. If I had the balls, wouldn't it be great to have an iron bar, cunningly camouflaged as a pump, in a sling on the top tube? Close pass, BANG! The local dent repair man would love cyclists!

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Oldfatgit replied to Rik Mayals underpants | 4 years ago
9 likes
biker phil wrote:

I get that so many times, use the cycle lane, use the fucking cycle lane. I've been close passed by Stagecoach buses, then brake tested by them, only to be told to use the cycle lane. If I had the balls, wouldn't it be great to have an iron bar, cunningly camouflaged as a pump, in a sling on the top tube? Close pass, BANG! The local dent repair man would love cyclists!

 

It's my understanding - although may be of urban myth - was that the Emergency Stop button got moved from the outside of the bonnet on buses to the inside due to people hitting them out of revenge for bad driving.

The engine in a bus is at the rear, and the Emergency Stop was also at the rear - normally on the offside pillar - perfectly positioned for a quick press and go manoeuver.

Few things funnier than watching the face of a bus driver when he finds out his bus aint going anywhere.

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Rik Mayals unde... replied to Oldfatgit | 4 years ago
2 likes
Oldfatgit wrote:
biker phil wrote:

I get that so many times, use the cycle lane, use the fucking cycle lane. I've been close passed by Stagecoach buses, then brake tested by them, only to be told to use the cycle lane. If I had the balls, wouldn't it be great to have an iron bar, cunningly camouflaged as a pump, in a sling on the top tube? Close pass, BANG! The local dent repair man would love cyclists!

 

It's my understanding - although may be of urban myth - was that the Emergency Stop button got moved from the outside of the bonnet on buses to the inside due to people hitting them out of revenge for bad driving.

The engine in a bus is at the rear, and the Emergency Stop was also at the rear - normally on the nearside pillar - perfectly positioned for a quick press and go manoeuver.

Few things funnier than watching the face of a bus driver when he finds out his bus aint going anywhere.

Awesome I will try that next time, because there will be a next time.

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BIGWATTS replied to Rik Mayals underpants | 4 years ago
2 likes
biker phil wrote:
Oldfatgit wrote:
biker phil wrote:

I get that so many times, use the cycle lane, use the fucking cycle lane. I've been close passed by Stagecoach buses, then brake tested by them, only to be told to use the cycle lane. If I had the balls, wouldn't it be great to have an iron bar, cunningly camouflaged as a pump, in a sling on the top tube? Close pass, BANG! The local dent repair man would love cyclists!

 

It's my understanding - although may be of urban myth - was that the Emergency Stop button got moved from the outside of the bonnet on buses to the inside due to people hitting them out of revenge for bad driving.

The engine in a bus is at the rear, and the Emergency Stop was also at the rear - normally on the nearside pillar - perfectly positioned for a quick press and go manoeuver.

Few things funnier than watching the face of a bus driver when he finds out his bus aint going anywhere.

Awesome I will try that next time, because there will be a next time.

Not something I'd ever recommend, as it'll only escalate the situation, but... https://youtu.be/cgkOP31Njeo

Always try your best to have patience for bad/dangerous practice and be the better person!

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kt26 replied to BIGWATTS | 4 years ago
0 likes
BIGWATTS wrote:

Always try your best to have patience for bad/dangerous practice and be the better person!

While this is my general approach, perhaps more out of fear of repercussions. I often find myself in dilema about what being the "better" person is? Is it letting it slide, or is it making sure such eliminating the bad/dangerous practice - and what measures are acceptable when that bad/dangerous practice is already life threatening.

As many here have already stated this behaviour has become prevalent because there is no deterent/punishment. How much more must we take before we say the law doesn't protect us and we must take matters into our own hands? How many more need to die? How many more near misses? How many more mindless assaults?

I worry that constantly taking the being a "better" person approach is more detremental than good in the long run.

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kil0ran replied to Rik Mayals underpants | 4 years ago
2 likes
biker phil wrote:

I get that so many times, use the cycle lane, use the fucking cycle lane. I've been close passed by Stagecoach buses, then brake tested by them, only to be told to use the cycle lane. If I had the balls, wouldn't it be great to have an iron bar, cunningly camouflaged as a pump, in a sling on the top tube? Close pass, BANG! The local dent repair man would love cyclists!

