Whats the best thing to do in this situation ...

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Sore Thumb, 2 Oct 2007.

  1. Sore Thumb

    Sore Thumb Veteran

    On the way home I have to go along a stretch of road that is double white lined. No problem until now.

    They are starting to do some major works on this road which involves putting in a brand new island.

    They have setup a three way traffic light system which is causing some serious delays in the morning. There can be over 30 cars waiting behind the traffic lights on this stretch of road with the double white lines. There is no paths and its only a single road. If I pass this stationary traffic it sometimes means that I would need to go onto the first white line or even between the white lines. Some cars have even moved over to the right when they see me coming to try and block my way and force me into oncoming traffic. You are unable to filter on the left as there is no room at all.

    So what to do? Do you go a bit on the white lines or just over the first line to get to the front of the queue? or do you sit behind thirty cars and wait you turn? Or maybe something else?

    Does anyone know the legal aspects of cyclists in this sort of position? Just in case I pass a stationary police car in the queue.

    ps. Just to let you know that if I do go to the front of the queue I wait at the lights until it goes green. This is not a RLJ thead.
  2. GrahamG

    GrahamG Veteran

    You're doing nothing wrong - guidance (highway code), I believe says something like you can overtake a slow moving (<10mph?) on a solid white line so needless to say that stationary traffic is not an issue. The drivers doing that are just tossers - if they are near the back of the queue just stop alongside them and initiate conversation... "jesus, this is awful - how long do you reckon you'll be stuck in this?!" before barrelling of with a cocky swagger leaning the bike from side to side as you pick up speed. ;).
  3. Tetedelacourse

    Tetedelacourse New Member

    I'd cross the lines unless stuff was coming the other way, otherwise I'd wait. If you see a driver moving out to block you, swing in and undertake the f*cker.
  4. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Salford, UK
    Hmm. But if it's stationary, I think that alters things a bit, morally at least. What would people feel if a car driver decided to overtake, because traffic was stationary, and butt back in? What's the position at the head of the queue? Can you guarantee that there is room to get back in before the 'wait here' sign?

    So while, yeah, legally, you may have a get-out to go over the line, I'd personally probably lump it and stay in line, unless I could see a clear way past without crossing the line (and if that means adding a few minutes on the commute time, so be it). Yeah, drivers blocking you are being dog-in-the-manger, but is it worth aggro?
  5. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    I'd overtake if it is safe. So long as you can see the road ahead and that there are spaces for you to fit into if need be then I can't see the problem. If a lorry blocks you view of whats ahead then it's probably best to hang back. I've learned that one recently ;);)
  6. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    South London
    I'd wait if it was 5 or less cars, and overtake if it was 30 cars.
  7. Cab

    Cab New Member

    I'm with Arch. It isn't like all that traffic is likely to be moving very quickly the moment the light changes, so I'd stay in primary and stay in the traffic. While, technically, you can overtake over white lines when the traffic is 9mph or less, that doesn't mean that to do so is always reasonable or a good idea.
  8. johnr

    johnr Über Member

    I'm sure someone who knows what they're talking about will post... but, I'm sure I've read on posts here (or the old C+) that it's OK to cross double white lines if it's safe and the vehicle you're overtaking is doing less than 10mph.

    I regularly have to pass lines of stationary and slow moving traffic; About 1-in-10 or 1-in-15 try to push me out into on-coming traffic or into the kerb if I'm using the cycle lane. I tend to slow down if the traffic is moving forwards so I can see them manoever and get round safely.
  9. trustysteed

    trustysteed Guest

    go a different way until the roadworks are complete.
  10. nilling

    nilling Über Member

    Preston, UK
    take care if overtaking and the lights change, if people will not let you in when they are in the queue they are less likely to let you in once traffic starts moving

    you need to be in the primary position for when the lights change and maintain that position until you are safely through the roadworks
  11. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    South London
    That's extremely unlikely nilling. IME drivers are nearly always willing to let you back through to secondary position. I think maybe 1 in 50 or 100 drivers here in London doesn't, in which case the driver behind does.
  12. Cab

    Cab New Member

    If that 1 in 50 or 1 in 100 is a complete git, though, I rekon you're storing up trouble by going down the other side of the solid white lines. Saw one a while ago on Arbury Road in Cambridge, I was walking down that way. He had to wait for the lights to change a couple of times before he could go, the traffic was bumper to bumper. First time he saw a bike, coming down the outside, he pulled out further to get in the way. Next cycle was going down kerb side, he swerved back in to get in the way there too.

    In a situation like the one described, a git like that could very easily get you killed. I rekon I'd stay in the traffic, primary position, and just wait it out.
  13. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    South London
    If you're being a safe and careful rider, the scenario of being killed as you describe is this: "A load of old bollocks" (TM).

    If someone pulls out to block you, that's a separate problem from overtaking the entire queue in that either you wait behind the numpty, or you overtake when safe to do so. If things are really as bad as you describe, which is very unusual, then it's no different from encountering some sort of crazed road rager. It's better just to avoid riding anywhere near them, unlike in your cycle nutter right next to you topic.

    Out of that 1 in 50 or 100, most are normal drivers with a minor and momentary ego problem, and nothing like the kind of lunatic you try to imply every driver is.
  14. Cab

    Cab New Member

    No, I didn't imply that every driver is a nutter, I implied that someone who swerves out or in specifically to block a cyclist from going past is a lunatic. I don't buy the momentary ego problem, someone who does that is simply an idiot.

    Your figure of 1 in 50 or 1 in 100 makes such a motorist seem rather more common than I have ever encountered, I'd add. I filter, as appropriate, on the left or the right, pretty much every day, and motorists who behave like that seem rather less common than you say. I dunno, maybe its a regional thing.

    Picture the scenario in as laid out by the OP. Temporary traffic lights, solid white lines. You try to go past the row of traffic on yon side of the white lines, the traffic lights change. You're looking for a way back in to the traffic, and unfortunately thats when you're going past the idiot. Thats when you'll have an accident.

    Likely to happen often? No. Likely to happen if you're doing this for several months? Yeah, maybe. So I'd stay in the traffic. Stay in primary. Its a safe, appropriate, sensible place to be in this situation.
  15. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    But Cab, I would say that even in this situation your risk of an accident is very small. If you have been careful overtaking when it is safe to do so, the traffic starts moving and one driver doesn't let you in then there should be nothing coming towards you (or at least they are far enough away to see you and react accordingly). You could just wait until the next driver let you in. The chance that two or three drivers wouldn't let you in would be 1 in 125000 at worst (using Bentmikey's worst case figures for three drivers)

    The last resort could be to take a primary position in the oncoming lane. Thus the traffic would have to stop, but if you had overtaken correctly they should have plenty of time to react to your presence. Of course you would become peoples enemy no 1, but you would be safe.

    I suppose this is another reason when overtaking like this to be sure nothing is coming towards you in the other direction. That's a lesson I have learned recently myself.
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