illustration If there is a cycle lane on, or an adjacent cycleway beside, the main roadway, you must ride on it and not on any other part of the roadway.

If there is a footpath and cycleway side by side then you must ride on the cycleway. Look out for any pedestrians, particularly small children, who may step or run onto the cycleway without looking.

When riding on cycleways you must follow the rules and advice that apply to you on normal roads. Cycleways are roads -- but motor vehicles are generally not permitted to enter and use cycleways.

Keep to the left of the cycleway and allow other cyclists to pass you on the right. Overtake only on the right.

Look out for pedestrians on or crossing the cycleway, or persons working or carrying out other activities near the cycleway. They may not see or hear you coming.

Be prepared for vehicles crossing or entering the cycleway.

Ride only in the direction indicated by traffic signs and road markings. If the backs of the traffic signs are facing you, you are riding the wrong way. On a two-way cycleway keep to the left.

Be prepared to stop and give way to other cyclists at junctions with other cycleways.

End of cycleway

A traffic sign or road marking may indicate the end of a cycleway. You will usually have to join or return to the normal road and ride with other traffic. Be prepared to give way to traffic on the normal road. Look over your shoulder and wait for a safe gap in the traffic.

Crossing light rail vehicle tracks

A cycle route may cross a light rail track. Where it does so, you must get off your cycle and wheel it across the track using the 'Green man' crossing at a designated crossing point. You must obey the traffic lights. Do not cross until the steady 'Green man' shows.

Crossing roads

A cycle route may cross a road with normal traffic, vehicles will be travelling at normal speeds and drivers may not be alert and prepared for cyclists. There may be a cycle crossing place or you may be ordered or advised to get off your cycle and use a nearby pedestrian crossing place.

You may either ride across the road or get off your cycle and wheel your cycle across the road. The choice depends upon your riding experience and the traffic conditions, unless a traffic sign indicates you must dismount.

If you ride across, give way to pedestrians and traffic and follow the advice given on page 32.

If you wheel your cycle across follow the advice on crossing the road given in chapter 2 for pedestrians; but allow yourself more time and room to wheel and handle your cycle safely.

Road Sign

Regulatory sign indicating that you must get off your cycle and wheel it across the road by using the pedestrian crossing

If the cycle route alongside a road crosses another road at a road junction then follow the above advice but look out for turning vehicles, particularly from behind. You must obey any traffic lights, traffic signs or road markings that apply to you or to all traffic. If the traffic on the normal road is controlled by traffic lights, and you are not, then do not cross the road until the traffic light for the traffic alongside you is green and it is safe for you to cross -- but look out for turning traffic.

illustration
Road markings and regulatory sign marking a combined footpath and cycleway.
Road Sign
The sign indicates which side must be used by cyclists and which side must be used by pedestrians. No other road users are permitted. The sign shown indicates that cyclists must keep to the right-hand side and pedestrians to the left-hand side.

Wheeling your cycle

You may find it necessary or desirable to get off and wheel your cycle along, particularly if the traffic conditions are such that you do not feel safe to ride with the traffic or you may find it impossible to do so.

If you wheel your cycle along do keep proper control of your cycle by pushing your cycle with both hands on the handlebars and use the brakes if necessary.

If you are wheeling your cycle on the road then keep as close to the side of the road as possible and keep your cycle between you and the traffic. Follow the rules and advice as if you are riding on the road.

If you are wheeling your cycle on the pavement, verge or footpath then follow the rules and advice for pedestrians given in chapter 2, particularly the advice given on page 21 for pedestrians with handcarts or trolleys.

Cycle parking

Road SignThe rules and advice for the parking of vehicles generally applies to cycles. In urban areas, you may only park your cycle in a parking place designated for pedal cycles. However you may leave your cycle on a pavement, footpath or verge if you are sure your cycle would not cause any obstruction to pedestrians, would not cause any danger, for example by forcing pedestrians to step onto the road, and does not make it more difficult for others to see clearly.

 

It is a good idea to lock your cycle to prevent it from being taken away and to take with you any objects or attachments that can be easily removed.

Road SignDirection sign showing the route for cyclists