Using the 'wrong' lane...

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Maz, 30 Oct 2007.

  1. Maz

    Maz Legendary Member

    On my way back from work there's a 3-way RAB. I need to turn right. On the approach to the RAB there are 2 lanes: Left lane for straight (to supermarket only), Right lane for turning right.

    My lane is usually v.slow moving, but the left lane is free. I've seen a few cyclists take the left lane to make a right turn, making far better progress than me. It's very tempting...

    Does anyone else do this? Seems OK, right? Right?
  2. As long as your doing it safely I don't see a problem with it. On RAB's I usually just do whatever is safest.
  3. From the online Highway Code


    You may feel safer walking your cycle round on the pavement or verge. If you decide to ride round keeping to the left-hand lane you should

    * be aware that drivers may not easily see you
    * take extra care when cycling across exits. You may need to signal right to show you are not leaving the roundabout
    * watch out for vehicles crossing your path to leave or join the roundabout
  4. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    do what ever you feel safe. yes ok to be in left then move out near rab. what's the traffic like on the rab as they are usually hard work for bikes - I tend to sprint round them so that i'm going at similar speeds to the cars.
  5. OP

    Maz Legendary Member

    Traffic is sluggish, so speed is not a problem. There's also a ped-xing the other side of the RAB, which also slows the traffic down.
  6. If you can easily keep up with the traffic, I'd advise using the right lane. That puts you where drivers expect. Staying in the left, while legal, puts you in conflict with drivers at every exit, and the dozy ones won't be expecting you to cross their paths.
  7. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    as long as you watch out for people coming out of the supermarket and there's enough space between the bit of the queue that is just about to exit the roundabout and the kerb, then fine. But obviously don't go in secondary position, in the left lane - as you could get overtaken by someone going into the supermarket and thus cut up.
  8. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    South London
    I would almost certainly pass the queuing traffic to turn right. Exactly how would depend on the specific situation, but I wouldn't rule out the left hand lane. It's a bit naughty, though. I'd prefer to overtake if there's room.
  9. OP

    Maz Legendary Member

    Thanks for the replies. I think I'll give it a try sometime.
    I find the HC rule (If you decide to ride round keeping to the left-hand lane...) a bit weird if applied to a major RAB, but it's in my favour for this particular RAB.
  10. Cab

    Cab New Member

    Generally thats what I'd do, although of course I might do things differently at some roundabouts. Theres one roundabout where I really fear to turn right, I've had such trouble turning off with petrol headed morons roaring past me while I'm trying to indicate to get off the roundabout. I've been known to take that one in a strongly defensive primary position in the outside lane.
  11. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    Yes it is probably fine. Just make sure you keep an eye on the right turning traffic as you pass it. It is possible that one of them might have the same idea and pull out on to you (or they might just remember that they need to pop to the supermarket!). Unlikely but worth bearing in mind.
  12. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    South London
    You guys need to read the specifics of Maz's situation.
  13. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    I'm very lucky (I think) that I have only one roundabout on my commute, that can be bypassed using a cyclepathed underpass. My preference in your situation would be to ride in the "correct" lane, in the flow of traffic (i.e. in primary) I reckon, although I've no real world experience of the situation you're dealing with.
  14. Cab

    Cab New Member

    I have, which is why I said that I'd normally stick in my own lane but there are roundabouts where I'd be tempted to behave the same way as some of the other cyclists he watches there.
  15. ChrisW

    ChrisW Senior Member

    Is there really a right or wrong answer here?

    It all depends on Maz's speed, ability and confidence plus how he asses the situation at any one time given his knowledge fo the junction.

    I know if i did it first time, i'd take the easy/safe option. However on my three roundabuts on my route in, one i take very cautiously as i know its a mini-roundabout and i have to turn right...nasty!

    The other two are Tibbet's Corner (easy peasy) and Hyde Park Corner, yikes! Round HPC you just have to go as fast as possible and keep looking behind you as cars go much too fast round there.

    Maz, just stay safe. Did you give blood by the way?
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