Pull the emergency stop on the back of the bus, sorted.

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burtthebike | 4 years ago
14 likes

And if the Department for Cars (DfT) had had their way, the HC would have said that cyclists had to use crap cycle lanes.  If it wasn't for the rather vigorous CUK campaign, they would have done it too.

Any news on whether any of the parties have even mentioned active travel yet?

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srchar | 4 years ago
8 likes

I mean, I understand why the give-way markings get ignored. This is the view a driver gets when they obey them.  It's impossible to see what's on the main road.

 

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Argus Tuft replied to srchar | 4 years ago
3 likes
srchar wrote:

I mean, I understand why the give-way markings get ignored. This is the view a driver gets when they obey them.  It's impossible to see what's on the main road.

 

Give way at the line,move forward slowly.If someone else comes along,give way again.

 

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Argus Tuft replied to Argus Tuft | 4 years ago
0 likes
Argus Tuft wrote:
srchar wrote:

I mean, I understand why the give-way markings get ignored. This is the view a driver gets when they obey them.  It's impossible to see what's on the main road.

 

Give way at the line,move forward slowly.If someone else comes along,give way again.

 

What would you do at a Stop sign if,after you'd stopped,and had started moving again,you noticed a vehicle previously obstructed from view bearing down on you?

 

 

 

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FluffyKittenofT... replied to Argus Tuft | 4 years ago
1 like
Argus Tuft wrote:
srchar wrote:

I mean, I understand why the give-way markings get ignored. This is the view a driver gets when they obey them.  It's impossible to see what's on the main road.

 

Give way at the line,move forward slowly.If someone else comes along,give way again.

 

Hmmm. But if you 'give way again' won't you find yourself precisely in the cycle-lane-blocking position that the car in the image posted is in?

How do the Dutch do it?

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Argus Tuft replied to FluffyKittenofTindalos | 4 years ago
0 likes
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
Argus Tuft wrote:
srchar wrote:

I mean, I understand why the give-way markings get ignored. This is the view a driver gets when they obey them.  It's impossible to see what's on the main road.

 

Give way at the line,move forward slowly.If someone else comes along,give way again.

 

Hmmm. But if you 'give way again' won't you find yourself precisely in the cycle-lane-blocking position that the car in the image posted is in? How do the Dutch do it?

It depends on what you could see when you moved up to the bike lane.How many parked cars are lined up to the right of the intersection? 

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srchar replied to Argus Tuft | 4 years ago
0 likes
Argus Tuft wrote:

Give way at the line,move forward slowly.If someone else comes along,give way again.

In an ideal world, yes. But that still leaves the car completely blocking the bike lane until such time as it can join the main road. Also, this isn't an ideal world, and the design means that the give ways just get ignored completely, without even a glance up the bike lane to see what's coming.

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Argus Tuft replied to srchar | 4 years ago
0 likes
srchar wrote:
Argus Tuft wrote:

Give way at the line,move forward slowly.If someone else comes along,give way again.

In an ideal world, yes. But that still leaves the car completely blocking the bike lane until such time as it can join the main road. Also, this isn't an ideal world, and the design means that the give ways just get ignored completely, without even a glance up the bike lane to see what's coming.

 

I'm a bit tired-It's Friday night,but let's think this through together. The bike lane replaces what in a "normal" street would be a" pedestrian lane " if you get my drift.Peds have right of way when crossing at an intersection. So in this case the fact that we have a bike lane is neither here nor there. On a similar street without the bike lane if you moved up to the vehicle lane you'd be blocking ped right of way.

Let's say we only move up to the bike lane(but not block it) What can we see? How far do those parked cars extend? We can't tell from the photo.Either we can see enough to proceed safely or we can't. If we can't we have a hazardous intersection.

Bear with me,and don't call it a cop-out just yet.I've never known a Council not to fix a justified complaint (one that meets their written guidelines) promptly. Once they've been notified if a collision occurs they don't have a legal leg to stand on. I've never had a problem getting a tree trimmed that was blocking a stop sign,or road markings repainted. Driving instructors got things done quicker than I could,but they're pushy bastards.

