Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Police officer caught on camera telling cyclists to ride in single file to be given "education around traffic offences"

Greater Manchester Police apologised and said all officers will be made aware of Highway Code rules on cyclists following the faux pas in Bolton

A cyclist has slammed the "shocking level of ignorance" shown by a police officer who told him and other cyclists he was with to ride in single file and next to the kerb.  

Ironically Grahame Cooper was on a Critical Mass ride in Bolton, Greater Manchester on Friday evening when the officer pulled up alongside his group in a police van and wound down the window. 

"You can't ride out in the road like this" he says, before adding that the cyclists "have to ride next to the kerb" and are "supposed to ride in single file." 

Grahame tells the officer that in fact – as the Highway Code now makes even clearer – the group do not need to ride in single file, adding: "Talk to the people in your traffic division... they'll explain to you what correct road positioning is for cyclists." 

Grahame told road.cc that after notifying Greater Manchester Police of the officer's incorrect assertions, he was very satisfied with the response the next day, with GMP apologising and saying the officer would be educated on traffic laws. 

An officer at GMP told Grahame: "I have reviewed your complaint and the video footage and would like to apologise on behalf of GMP and the officer that had spoken to you. I am a cyclist myself and can understand your frustrations.

"I will ensure words of advice are given to the officer along with some education around traffic offences/ cycling legalities." 

Grahame told road.cc: "I then suggested wider guidance to officers might be good and got the response: "I will be sure to make staff aware during briefing due to the changes in the highway code in the past 12 months"." 

This isn't the first time we've reported on serving police officers who need to brush up on their Highway Code: in March of this year a cyclist told of how she was pulled over by two Metropolitan Police officers for “putting [her] own safety before cars” and not riding "courteously" after she was close passed by a motorist. 

In 2019, a cyclist who submitted close pass footage to to the Met Police was threatened with prosecution himself for riding on a footpath, when the stretch of path he was on was clearly marked as shared use. 

“It highlights how clueless police are about cycling and to me seems to be an attack on cyclists”, said road.cc reader Giles at the time. 

Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

Add new comment

62 comments

Avatar
Dhill | 1 year ago
0 likes

I like the police. He may have been incorrect but hey, no one hurt.

‘Cleverer’ good spot. Fewer or less, bit of a puzzle.

A levels? 

I think I’ll Go for a cycle, one abreast.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Dhill | 1 year ago
3 likes

Don't forget the advice in the highway code - the commonly misunderstood rule 66 has had a recent tweak: "You can ride two abreast and it can be safer to do so, particularly in larger groups or when accompanying children or less experienced riders."

Looks like this year's Christmas Road.cc ride is going to be a nightmare for drivers.  First they'll hit a block of cyclists riding together, several abreast, some not wearing high-vis or even helmets and in the middle of the road.  After recovering from the shock and passing them (being forced to cross the white line to do so) they'll then have a further line of riders to deal with.  Since those are now riding in single file they'll be stretching a good distance.  (Those are at the front because all those road.cc posters are all fast of course!).  It'll get even more confusing when some of those riders drop the anchors and dive into a hedge to let them by.

Although it may be those people never ride with others anyway.

Avatar
wtjs | 1 year ago
2 likes

It is an interesting feature on here that almost all usernames ending in ...lad and ...boy are associated with dimwits

Avatar
wtjs | 1 year ago
2 likes

It may be that we're all making an insufficient allowance for most police officers being really thick. It has long been a '2 O-Levels or less' recruitment organisation, and after decades of police bosses desperate to avoid appointing new officers cleverer than them the natural selection pressure on IQ is inevitably downwards. The result is a majority of officers not only unable ride a bike or to work out how to make one go, but also unable to even imagine what cycling is like or read the simple summary of road traffic law known as the Highway Code. And that's before they even develop the widespread police hatred of the 'real villains': not those who commit road traffic offences, but those who report them

Avatar
Northumber_lad replied to wtjs | 1 year ago
2 likes

In 2016 the rules were changed and by 2020 all new police recruits either had to possess a degree or obtain a degree as part of their conditions of joining. Whether that makes them 'cleverer' than you is a matter of opinion. 
What I do know is - when I learned English Language at school at a basic level  'cleverer' wasn't a word but has become widely used as an adjective by people like you who murder the English language. 
You are one of the 'murderers' they can easily catch with or without O levels. 
 

Avatar
mark1a replied to Northumber_lad | 1 year ago
1 like

Degrees aren't really what they used to be though. 

 

Avatar
Sriracha replied to Northumber_lad | 1 year ago
3 likes

Hmm ... maybe not the cleverest comment.

Avatar
Hirsute replied to Northumber_lad | 1 year ago
0 likes

What in earth are you blabbering on about calling someone a 'murderer'?

What do you think you are trying to convey with that post ?

Avatar
grOg replied to Northumber_lad | 1 year ago
0 likes

Cleverer is a comparative adjective, nowt wrong with it.

Avatar
mark1a replied to wtjs | 1 year ago
0 likes

2 O Levels or fewer?

Avatar
pockstone replied to mark1a | 1 year ago
0 likes

...or thicker?

Avatar
Hirsute replied to pockstone | 1 year ago
0 likes

wiser, fuller, sharper, steadier, shrewder, smarter.

Or perhaps the english language does not evolve over time.

