Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Is it “often safest” for cyclists to go through red lights? Cyclists’ reactions are split, but some call it a response to tailgating; Regent Street turns to Paris and Barcelona to curb car traffic; 2029 UCI road Worlds in Denmark? + more on the live blog

We made it! Bid goodbye to the longest January ever and say hello to February with your usual dosage of cycling news on the live blog, with your host Adwitiya this Thursday
01 February 2024, 09:20
Is it safer for cyclists to go through red lights? Social media reaction (and Community Notes) counter, but some call it a response to tailgating
Traffic lights (via Unsplash)

Before we begin any discussion on today's live blog, it'd be nice to provide a disclaimer: Jumping red lights is illegal for cyclists according to the Highway Code.

With that said, let's get into the latest storm that's brewing up in the world of cycling Twitter (cycling X doesn't have the same ring). Andy Boenau, an urbanist and active travel campaigner from Virginia, USA, has shared a video of a cyclist in London going through on red lights at a junction, with the words, arguing that it's "often safest for a cyclist to go through a red light", and claiming that video was an example of how a cyclist can safely keep momentum.

"Bicycles and motor vehicles should never be treated as equals, so "but red means stop!" isn't a useful reaction," he added.

While such a tweet was certain to bring the most staunch anti-cycling fanatics from the pits of the universe, this opinion has even led to a lot of cyclists in the UK disagreeing with the statement. Besides the rather lengthy and detailed Community Notes on Twitter reiterating the Highway Code rule 69 which says that cyclists "MUST obey all traffic signs and traffic light signals" (Is this the first time we've seen Community Notes being used for something like this?)

Cycling instructor and advocate from Birmingham Tim reacted to the tweet saying: "
This isn’t true. This is terrible cycling. And the red light jumping is only part of it. Cyclist should be in primary position for a start"

> Should cyclists be allowed to ride through red lights? Campaigners split on safety benefits

However, a few people, including Boneau also took an issue with the bus driver tailgating the cyclist, with some also arguing that jumping red lights is one way for cyclists to get rid of drivers creeping up way past the point of comfort behind them.

Boneau wrote: "With all the attention focused on this cyclist rolling through red at the end of the video, no one talks about the bus tailgating the cyclist at the start of the video. It's bad enough to ride up on a bike like that, but even worse knowing the bus is about to stop."

Another campaigner and Twitter user named Plastic Irony said: "Not going to jump onto a thread started from Virginia, but in UK context, I'd be taking issue with the tailgating first. Does that exonerate the cyclist? No, don't think it does, because car on other side is indicating right and not all junctions are directly symmetrical.

"Even if we take out the car on opposite, I've never accepted argument that it's ok to go through red simply because it builds gap from vehicles behind - they can just catch up anyway.

"But in early hours, especially on bike with step through frame, there's case to rethink law, but for now, just step out of frame and become a pedestrian, no law is being broken. See also lights that won't change due to poorly designed sensors. In my humble opinion neither apply here."

Just a couple of weeks ago, Surrey Police stopped and fined four cyclists jumping a red light and shared the video on social media, leading to a lot of commotion and questioning of the police force's actions.

> Under-fire police force releases full video of cyclists fined for ignoring red light amid questions over original footage

It also might be interesting to point out here that the safety of cyclists having to stop at red lights is probably one of the most divisive topics amongst cyclists. In fact, in some parts of the world, such as Colorado in the United States and Paris, France, it is perfectly legal for cyclists to go through red lights.

Cycling campaigner Gregory Kinsman-Chauvet of Bike for Good, speaking to Scotland on Sunday last year, even argued that similar practices could be implemented here in the United Kingdom.

But as we can all assume, the odds of that happening in the country right now seem quite low. But as always, no better place to express your opinions than the live blog comment section. So go ahead and let us know if you think cycling through red lights could be safer or not...

