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Westminster bridge approach (London)

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by leoc, 2 Apr 2008.

  1. leoc

    leoc New Member

    Location:
    London
    Cars (esp. cabs, but they make up a fair proportion of the traffic here) seem to use the left hand filter lane to undertake me going east on the Westminster bridge approach (pic attached) quite a lot. They usually swerve back in to the lane I'm in before the island/bollards and go across the bridge, which means I have to brake hard to avoid them ;) . I usually take the lane here (primary) and I'm not going particularly slowly, so any advice on positioning, etc. from the experts to make this less likely please?
     
  2. ChrisW

    ChrisW Senior Member

    Leoc,

    It is really difficult to advise as conditions will always vary, we won't know your skills or speed etc...

    With that proviso, one possiblity is to take the primary position in the left hand lane then as you approach the island/bollards and white box, indicate right, and ride on the lefthand side of the middle (?) lane.

    You should then be nicely in position to ease over to the bus lane that i think is there for a nice safe journey across the bridge ;)

    Chris
     
  3. OP
    OP
    leoc

    leoc New Member

    Location:
    London
    I see (I think), so I use the left hand filter lane, and then merge right to go over the bridge, thus blocking the undertaking. I'd technically be using the wrong lane though wouldn't I (though may be safer for doing so)?
     
  4. ChrisW

    ChrisW Senior Member

    Yep, that's my suggestion.

    Every now and then you will have a car right behind you wanting to turn left down Embankment (i turned left on my bike there for years, to go down Embankment).

    My guess is though that it will be safer than having trafiic cut you up.

    Best of luck!
     
  5. OP
    OP
    leoc

    leoc New Member

    Location:
    London
    Thanks v. much ;)
     
  6. jmaccyd

    jmaccyd Well-Known Member

    Yes, if I am thinking of the correct way you are going from Parliament Square towards Westminster Bridge. From Parliament Square there are more lanes of traffic that get squeezed into a smaller number of lanes for progress over the bridge or the left turn down the Embankment. Combined with the Le Mans type start at the Parliament Square lights it can be an intimidiating piece of road on a bike.

    Adopting a good lane position is the key as the other poster said (the 2 or 3 lane in Parl Sq), and holding your position in the middle of that lane. If you are not that confident just ride into Whitehall do a quick u turn there and go left at those lights when the main bunch of the offending traffic is stopped on red.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    leoc

    leoc New Member

    Location:
    London
    Yes, that's the place

    This is what I thought I was doing. I take lane 2 in primary, but cars come up lane 1 (left turn, only) and then cut in front of me to go over the bridge which can be unnerving. That's why Chris suggested using lane 1 (which would be the wrong lane for the bridge) and then negotiating into lane 2 at the bollards (I think:smile:) so I wouldn't get cut up at the last minute.
     
  8. jmaccyd

    jmaccyd Well-Known Member

    Yep thats fine, so stick in the middle of that left lane, get good eye contact with the vehicle you intend to 'turn across' and give a good strong right turn signal. The only thing to watch is that the single left turn lane into the Embankment has become an unofficial double left turn lane. So just watch for two vehicles doing that left from the two left side lanes.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    leoc

    leoc New Member

    Location:
    London
    I'll try that next time. Cheers, Leo
     
  10. Jacomus-rides-Gen

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Location:
    Guildford / London
    loec - I used to ride that every day last year, and only had somone do that to me once that I remember, when you say "not particularly slowly" how not particularly slow do you mean?

    I used be doing around 30mph at this junction, and would use the RH lane if I could keep pace with traffic, and strong primary (i.e. RH wheeltrack) of the LH lane if I felt I couldn't use the RH lane.

    Knowing the junction well, I can't advise strongly enough against using the filter lane. Seriously, don't use it. Getting back into the traffic flow will be very dangerous, and no-one is going to let you in. Not to mention the speed that trucks scream down that filter lane.

    Stick in strong primary - RH wheel track of the LH lane, and be ready with the brakes.

    A trick I learned is to tailgate the car infront of you through this section - you get a draft and people don't try to push in.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    leoc

    leoc New Member

    Location:
    London
  12. zimzum42

    zimzum42 Legendary Member

    Don't go in the left lane then try to push accross, that's a messy way to do it. Get right over to the right hand side and stay there, even if you have to stay in the middle all the way over the bridge......

    If you get a chance to swing to the left when on the bridge, all good, but until then just stay on the right and avoid conflict, and ride as fast as you can.....

    Basically, ride aggressively, it's the only thing they understand/respect