There is a nice wide cycle lane heading north on Blackfriars Bridge.
I was making the most of being allowed in the bus lane going over the bridge. Grateful or the fact that it was not such a chore, as with the previous filtering up the bridge, that was necessary in heavy traffic. Towards the end of the bridge, at the lights were a few taxis and not enough clearance to filter through to the front. So I took up position, looking for a space to filter up when it opened.
So there I was, thinking how great this bus lane opening malarky is; when about four or so bikes and scooters, decided to shoot up the cycle lane. They probably only encroached it for about twenty odd metres, to the lights; but I was still left wondering if this was going to do us bikers any favours. A case of give them an inch and they take a mile? Previously you would never see bikes in the cycle lane, as the bus lane restrictions acted as a buffer.
I agree with the other comments. This is bad news for bikers.
I agree there is the sweet irony in cyclists complaining about bikes are ignoring the traffic laws but it will do us no good. It will invite a clampdown on all bikes that will affect all of us not just the idiots who do these kind of things.
I would also add offsiding traffic bollards - I have seen riders doing it even when there is not a queue of traffic. It is dangerous and understandably drives other road users mad.
(Thinking back to recent “discussion” on motorway behaviour) “I didn’t buy a bike to sit in traffic”, “I don’t care what my actions make other road users think of bikes”, “I’m a rebel”, etc. Whereas, hey presto! on this thread everyone’s coming over all responsible. How quickly times change…
Personally, I think it’s just stupid to ride in cycle lanes. Putting the legality of it to one side for a second, I like to plan my ride so that I avoid cyclists, since a fair proportion of them seem to want to throw themselves into my path without so much as backward glance or, god forbid, a hand signal.
See now i use the cycle box at the lights as well… no surprise eh but purely so i can make progress without getting squeezed when the cagers move off. Surely its all about reducing congestion and making progress thats why we ride bikes…no?
[oldguy] I think that there are two types of cyle lane marking: ones with a solid line (don’t enter) and ones with a broken line (which, I think mean that you can enter if you need to and if they are empty).
But, basically, since they’re on the pavement side of the road, wtf would you want to be there for anyway?
I use the Northbound lanes of Blackfriars Bridge all the time and it’s an especially wide cycle lane, the cyclists also have a habit of using the width to assert themselves by creating a constant flow… they race towards the green light and refuse to yield, to vehicles that wish to turn left. One morning I was alongside a girl on a bicycle who was also turning left, there can’t have been more than a metre between us and some muppet on a racing bike shot between us!
Regardless, that cycle lane has a solid white line… it’s legally their space and using it is asking for trouble… the scooterist do seem to be the worst offenders.
The penalty for driving in a cycle lane is £30 (it’s non endorsable), but watch out TFL & the London Boroughs want to make this £120 and enforce it via CCTV. They also want to do the same for Advanced Stop Lines (Cycle boxes) which would mean getting a £120 fine and 3 points in the post when you enter it.