01 February 2024, 17:38
Cyclists and pedestrians could enjoy traffic-free Cheddar Gorge once a month under new plan
01 February 2024, 16:53
LTN in East Jesmond, Newcastle (Newcastle City Council)
"Absolutely disgusting verdict that doesn't take into account children at all": Cycling campaigners lament LTN removal despite "extremely positive" data showing reduced congestion

In a startlingly adverse decision for active travel in the city, Newcastle City Council has decided to remove the Jesmond low-traffic neighbourhood trials, citing increased residents journey times and unaffected emergency services, with 77 per cent in opposition of the scheme.

However, as one person pointed out, the increased journey times were of those using a car, and didn't include pedestrians and cyclists.

Newcastle-based researcher and urban planner said: "Newcastle Council to rip out Jesmond LTN despite the data being extremely positive. Whose voice mattered here? Not the children and young people growing up in the city. This is hugely disappointing news."

Meanwhile, transport journalist from Jesmond, Carlton Reid said: "Good news for motorists. Until, that is, congestion builds up again because of the excess of cars, especially as new housing developments will add to motor traffic in years ahead.

"This scheme mostly benefitted pedestrians. A great many residents will be shocked by the reintroduction of cars. Goal was to reduce number of car journeys in a very walkable neighbourhood. Goal was achieved. The noisy (and often abusive) complaints worked.

"Key complaint was length of time to do car journeys at peak times (car journeys off-peak were as swift as usual). Predicted traffic increase on Coast Road will mean junctions will clog up, leaving complainers wondering why removing LTN didn't solve the congestion problem."

In May last year, a self-proclaimed "keen cyclist" had launched a petition littered with factual errors objecting to the Jesmond LTN, with many residents and signatories of the petition calling for the trial consultation to be "axed immediately".

> Petition with “factual errors” to scrap low-traffic neighbourhood launched by a “keen cyclist” after just two months of trial

01 February 2024, 16:06
French rider goes cyclocross at Etoile de Bessèges
French pro cyclist does a Lance Armstrong at Etoile de Bessèges by going off-road — and almost getting taken out by support car driver

It's 2003 Tour de France. Lance Armstrong has built up his brash but winner reputation among cycling fans and is chasing a fifth consecutive yellow jersey. If he wins, he'd join the hallowed hall of fame of the riders with the most TdF titles, joining the likes of Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, and Miguel Indurain. 

Will this be the year Jan Ullrich finally steps out of Armstrong's shadow and beats him to the maillot jaune, or someone else, say this one Kazhak rider by the name of Alexander Vinokourov take the top prize?

Come to stage 9, Vinokourov is on the attack on the descent of Col de Manse. The Spanish rider Joseba Beloki is trying to chase him down with the yellow jersey Armstrong on his tail. Beloki locks his wheel on the melting road surface and goes down. Armstrong has nowhere to go, cuts across the serpentine descent and goes over the swathes of grass, gets off his bike and hops back onto the road, rejoining the rest of the peloton. And in doing so, almost gets hit by the following riders and a race motorbike.

Why am I narrating all this? Because a very similar incident just took place in Etoile de Bessèges, with French pro Maximilien Juillard from team Van Rysel - Roubaix in the midst of all the action. 

When they say choose your idols carefully, they do really mean it.

I'm not going to lie, these last few weeks of watching cyclocross made me instinctively think that he was going to jump his bike down from the mini-cliff! Well, I'm glad at least no one was hit, because as soon as Juillard was on the road, it could have ended badly with the team car drivers coming up at speed behind him.

01 February 2024, 15:31
Bikmo partners with Quotezone/cyclists Cheddar Gorge(via Bikmo)
“It’s a public road!”: Cheddar Gorge road will close once a month to invite more cyclists and walkers, and drivers aren’t happy

Earlier this morning, news broke that the roads to the Cheddar Gorge, an incredibly lush (and also incredibly challenging — those who've tackled it on a saddle will know) route popular amongst the tourists in Somerset is set to close once a month to motor traffic, in order to make it more enjoyable for cyclists and walkers.

An Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO) has been placed by the Mendip Hills National Landscape Team who will see how the project goes, and are thus, looking for eventual feedback.

