Cycle Friendly Driving
The media sometimes portrays cyclists and car drivers as enemies, but not in this district.
Here, Dynamo, Lancaster and District’s Cycle Campaign, offers some guidelines for driving in a way which will always be appreciated by cyclists.
1. Please leave sufficient space when overtaking – cyclists often move from side to side (especially when it’s windy or when they’re having to dodge pot holes), and are genuinely terrified by vehicles which get too close when overtaking. If you can’t leave a good metre when overtaking, wait until you can. And remember to slow down too.
2. Please wait behind someone on a bike if you’re about to make a turn – some people try to nip ahead of cyclists, before almost immediately slowing down to make a turn. From the perspective of the person on a bike this is at best rude, at worst life-threatening. If you’re making a right-hand turn, you might block our path. If you’re making a left-hand turn, you might run us over.
3. Please don’t assume the speed of someone cycling – people cycle at very different speeds. One cyclist might ride at 7 mph, another at 22 mph. You should not assume someone on a bike is travelling slowly.
4. Please be extra vigilant around children – we love drivers who show care and consideration to cyclists. But there’s always room for extra care and consideration when it comes to kids on bikes. They’re learning. They might be playing. Please expect the unexpected.
5. Please be aware that someone on a bike might not know you’re there – especially on a windy day, someone on a bike may well not hear a car approaching from behind. If someone on a bike seems oblivious to your presence, that’s probably because they are! A gentle hoot of the horn should alert them to your presence (in other countries, motorists routinely do this and – especially when it’s accompanied by a good-natured wave, it is appreciated by cyclists).
6. Please respect bike lanes – parking in a bike lane forces someone cycling out into the main stream of traffic, which can be fast-moving. This is particularly scary for novice cyclists.
7. Please always slow right down when entering roundabouts – people on bikes are especially vulnerable at roundabouts (including mini-roundabouts). By taking a roundabout at speed, you risk mowing down someone on a bike.
8. Please respect our right to the road – people on bikes have a right to the road. In making a trip by cycle which might otherwise be made by car, someone on a bike is doing us all a favour. The more people on bikes, the better for everyone.
9. Please do not assume that a car, van or lorry is swifter than a bike. It can be annoying for a cyclist if you overtake only to block the road so the cyclist has to stop and wait behind you.
10. Please play your part in a creating a sustainable, cycle-friendly future – you don’t have to get on a bike to do your bit. You make a difference by the way you drive. Careful driving is cycle-friendly, and your care is appreciated.