A friend of mine dropped a front bike wheel down a stormwater grate and damaged it.She notified the Council (Redlands City Council) and a week later there was a new grate of a different design and an apologetic phone call. Don't be afraid to do your civic duty!

I'm off for a cup of tea.

 

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Hirsute replied to Argus Tuft | 4 years ago
0 likes
Argus Tuft wrote:

She notified the Council (Redlands City Council) and a week later there was a new grate of a different design and an apologetic phone call.

That council appears to be in Australia. Not sure how that relates to an English local authority which is hte subject of the item.

 

Do you live in Australia? That makes previous comments clearer eg your one about putting a couple of rear lights on your bike and getting a different response from drivers.

 

I'm afraid a lot of drivers in the UK couldn't give a shit about pedestrians, and don't even understand give way on turning into minor roads.

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Argus Tuft replied to Hirsute | 4 years ago
0 likes
hirsute wrote:
Argus Tuft wrote:

She notified the Council (Redlands City Council) and a week later there was a new grate of a different design and an apologetic phone call.

That council appears to be in Australia. Not sure how that relates to an English local authority which is hte subject of the item.

 

Do you live in Australia? That makes previous comments clearer eg your one about putting a couple of rear lights on your bike and getting a different response from drivers.

 

I'm afraid a lot of drivers in the UK couldn't give a shit about pedestrians, and don't even understand give way on turning into minor roads.

We're both first-world (I hate that term) countries with the same legal system. I'm assuming any complaint made to a council needs to be actioned,or dismissed with a reason given. The trail of emails needs a beginning,a middle and an end.Accountability and all that.

Plenty of bad drivers everywhere. It takes a very courageous government to increase enforcement.New South Wales just stopped putting warning signs at speed camera locations and copped a shit storm in the media.The government felt it was far enough ahead in the polls to take a seemingly logical step.

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Hirsute replied to Argus Tuft | 4 years ago
0 likes
Argus Tuft wrote:

We're both first-world (I hate that term) countries with the same legal system. I'm assuming any complaint made to a council needs to be actioned,or dismissed with a reason given. The trail of emails needs a beginning,a middle and an end.Accountability and all that.

In the UK, there is a right mix of authorities. The immediate authority you pay your local tax to may well not be the authority that looks after the highways.

There are a lot of 'agents' so a county council may look after a road that central government is responsible for. I'm not sure any council has it's own highways workforce anymore due to the tendering process required from about 30 years ago, so you will see nearly all the work carried out by a contractor.

Even if you make a complaint, that could easily go to another contractor (outsourcing again), so it can be hard to get someone to be responsible.

May be I'm a bit cynical because my county council appears to take great delight in telling you 90% of pothole claims will be rejected. Other councils make it hard to work out who to contact in the first place !

Quote:

Plenty of bad drivers everywhere. It takes a very courageous government to increase enforcement.New South Wales just stopped putting warning signs at speed camera locations and copped a shit storm in the media.The government felt it was far enough ahead in the polls to take a seemingly logical step.

A number of police forces do take footage from individuals which is a step forward. However,  there is a great disparity between regional forces and incidents which are given a NIP (notice of prosecution) one one place result in no action in another.

Not sure how long you have been on the site, but you will soon see this commented on in near miss of the day (NMOTD).

 

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srchar replied to Argus Tuft | 4 years ago
0 likes
Argus Tuft wrote:

I've never known a Council not to fix a justified complaint (one that meets their written guidelines) promptly. Once they've been notified if a collision occurs they don't have a legal leg to stand on.

I wish that were the case, however, spend 2 minutes browsing fillthathole.org and you'll find plenty of road defects that were reported 10+ years ago and haven't been fixed.

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srchar | 4 years ago
5 likes

Not just any door zone... the passenger door zone. Bonkers:

 

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brooksby | 4 years ago
29 likes

Why wasn't the driver using a motorway?

I mean, those really were built for cars, and the Government has spent literally billions of pounds on them??

What's that?  You're not using a motorway because the motorway doesn't go where you want to go and it's not convenient for you...?

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