But naturally, the news hasn't been taken well by motorists and other petrolheads, who can't believe they will now have one day less to drive upto the ravine in Somerset.

Under the news post by BBC on Facebook asking if it was a "good idea", commenters have expressed their dissent, with one person saying: "For God's sake if you want to walk take the foot paths not the main road it's so laughable that someone got paid to think of that idea!"

Another person said: "Just another silly idea when someone's nothing else better to do, leave well alone its not just a visitors play place its home to many of us that use the road daily, and pay our taxes to do so."

A third person said that they've never had any problems with traffic in the area, however it was the cyclists who "tend to be the most inconsiderate road users in the gorge whilst also putting themselves and others at risk".

Others tried to be a bit more egalitarian with their outlook towards cyclists and drivers, one comment saying: "This is an excellent idea. However, in the interests of equality it should also be shut once a month for motor enthusiasts to do time trials. Fair’s fair and all."

01 February 2024, 14:48
Soudal Quick-Step's Tim Merlier records first win of 2024 in Tour of AlUla

Soudal Quick-Step's Belgian sprinter Tim Merlier has started the new cycling road season with a bang, winning the third stage of Tour of AlUla after missing out on the win and only managing a podium in the first stage of the race dominated by sweeping, sandy vistas (and echelons in the peloton, lots of them) in Saudi Arabia.

He managed to hold off UAE's Juan Molano, Rui Oliveira and Team DSM's Casper Van Uden, the current points leader who eventually finished third.

01 February 2024, 13:40
London traffic lights
What's the consensus on today's red-light debate? The readers have their say...

Going through on red lights: a complicated issue for some, a straightforward one for others. We've received a myriad of interesting and wide-ranging replies on our live blog, and here's a roundup of the most compelling ones.

MTB Refugee: "Red light means stop. End of discussion.
I cycle more than I drive, but as both a cyclist and a driver I really despair to see cyclists (or drivers) go through red lights.
Every cyclist who goes through red lights provide ammunition for the anti-cycling lobby. It is also illegal and it makes it tough to argue against motorists breaking the law (close passes etc.) if they can constantly refer to law breaking by cyclists."

Tom_77: "In an ideal world everyone would obey the highway code at all times.
In the real world drivers break the rules all the time*, frequently putting cyclists in danger. It's not surprising that cyclists sometimes feel the need to break the rules in order to put some distance between themselves and a carelessly driven motor vehicle.
Personally, I haven't ever jumped a red light. But I will cycle on an empty pavement if it's safer than the road."

bensynnock: "When I go out cycling I count how many motorists jump a red light and I permit myself to jump that many myself. I never get anywhere near to my limit.

It's always, one driving through on amber, second one accelerating through the amber, then the third accelerating even harder and going through on red. Every set of lights at every junction.

I am completely past the point of caring what the rules are. They were designed for cars. I obey them stringently when I drive the car, but very few other motorists do. They speed around the city, even over 40 in the 20 zones, they skip the lights, they sit on their phones, they never indicate, they cut corners at junctions, they never give way to pedestrians, they park across the pavement and cycle lanes... Any rule they think they can get away with breaking they will.

The rule breaking from drivers is relentless. It's a lawless mess. But apparently if I decide to take a right turn during the pedestrian phase of the lights so I'm not sat in the middle of the road with traffic passing on both sides until there's a gap, then that makes me the bad guy?

I don't actually do it very often, but if I feel it's safer then I'll break the rules. Everybody else does."

HoarseMann: "The green pedestrian signal was showing for cross traffic from the left, so the main consideration was traffic from the right. It was clear and getting across meant no conflict with the oncoming right-turning traffic. The bus behind had pulled into a stop, so less of a concern.

Yes, it's illegal, but if done with care then not unsafe. I would need to see more of this cyclist's riding style to know whether that was a carefully considered infraction or they were just oblivious!"

