Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Cyclists 'endangering lives' by cycling on dual carriageways (say motorists)

Riders say nearby cycle paths are badly maintained - but they are 'swept annually'.....

A woman in Angus, Scotland, who took to Facebook to complain about cyclists riding on a stretch of dual carriageway has been slapped down by cycle campaigners who say that the nearby cycle paths are badly maintained.

Carnoustie woman Claudia Burgess saw the two cyclists on the A92 and took to Facebook to vent her frustration.

She posted: ''Why put yourself and other road users at risk.

''The road has a 70mph speed limit and if a lorry is in the nearside lane doing 50mph or 60mph and a car is passing on the outside lane, it won't leave much room for the cyclists.''

Dr Kevin Smith, a lecturer at Abertay University lecturer added to the criticism, telling The Courier: ''I have observed, as both a motorist and a cyclist on the adjacent path, cyclists on this stretch of road endangering their lives and frequently causing motorists to make a sudden, and hence potentially dangerous, manoeuvre to avoid them.

''It is such cyclists whose sanity seems to be in question. Moreover, given that the law prohibits cyclists from motorways, which seems only sensible to me even though I am greatly in favour of enabling cyclists' freedom in general, it would seem correct to prohibit cyclists from this motorway-like section of the A92 from Monifieth to Arbroath.''

The A92 is in fact a dual carriageway, which cyclists do have the right to use, although cars can travel on these roads at up to 70 mph.

The treasurer of Angus Cycling Club, Bryan Williams, argued back, saying that cyclists were well within their rights to ride on the roads, and blamed the poor state of cycle paths for forcing riders onto potentially dangerous roads.

He said: ''The state of the cycle paths in general is not good.''There is a lot of road debris and bits of glass on them, where you can risk a puncture and all sorts.''

''It's certainly not illegal [to ride on dual carriageways] but, on the whole, we tend to stay off busy roads, more for comfort than anything else,'' he said.

A spokesperson for BEAR Scotland, which looks after roads in the area said: ''We maintain the section of the A92 from Dundee to Arbroath and the cycle path is kept in good order.

''It is generally swept annually and local areas cleaned as and when necessary if broken glass or debris is noted during our regular inspections.

''Despite this some cyclists - particularly long-distance cyclists - prefer to travel on-road.''

Earlier this year we wrote about how a judge has been campaigning to keep cyclists off many A roads.

Judge Tonkin suggests that it would improve safety “to remove all cyclists from any dual-carriageway which is not subject to a speed limit of 30, or possibly 40, mph.”

He goes on to say, “This would not prevent cyclists from using dual-carriageways in urban areas but would take them away from some of our more dangerous trunk roads where traffic is both heavy and fast moving.

“Any cyclist, particularly a lone cyclist who is not wearing high-visibility clothing, is at huge risk on such roads from vehicles approaching from behind at a (legal) closing speed of up to 60 mph. At such a closing speed a relatively small and very vulnerable “object” is coming into view at the rate of 60ft per second and in a moment’s inattention irreparable damage is done.”

As Carlton Reid has pointed out, there are a few problems with this idea. Even if it only applies to dual-carriageway A roads, in some places such a road is the only way to get fro A to B. Judge Tonkin is effectively saying that non-urban cycling should be banned from such areas.

He also overlooks that it's already possible for A-roads to be restricted so that cyclists cannot use them, via traffic regulation orders.

What's more worrying than a judge forgetting that particular bit of the law, is his use of language. Judge Tonkin speaks of “huge risk”' but in fact the number of deaths of cyclists as a result of being hit from behind on an A-road is small. To solve the problem by banning cyclists from such roads, and to therefore set the precedent of overturning cyclists' general right to use the public highway, is using an atom bomb to crack a walnut.



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

Latest Comments

  • The Giblet 3 sec ago

    Will the campaigners for the STOP THE ROAD CLOSURES all turn up in cars and protest in their cars? Surely that is the only way they can protest.

  • The Giblet 4 min 4 sec ago

    Wow, the advert for the strange insurance website has been published after they create a pointless and completely meaningless "survey". Job done...

  • Dr Winston 1 hour 18 min ago

    I had this discussion elsewhere (BTW you missed Caruso off your list). The only thing I can think of is that they want to have a decent team in...

  • Sam3 1 hour 24 min ago

    If you are around people and needing to ring bell, you're probably on the hoods, manoeuvring ...and without enough time to take one hand off and...

  • wycombewheeler 2 hours 59 sec ago

    Hunt wheels are suitable for centrelock rotors which I prefer to 6 bolt, I don't see how a centre lock rotor could not be compatible. Perhaps you...

  • Nigel Garrage 2 hours 25 min ago

    I'm delighted to set the record straight for you - safety reasons were given as the underlying factor for being on the pavement, but the cargo bike...

  • TheBillder 3 hours 18 min ago

    Underrated, Dave. He also invented working with a shyster financier to repackage invoice factoring into "possible invoice if we actually had this...

  • biker phil 3 hours 26 min ago

    The 911 clip isn't a near miss, the driver did attempt to pull out, yes. But as soon as the driver clocked the cyclist, they stopped.

  • TheBillder 3 hours 39 min ago

    Nigel, as you know, luck does not come into it. If you can't afford to subscribe to the Telegraph (Belfast?) then obviously you don't work hard...

  • hennie 3 hours 47 min ago

    I'm waiting for a June delivery but only paid early May. Having now read the reviews (why didn't I do that before?) I think it's more likely to be...