Who has right of way?

Discussion in 'Advocacy and Cycling Safety' started by totallyfixed, 28 Sep 2015.

  1. Following on from the cycle path question, who has right of way where a cycle path runs alongside a main road and is intersected by minor roads / driveways, logically it ought to be the cyclist who is continuing straight on, whereas a vehicle approaching the main road from one of the minor roads or leaving a driveway has to be slowing down / stopping anyway.
    If there are no give way markings on either the road or the cycle path and there is no law written down describing this situation, then surely the vehicle gives way to the bike as this is the more vulnerable road user. Not to mention it ought to be common sense too.
    How I wish we would adopt the Dutch system of painted white "sharks teeth" that clearly denote who has to give way, in the situation described above it would always be the vehicle.
    I have a feeling that cyclists defer to cars just because it has always been thus, that plus a certain amount of intimidation. Might be it is time to test / change the law if one exists.
  2. Drago

    Drago Guru

    There is no such thing as "right of way".

    There is only "priority", and that's a commodity that one should give to others, not risk their own safety to take.

    And the practical reality is that the person with the deadliest vehicle has priority
    Han69, S_t_e_v_e, Pat "5mph" and 3 others like this.
  3. PeteXXX

    PeteXXX Cake or ice cream? The choice is endless ...

    Yes and no, Drago... (Hey! that rhymes)
    Today, I gave way to a squirrel because:-
    It was in my path..
    It wouldn't know what a bike is..
    It was furry, and I'm not..
    If I'd have hit it, I'd have likely exited my bicycle 'stage left'.
    Hill Wimp, Pat "5mph" and Drago like this.
  4. winjim

    winjim A youth of interminable age

    On the newly remodelled Penistone Road, they've put little advance give ways at all the junctions which cross the shared use path, to try and give cyclists the priority all the way through. I wouldn't trust drivers to use them properly though, I'll keep on using the road thanks.
    Ian H and Drago like this.
  5. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    It depends on markings, else pedestrians walking over the cycle path have priority over motorists but cyclists and motorists have equal priority: in theory, first come first served, but in practice, deadliest wins :sad: This anomaly really ought to be fixed if the government is serious about promoting cycling.

    Local culture may influence it: most West Norfolk motorists will give way to cycles on a cycle path, including reversing back if emerging and there's no gap on the major road.
  6. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    No, don't trust them, but I'd usually trust myself to spot and avoid the few conflicting nobbers rather than trust all the motorists on the road to overtake properly although we're comparing two rather improbable events.
    winjim likes this.
  7. So there is no written law regarding this? If there is a collision [assuming no markings] who is liable. Calling @CopperCyclist and @Vikeonabike.
  8. winjim

    winjim A youth of interminable age

    I just find it easier on the road. With all the junctions on the path it's like you need to be constantly looking in three directions at once. I think the road's safer. Mind you, I ride at a fair pace and I'm pretty confident in traffic so it's nice to have the path there for people who are less so. Except the bit where the car showroom park their cars all over it. And the bit where it disappears behind some workshops so you have to go on the road past the sex shop. And the bit by Wickes where there's no crossing phase on the traffic lights so you just have to chance it. And the bit by Kelham Island where it's contraflow round a blind bend off the main carriageway. And the bits where the tactile paving runs parallel to the direction of travel so it becomes a hazard. Et cetera.
    raleighnut and jarlrmai like this.
  9. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    There may be case law, which you might find by fishing around on www.bailii.org but all civil disputes may have been settled out of court and I don't think the Motor Insurance Bureau publishes many details.
  10. Yes, most of the time we use the road except when busy and loaded up with shopping. I was really thinking about the leisure cyclist and young children. Surely there have been incidents before now that have been investigated.
  11. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    Well, yes, if they've used the lethal Richmond-style junction layout where you need to look three ways at once (left, right and behind) and made all the other screwups you've mentioned, I can understand remaining on the road... but again, it SHOULDN'T be that way. When will government (various levels) stop micturating money up the wall and build stuff right most times, like they do for motorists?

    Not really. Less confident cyclists don't like obstacle courses either, but their alternative is probably motoring, rather than cycling on the carriageway. Help them by flaming the councils for the construction errors ;)
    Pat "5mph" likes this.
  12. winjim

    winjim A youth of interminable age

    At least they got rid of this abomination!

    I think the latest remodelling was actually funded by Sainsbury as part of the planning permission for their new store. They have put in additional shared use path on the other side of the road, and a bus lane which is good, although some of the cycle path does want to put you on the nearside of left turning traffic.
    mjr likes this.
  13. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    :banghead: but at least they can't easily make cycle paths compulsary while they're building such absurdities!
    winjim likes this.
  14. ufkacbln

    ufkacbln Guest

    For interest from the Highway Code:

    The document does not mention cyclists in the same way, but logically the same priority should exist
    raleighnut likes this.
  15. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Moderator

    One cycle path I use has a raised table and sharks teeth where it crosses the road, and I have to say I think the cars have always given way to me there. To me that shows if it's done properly then motorists can learn and do respect it.

    Other than that cycle path, the ones I use I generally have to give way at junctions (I don't use any with lots of drives), though they have recently installed new lights on one junction which means if it can it turns on the green cycle light as it detects you approaching, which is nice knowing if a car comes around the corner they will get a red light (whereas in the past I just took my chances rather than stopping and pressing a button). I like this idea and hope they extend it to other junctions.
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