01 February 2024, 12:57
Councillor defends closing park "rat-run" to drivers to promote cycling and address "challenge" of "dominance of the car"
Poole Park (Facebook/Leave Poole Park Alone)

A councillor has urged locals to respect the consultation process and "see how the trial progresses" amid noise and protests from an outspoken group of residents unhappy at the decision to close a "rat-run" through a park in order to promote a safer environment for cyclists and walkers. 

From 17 January, a road through Poole Park, in the Dorset town, has been closed to through-traffic, preventing rat-running drivers using the heritage listed park in a conservation area as a cut-through near Sandbanks, one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in the country.

Councillor Andy Hadley, BCP Council's portfolio holder for the environment, insisted the council does not have an "anti-car agenda" but there is a "challenge on our roads about the dominance of the car" with vehicles "getting bigger and more of them".

Read more: Councillor defends closing park "rat-run" to drivers to promote cycling and address "challenge" of "dominance of the car"

01 February 2024, 12:33
While we are at the topic of jumping traffic lights...

While everyone is at the topic of passionately debating whether red light-jumping for cyclists should be acceptable or not, CycleGaz has posted this compilation video of motorists clearly not giving heed to the traffic lights.

What are his thoughts on the cyclist going through on red lights from earlier today, you ask?

01 February 2024, 12:11
Meanwhile, cycling in Paris
01 February 2024, 11:35
the crown estate regent street artists impression - october 2020.PNG
Regent Street turns to Champs-Élysées in Paris and La Rambla in Barcelona to curb motor traffic and become more cycling-friendly

What's common between Champs-Élysées in Paris, La Rambla in Barcelona and Mariahilfer Strasse in Vienna?

Well, they're all definitely more cycling-friendly than a lot of London streets, including Regent Street. However, some of Europe's most famous shopping streets, along with other active travel-friendly cities such as Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Seville, are set to serve as inspiration for the iconic London street's "grand European overhaul".

According to The Standard, Westminster Council and The Crown Estate have unveiled their "Regent Street Public Realm Vision", which includes plans to reduce traffic to make way for more cyclists and pedestrians.

The council said the "ultimate ambition" is to create a "new green link through the heart of the West End" that connects St James’s Park to Regent’s Park. The project would also mean changes to Piccadilly Circus, Haymarket and parts of Pall Mall.

"This would emphasise and reimagine the famous architect John Nash's 'park-to-park' connection, set out over 200 years ago," a spokesman said.

Paul Dimoldenberg, cabinet member for city management and air quality, added: "The Regent Street Public Realm Vision report represents a commitment to a more vibrant, sustainable and inclusive urban environment. We’ve worked extensively with members of the public to shape a vision that is based on what they want to see."

Tadej Pogačar and Nathan Van Hooydonck, Champs-Élysées, 2023 Tour de France (Zac Williams/

A Tour de France-style final stage for the Tour of Britain on Regent Street, with Tom Pidcock and Wout van Aert, racing in front of the three H&Ms and alarmingly high number of American candy shops? Well sign me up! (Here's to hoping the ToB makes a swift comeback...)

> Tour of Britain and Women's Tour no longer listed on UCI calendar

01 February 2024, 11:01
The company that owns bike brands such as Raleigh, Lapierre and Ghost is to "simplify operations and enhance efficiency" by merging facilities and cutting up to 150 jobs.
01 February 2024, 10:37
2023 Glasgow Track World Championships Denmark pic Alex Whitehead/
Denmark submits bid for road cycling World Championships in 2029

Cometh the man, cometh the hour. Is 2029 finally the year we see Jonas Vingegaard make an appearance on the UCI's cycling men's road World Championships?

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Culture announced that they have sent an official application to the International Cycling Union (UCI) for Denmark to host the World Cycling Championships in 2029, reports TV2.

The application states that Aarhus will host the individual starts, and the line races will be held in Zealand. The races will start in Helsingør and Roskilde, and the finish line is in Copenhagen.

UCI is expected to make the decision in September this year. So can we expect a road race around the streets of Copenhagen to crown the best rider with the rainbow arounds?