Avatar
wtjs replied to mark1a | 1 year ago
0 likes

2 O Levels or fewer?

I see you have failed to appreciate the point, although the phrase is derived from 70s Monty Python

Avatar
mark1a replied to wtjs | 1 year ago
0 likes
wtjs wrote:

2 O Levels or fewer?

I see you have failed to appreciate the point, although the phrase is derived from 70s Monty Python

Sorry, I hadn't, and I was brought up by my parents with Live At Drury Lane and Matching Tie & Handkerchief on permanent play too!!

Avatar
alansmurphy | 1 year ago
1 like

Police not worried about him overtaking them whilst winding down his window and not looking ahead. Followed by positioning himself on the wrong side of the road and causing an obstruction?

Avatar
FrankH | 1 year ago
7 likes

It was common knowledge when I was at junior school that cyclists are allowed to ride two abreast. When I say "common knowledge", I mean we ALL knew it, even those of us who didn't have bikes. I'm 73 so that was about 65 years ago. What has happened to our education system? How can any adult, let alone a police officer, not know this?

The mind boggles.

Avatar
BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 1 year ago
7 likes

That's embarrassing for the Police. They should send their vehicle users on a Safe Urban Driving course. Lorry drivers do it as part of their compulsory professional development.  Perhaps Police officers should also do it. 

Avatar
Velo-drone | 1 year ago
6 likes

Perhaps they could also have a word with their colleagues in City of London Police.

Sounds like it was national 'display of ignorance from police' week last week ...

https://twitter.com/pedalmania1/status/1575464135315361793?s=20&t=0vMOT6...

Avatar
wtjs | 1 year ago
8 likes

The general standard of police education about anything is poor, so I think the Highway Code is more than a step too far for many of them. They can't even get traffic lights, or whether a vehicle on the road is supposed to be covered by a valid MOT, right!

Avatar
Jetmans Dad replied to wtjs | 1 year ago
1 like
wtjs wrote:

The general standard of police education about anything is poor, so I think the Highway Code is more than a step too far for many of them. They can't even get traffic lights, or whether a vehicle on the road is supposed to be covered by a valid MOT, right!

And, in my experience will routinely ignore ASZ boxes at traffic lights. 

Avatar
nordog replied to wtjs | 1 year ago
0 likes

In my local town, they can't see very well either, things like car/van parking on pavements causing obstructions, multi-coloured front lights on many cars or the odd missing light bulbs whether LEDs or my old style bulbs poorly aligned headlights if they have both working and the rear brake lights are also missing etc, etc. They only responded if a driver is killed on the By-Pass!

Avatar
stephensfone | 1 year ago
1 like

Why do some cyclists insist on riding 2 abreast?

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to stephensfone | 1 year ago
17 likes
stephensfone wrote:

Why do some cyclists insist on riding 2 abreast?

Have a look at this explainer: https://road.cc/content/feature/why-do-cyclists-ride-two-abreast-267948

TLDR: Can prevent dangerous overtakes from other vehicles and it also makes it easier for vehicles to overtake correctly (less time spent in the other lane).

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to stephensfone | 1 year ago
12 likes

Ah - more abreast fixation!  I hope you always walk in single file...

Anyway, I'll let road.cc explain this one, there's text, video and pictures:

https://road.cc/content/feature/why-do-cyclists-ride-two-abreast-267948

Avatar
MrHappyCyclist replied to stephensfone | 1 year ago
22 likes

Why do drivers insist on driving with seats 2 and 3 abreast even though they're empty most of the time?

Avatar
Boopop replied to stephensfone | 1 year ago
23 likes
stephensfone wrote:

Why do some cyclists insist on riding 2 abreast?

Why do most drivers insist on taking a whole empty living room with them?

Avatar
Hirsute replied to stephensfone | 1 year ago
11 likes

When you googled this, what answers did you find ?

Avatar
giff77 replied to stephensfone | 1 year ago
19 likes
stephensfone wrote:

Why do some cyclists insist on riding 2 abreast?

Why do some motorists:

Insist on not fully using the empty lane when passing a cyclist and at speeed. 

Overtake cyclists to immediately turn left or right. 

Pull out of a side street immediately in front of a cyclist. 

Stop in an ASZ. 

Park in a cycle lane or on pavements for that matter.

Cut cyclists up to get through a traffic calming measure. 

Throw items out of their windows at cyclists or simply into the verge. 

Allow passengers to remove seatbelts to lean out window and push cyclists over. 

Speed, jump lights, drive unroadworthy vehicles and many, many more offences and yet get clean away with it. I'm sure others can add to this short list. Please have the decency to explain all of the above with justifiable answers. 

I really can't believe (well I actually can) that you could ask such a question when the answer is already there in the HC and in various road craft manuals. If you honestly don't know the answer to your question or to any of mine or that you've conveniently forgotten since receiving your licence then I suggest you cut it up and return it to the DVLA. 

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to stephensfone | 1 year ago
21 likes
stephensfone wrote:

Why do some cyclists insist on riding 2 abreast?

Why do some people insist on creating an account just to troll?

(For all the self-righteous who whine that anyone "outside the leftist road.cc echo chamber" is unjustifiably accused of trolling, if you believe that someone creating a new account and posting that as their first offering isn't trolling, please get in touch as I have some magic beans and a gold brick I'm looking to offload at bargain prices)

Avatar
Sriracha replied to stephensfone | 1 year ago
3 likes

Why not?

Pages

Latest Comments