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United Kingdom (UK) - Cycling

The United Kingdom has seen increasing reports of cyclists being harmed over the past few years, which can make people reticent to travel by bicycle. However, cycling can be an efficient mode of transport, particularly in cities, where traffic is heavy. It is a cost-effective means of transportation that is becoming increasingly popular. The United Kingdom has many planned-out routes for cyclists. There is a list of rules for drivers and cyclists when it comes to the infrastructure of roadways, cycle paths, and cycle routes. These rules are listed under 59 to 82 in the Highway Code.

Rules for Cyclists

• Clothing should include a helmet that conforms to current UK regulations. Clothing should be kept away from the chain and wheels, and should not obscure any lighting on the bike. In the dark, proper reflective clothing and accessories should be used.

• Cyclists can ride on most roads in the United Kingdom, however at night the bicycle needs to have white front and red rear lights, and must conform to the 1/10/85 regulations.

• When there are cycle routes one should use these rather than the road or sidewalk (pavement). It is important to use the advanced stop lines, pelican crossings, and cycle boxes on the cycle routes.

• Cycle paths are generally on the road, but sometimes they may run along the pavement or footpath. Cyclists and pedestrians sometimes need to share the same space. If there are segregated tracks, cyclists must remain on their designated side at all times.

• Cycle lanes are always clearly marked in the United Kingdom with white lines.

• According to Law HA1835 s. 72 and R(S)A 1984, s. 129 a cyclist must not cycle on a pavement. This is most important in cities.

• Cyclists are allowed to rise in some bus lanes. This will be indicated by signs along the lane.

• Under rule 66, cyclists must keep both hands on the handlebars, keep their feet on the pedals, and ride single file or in twos. Caution should always be taken when riding a bicycle.

• When turning or stopping, hand signals should be used, and one should always be careful to look around for cars, curbs, obstructions, and other issues that could cause an accident.

• Like cars, bicycles must be ridden on the left hand side of the road, and cyclists must also stop at traffic lights.

Cyclist Training

There are now training courses in the United Kingdom due to the popularity of using bikes in major cities. With the need to reduce pollution, be economical, and save money on petrol and driving fees, many individuals have switched to using bikes and public transportation in the United Kingdom.

Due to the high number of accidents with large vehicle haulers, a cyclist training course has been implemented throughout England. The course has been overviewed by the government and advertising campaigns are frequently run to encourage more people to sign up.

The training program is designed to teach riders about the road rules for cyclists in a variety of situations. The program pays particular attention to large goods vehicles due to the multiple blind spots of delivery lorries.

Many rules stipulate that a cyclist should give way to a large goods vehicle, as well as steer clear of riding near one on the road whenever possible.

Cycling for Commuting versus Exercise

Most of the rules about cycling are for those who use their cycles to commute during the week. However, there are some rules for exercising when not using a main city road or street. Some parks offer cycle paths for those who wish to exercise. These paths are often shared with pedestrians and therefore require rules to be followed for both segregated and common pathways.

Cyclists should not use any trail clearly marked for horses, unless there are signs to indicate that cycles and/or foot traffic are also allowed. There are always clear signs for cyclists to follow.

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