As of now, the upcoming destinations for road cycling Worlds are Zurich this year, followed by Rwanda, Montreal, Haute-Savoie and then Abu Dhabi in 2028.

> "How are they going to cope with all the rainbows?": UCI criticised for awarding hosting rights to UAE and Saudi Arabia

01 February 2024, 10:23
Tiny Pogi! Photo of 12-year-old Tadej winning the Criterium Grand Prix race in Slovenia

Adwitiya joined in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

Add new comment


sq225917 | 3 months ago

All running a red does is increase your risk of being hit sideways by another vehicle, be the cause of an accident by forcing another road user with the right of way to take emergency avoiding action and at the very least make other road users hate us all more. Its a dick move, it's illegal.

Wheelywheelygood | 3 months ago

Jumping red lights is the least of people's worries  ,the mass of stupid things I've seen in this last year ,from tailgating a lorry at 55mph to making children jump into the road by a bike on the pavement at over ,30 mph to going down the wrong side with a child in a trailer . The list is so long  I believe a lot of cyclists were absent the day that brains were handed out 

perce replied to Wheelywheelygood | 3 months ago

I feel your pain. My dog has started barking in her sleep again. And don't get me started on Sheffield buses.

brooksby replied to Wheelywheelygood | 3 months ago

A bike on the pavement at over 30 mph? Was that, perchance, a balaclava'd bloke with a food delivery box and a suspicious quantity of duct tape filling the centre of the frame? Those electric motorcycles are already illegal and not really anything to do with "cyclists".

But you knew that already...

mark1a replied to brooksby | 3 months ago

No, none of that, it never happened. 

Hirsute replied to brooksby | 3 months ago

Best to ignore them and leave them to their fantasy land.

Browsie replied to Wheelywheelygood | 3 months ago

Tailgating a lorry at 55 mph!, surely that must have been Guy Martin on his way to setting a new world speed record .

Scarey | 3 months ago

Traffic lights are put there for road users safety and convenience and, as such is so, it must be considered unwise to ignore them. Of course there will be exceptions like those computer controlled lights that will only change for vehicles; leaving cyclists sitting like lemons till a car comes along, or strange road configurations where it can really be unsafe for slow movers at a busy junction. But, in my experience, our Police are generally amenable to consider such things provided one is reasonable and polite; best practice is to obey the rules unless you have a well considered reason and argument not to. Stay safe everyone!

chrisonabike replied to Scarey | 3 months ago

Almost - generally agree with the drift but just a rant on the first bit and a correction:

Scarey wrote:

Traffic lights are put there for motorised road users safety and convenience ...

This might sound woke but in a world of motor vehicles almost all road infra - including cycle paths*, pedestrian crossings and underpasses - is really for / because motorised road users.  Because in their absense (bear with me) cyclists and pedestrians - with a possible query about the theoretical optimum for those with sight impairments - really don't need traffic lights or roundabouts for that matter etc.

Consider if the "hierarchy of road users" meant something?  Wouldn't it be applied to design?  Would we still have motor vehicles on roads on street level taking the direct route while - say - people walking had to take large detours, climb over bridges or navigate manky underpasses to cross them safely?  Or wave a flag while crossing?

* Cycle paths being separate from the motor vehicle carriageway.  I'm less and less sure what cycle lanes are for.  Ticking boxes, sop to "we're showing willing but obviously we're not gonna spend money or seriously hassle the voters"?

bobbypuk | 3 months ago

Friday morning after a commute so I feel like wading in on the RLJ thing. I don't jump red lights, I'm scared on amber and cautious on green.

I have found whenever I come to a traffic on amber or green I do a shoulder check to see how close my tailgater is. Too close and I'm going through, I've been almost rear-ended a few times by slowing down when I should. In a lot of cases car drivers speed up on amber (or 'recently established reds...') and are often fixated on the lights rather than the brightly lit 6'3" obstacle in the way. Often they'll blast their horn or swear at me for slowing down (and squeeze past anyway). Green lights I usually check for RLJ cars, saved me a few times as I've stopped to avoid somebody flying through on amber or red.

