Going the wrong side of an island...

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Maz, 16 Jan 2008.

  1. Maz

    Maz Legendary Member

    A few flooded roads this morning.

    To get past standing traffic I went the wrong side of one of those island things (ped halfway stopping points) in the middle of the road. The car I overtook beeped as though I'd done something wrong. I think maybe he was frustrated at being stuck in traffic.

    You can go the wrong side of these things, right?
  2. LOGAN 5

    LOGAN 5 New Member


    Though cars have done that to overtake me on occasions if there's nothing coming the other way.
  3. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    It's rather bad form as naughty goes

    I do it every now and then if it's very safe and there's 'no alternative'

    You gots to watch for peds and oncoming traffic, neither of whom will be looking for you overly
  4. JamesAC

    JamesAC Senior Member

    Is there a bloody great bollard with a blue arrow on a white backgound indicating you should keep left?

    Then no.
  5. benjus

    benjus New Member

    They usually have a "Keep left" sign on them don't they? Having said that, if the drivers aren't leaving space for me to pass and there's nothing coming on the other side, I don't see the problem. I've never had anyone beep me for it.
  6. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    South London
    If there's a keep left arrow, then it's illegal. I'm not sure what the case is if there's just an island and no arrow, but it would still not be very good. I do go the wrong side myself very occasionally, but I'd be the first to admit it's wrong. Nearly all the time I'll wait until a gap opens up and I can do it legally.
  7. yello

    yello Legendary Member

    Someone told me that it was illegal though I've haven't found out for sure.

    I can't see why it should always be though. In some circumstances, yes, but how is it any different to overtaking? You use the opposite carriage way for that. Perhaps it depends on the road markings and the purpose of the island. You can't overtake on a pedestrian crossing for instance so I doubt you could go around the wrong side of a pedestrian island.
  8. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    I will stick my neck out and say that I don't think it is illegal if there is no specific keep left marking. In fact if there is no such marking and the traffic on the left is queued up and there is nothing oncoming then it is to be encouraged that two wheelers make use of this in order to not add to the congestion in the left hand lane.
  9. OP

    Maz Legendary Member

    Oops. I need to check on the way back tonight if there was a keep left sign or not.

    In my defence, I normally ride in primary at that point. Today, though, traffic was at a standstill as the road ahead was flooded. I did check for peds and oncoming traffic before going round the island.
  10. biking_fox

    biking_fox Veteran

    I haven't seen one without a keep left sign / arrow. SO I suspect it is wrong to use the other lane.

    Regarding "but how is it any different to overtaking? " It is generally a contravension of the highway code to overtake in build up areas, hence also wrong.

    Probably no more wrong than cars stopping in an ASL, speeding etc etc, but two wrongs don't make a right.

    Whether or not it is actively dangerous depends on the precise circumstances at the time / location.

    I'd probably either wait, or push my bike along the pavement until I could rejoin the road, and then continue on my way undercutting all the cars, which is also wrong, and slightly dangerous.
  11. yello

    yello Legendary Member

    Have you a reference for that? A safety rule-of-thumb perhaps but clearly there are instances where it becomes necessary, so I'd be very surprised if it were illegal out right. Otherwise there'd be a procession of vehicles after every milk float!
  12. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Salford, UK
    I think if we saw a car doing it, as some of us have, we'd be down on them like a tonne of bricks, and I don't think a bike should be any different. If you really couldn't get through, you ought to have dismounted and walked round.
  13. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Moderator

    I was approaching one of those traffic islands last week, uphill ... very slowly, when I suddenly notice a cement lorry coming towards me on my side of the traffic island. It really startled me for a few seconds, was starting to think rude comments that I would like to shout at him when I looked across to see that some prat had decided to park his car on the brow of the hill by the traffic island and had caused a huge tail back as cars could only just squeeze past, anything bigger no chance! I guess those circumstances called for him to go the wrong side. How flooded was it on your side?
  14. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    What about if there was an obstruction, would it be okay to go around then or just wait? I suggest that if things were really as rigid as you make out no one would ever get anywhere. I personally would not come down on someone in a car who did that, unless they did it dangerously.
  15. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    Maz, I do it occasionally as well - standing traffic, no folk on foot, no cars coming for 500 yards in the opposite direction - just nip round the odd one near home and the bloody things on Manchester Road between Cheadle and Pars Wood (South Manchester) - John the Monkey knows these well as it's a go primary on a fast road or get squeezed ! I'll only do it if there is standing traffic and nothing coming the other way.
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