The Times cycling advice is flawed (in my opinion)

Although I welcome and support the Times’s “safe cycling” campaign, I think the advice given in its graphical article is flawed. It looks as though it was put together in a hurry, to be honest.

In particular, I felt the following issues are worthy of concern:

  • In item 3, they misquote the highway code by stating: “leave as much space when overtaking a cyclist as you would when overtaking a car”, which is even more ambiguous than the original HC version: “give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car”. Even the Highway Code version only makes sense if viewed in conjunction with the accompanying picture.
  • In item 5, the advice is very bad. You shouldn’t rely on looking for signs that a door might open; you should assume it will and cycle far enough away that it doesn’t matter.
  • In item 7, the cyclist in the picture is cycling far too close to the bus. They should be in the middle of the lane there. (And the text says nothing about this.)
  • In item 8, the left-turning cyclist should not have moved close to the kerb before turning; they should be in primary position up to and around the turn, until they are clear of the junction.
  • In item 9, the cyclist is riding too close to the kerb; they should be about 1 metre away, and even further out if there is a pedestrian there. (And the text says nothing about this.)
  • I am also a bit suspicious of the stopping distances in item 11. They seem too short to me, though I haven’t checked them out; I will look into that when I have more time

I do think that there are also lots of issues that could have been included in there but haven’t been. It might have been better for them to refer to existing material that is available on the internet.

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