I cycle with a camera and am about to submit a video of a licensed private hire vehicle accelerating towards an amber light 100m away in the town centre. He made it through even though by that time it had been red for a few seconds. Nothing will come of that report but I'll do it anyway.

We all have a duty to look after ourselves and others on the roads in the best way we can. For me it is a obessive following of the rules (so I always have the moral high ground). For others it may be to go through a red light if they feel is safer for them. This is not a problem in my eyes.

The RLJs that everybody pictures when they say all cyclist go thruogh red are not the people I've described above, they are invincible kids or delivery riders trying to hit a schedule. You can't do anything about the first lot, if they had cars they'd be doing donuts in the car park or racing each other on dual carriageways. The second lot SHOULD be clamped down on, food delivery services are not a sustainable business model if their riders and drivers followed all the laws.

wycombewheeler replied to bobbypuk | 3 months ago

bobbypuk wrote:

food delivery services are not a sustainable business model if their riders and drivers followed all the laws.

surely they are, how much time does jumping reds really save? 1 minute per delivery? put the delivery payment up by 25p, that equates to £15/hr. so they could be sustainable. And I bet the overall companies could eat that from their profits.

I bet the delievry only gets a small percentage of the additional cost difference between ordering for delivery and just going to buy takeaway.

Bungle_52 | 3 months ago
1 like

Re red lights. Since I decided to never cycle without a camera I haven't cycled through a red light or rode on the pavement. I am fairly confident that the police will do nothing about most of my reports of bad driving but I suspect they would be more than happy to prosecute me with the evidence I would have to provide to them with the footage. They want 2 minutes either side. I do dismount and walk the bike across at junctions I know the timings of if it will be quicker for me.

A possible solution to red light jumping would be to provide all cyclists with cameras and then act on their reports.

Hirsute replied to Bungle_52 | 3 months ago
1 like

I was going to put exactly the same thing !

Groadie | 3 months ago
1 like

Red lights are there to serve a purpose, which is to give everyone a fair turn at crossing an intersection safely, in confidence that no conflicting traffic is going to take them out. Effectively they are light-controlled stop lines, lines which require you to stop for as long as the light is red - regardless of whether there actually is any conflicting traffic to stop for.

But, not all stop lines require lights to tell you whether to go or not. And not all green lights mean it is safe to go, observation is still needed to watch for, for example, emergency vehicles proceeding against red, and pedestrians, who are allowed to make their own judgement as to whether to go or not at any time. What the purpose of red lights is not, is to hold anyone up just for the sake of it.

And for that reason I refuse to get held up just for the sake of it. Just barrelling through on red without looking would be stupid, but if you've looked properly, given priority to all opposing traffic and there isn't any other traffic, simply waiting around for a colour change is a bit pointless. If you trust your eyes, have clear view of the whole intersection, have checked and seen there's no conflicting traffic, there's not really much point in waiting there just for the sake of it.

Oldfatgit | 3 months ago

I've made my feelings known about this subject every time its come up, and see the same old responses.

If you want to RLJ, go ahead ... but remember that if you feck it up and get hit by another road user, good old contributory negligence will come in to play.
If you get fecked up as badly as i was [and remember I was driven in to], that was 4 months off work ... 4 months of not being able to walk or use my left arm.
Then ... I had a further 14 months on phased return to work ... so 18 months on reduced pay.
Can you afford that?

If you hit someone - pedestrian or another cyclist - then it's likely that your insurance won't pay out ... or if they do, they'll come looking to you for reimbursement.
So, you'll get sued by whoever you hit.
Can you afford that?
On top of your loss of earnings.

Think about the consequences of your actions to save a few moments.

Is it *really* worth it?

chrisonabike replied to Oldfatgit | 3 months ago

Oldfatgit wrote:

Think about the consequences of your actions to save a few moments. Is it *really* worth it?

...if you're not certain, just ... drive a car.  Then do it anyway and let the others out there worry about the consequences of your actions.

(I can be smug and say we're asking the wrong questions here [1] [2].  That's because I currently have the luxury of travelling for for several miles on a "mini network" without encountering ANY traffic lights.  Until they nix my route to the shops / station / town that is).

Oldfatgit replied to chrisonabike | 3 months ago
1 like

Lucky you for no lights.
I've had to change my commute from Easterhous to Mount Vernon, along the A74 / London Road because of the traffic lights.
There's beautiful, brand spanking new segregated cycle lane (it's smooth and got a big kerb and everything) ... but the light phasing from John Dewar's to Trongate is terrible for cycling.
If the main road light is on green, then the cycle lane is red ... and there's no beg buttons for the cyclists.
There's pressure strips ... less than a bike length from the stop line in the cycle lane ... so they are pretty much useless.
Instead, I choose to go a less protected - but significantly less traffic lights - from Easterhouse, through Shettleston and down Duke Street.
Far more hazardous... but significantly less time sitting at lights.

chrisonabike replied to Oldfatgit | 3 months ago

Because I can often use the paths (for now...) I find I generally automatically pick routes using them (no lights) even when this makes things further.  (Helps that they're much more pleasant than being in traffic, mostly!)

Yeah, in the UK we have very stupid lights and mostly they don't consider cycling (I'm still dubious about "early release" lights for cyclists.  Bit of a cheap hack which is then hyped as a general "solution" or even special concession.  Not duly thankful...)

Of course cyclists don't need traffic lights - they're there because we have so many motor vehicles and humans in cars can't be relied on to sort that out safely.  And the more of the latter or the greater the speeds, the more lights.

Honestly, it's in the interest of people driving (and walking!) to have a radical programme of building cycling infra and (as important) developing separate networks where cycling and driving only interact where there are few motor vehicles, moving slowly. (Trams are great, but in Edinburgh we're building ones which don't play to their advantages;  and addionally because "mass motoring" we don't get near their theoretical capacity.  Apologies - don't have the actual numbers to hand - anyone?)

wycombewheeler replied to Oldfatgit | 3 months ago

Oldfatgit wrote:

 If you hit someone - pedestrian or another cyclist - then it's likely that your insurance won't pay out ... or if they do, they'll come looking to you for reimbursement.

surely they must pay out, almost every crash ont he road is caused by one driver breaking the law, or at least the highway code. It would make 3rd party insurance pointless if the insurer just said "you were speeding so not paying" or "you failed to give way so not paying"

They could well come after you for payment, but we don't see too many reports of drivers claiming to have been bankrupted by the insurer recovering costs, so I assume it doesn't happen. Or at least if it does, only for things like drunk driving, nothing as common as going through a red light.

Oldfatgit replied to wycombewheeler | 3 months ago

I haven't said that the other party insurance *will* come after you.
I've said it's *likely*.

Insurance companies are not in it for love ... they are in if for profit, and paying out because you have broken the law does not make profit.

Depending on policy, the insurers *could* sue you for the recovery of payment ... or they *could* decide to walk away and write off losses.

If I've understood it correctly, the term is "subrogation".

IANAL and thankfully not in the Insurance business either. I've enough people not liking me because I rode a bike without being a member of either of those professions.

BigDoodyBoy | 3 months ago

Regarding red light jumping, it's up to you if you do it. Whether you get caught for the offence or not, just remember that I'm in a large metal box travelling across your path, so any conflict is unlikely to come out in your favour. As I said, your choice.

However, I'd be interested to see how any court case might go given the hierarchy changes. Am I held in any way liable for your illegal actions?

If red light jumping for cyclists is legalised, then that changes the whole picture and certainly puts the whole responsibility on the driver to avoid cyclists. That then changes cyclists behaviour as they learn that motorists will yield and so they'll go through with less and less attention expecting everyone to get out of their way. Just simply a recipe for disaster in my opinion.

momove replied to BigDoodyBoy | 3 months ago
BigDoodyBoy wrote:

they'll go through with less and less attention expecting everyone to get out of their way.

Like the current way people drive motor vehicles? That already is a disaster.

Oldfatgit replied to BigDoodyBoy | 3 months ago
1 like

Technically, you have an obligation to avoid having an accident.

If you *saw* - and as a responsible driver, you would have - the cyclist and made no effort to reduce the chances of a collision, then some of the liability will be on you.

However ... as the cyclist is the one committing the offence, then its likely that the majority of the responsibility will lie with them.

wycombewheeler replied to BigDoodyBoy | 3 months ago

BigDoodyBoy wrote:

 If red light jumping for cyclists is legalised, then that changes the whole picture and certainly puts the whole responsibility on the driver to avoid cyclists. That then changes cyclists behaviour as they learn that motorists will yield

Really? if the law requires/allows cyclists to treat red lights as stop signs or give ay signs, they will immediate abuse this to dominate drivers? Do you currently see this with cyclists flying out of side roads without slowing and expecting drivers to avoid them? I don't see it so I don't see why treating red lights the same as these situations would lead to the change you describe.

If anything I see more drivers failing to yield to cyclists because they know self preservation will kick in.

Bradshsi replied to wycombewheeler | 3 months ago
1 like


Do you currently see this with cyclists flying out of side roads without slowing and expecting drivers to avoid them? I don't see it so I don't see why treating red lights the same as these situations would lead to the change you describe.


In a busy West end road like Byres Road in Glasgow, I already see cyclists (75% are delivery cyclists), jumping red lights in a manner that requires others (cars and pedestrians) to take avoiding action.

What is really concerning is when they do this at night and/or in the rain when visibility is limited. Accidents happen when all of the safety layers are defeated and in those conditions + red light jumping the safety layers get mighty thin...

Changing the law will just exacerbate this risk.

chrisonabike replied to Bradshsi | 3 months ago

Bradshsi wrote:

In a busy West end road like Byres Road in Glasgow, I already see cyclists (75% are delivery cyclists), jumping red lights in a manner that requires others (cars and pedestrians) to take avoiding action. What is really concerning is when they do this at night and/or in the rain when visibility is limited. Accidents happen when all of the safety layers are defeated and in those conditions + red light jumping the safety layers get mighty thin... Changing the law will just exacerbate this risk.

But will it really though?

If people are already ignoring the law - but they are overwhelmingly "Bad Cyclists" ™ *  - how is tweaking the law going to make things worse?  I bet most other people on bikes will be more concerned about their own wellbeing so won't be charging through as you describe - like they might in a car.

I am not actually a fan of ideas like this.  That's because I want something much better, not tinkering with a flawed (for vulnerable road users) system.

* These may be unaware of legislation / may be in "grey" legal status / high / incentivised to ignore risks by working for peanuts for companies who don't care about their (definitely not) employees or their effect on the general public.  I suspect that in the UK's "the fit, the brave and the feckless" cycling on-road environment there are likely a substantially larger proportion of "road warriors" than you'd find e.g. if there was mass cycling.  But then we'll simply never get that in the UK while we focus on maximising capacity / convenience for drivers.  Tinkering with red light rules seems to be an example of not really challenging that...

Oldfatgit replied to wycombewheeler | 3 months ago
1 like

Is this you applying mass responsibility by saying you don't see cyclists abusing this?

Is this the same mass responsibility that gets denied because some riders can't see how their actions may effect the opinions and actions of others ... normally to the detriment of others?

cmedred | 3 months ago
1 like

Regulations allowing cyclists to run stop signs and treat red lights as yeild signs have actually been studied, and the studies concluded

mitsky | 3 months ago

If anyone (ie anti-cycling trolls) complains that cyclists aren't being held to account, show them this:
(regarding drivers giving false registration/address details to DVLA etc)

Clem Fandango replied to mitsky | 3 months ago

but but registration plates....   Top road safety expert Nick Freeman something something


Latest Comments