Can I Drive in a Cycle Lane?

Before you ask yourself, ‘can I drive in a cycle lane’, you should question whether you really need to. Cycle lanes are for bicycle riders (not motorcycles and mopeds). But can drivers enter them?

Broken White Line

If the cycle lane has a broken (dotted) line along its border, this means it is a ‘recommended’ cycle lane. Drivers can enter this lane if absolutely necessary, but they should not do so without good reason.

Motorists should always be aware of any rider who may be coming up on the inside and to allow them to let them pass first.

Solid White Line

If a cycle lane has a solid white border however; the rules are different. Similar to the rules regarding solid white lines along the centre of a road, you may cross these to turn into a driveway or side road. But you MUST NOT drive along the cycle lane even if only for a short distance. The Highway Code Rule 140 makes it quite clear that you would be committing an offence were you to do so.

A cycle lane such as this may also have a time plate showing that it only operates during certain times. Outside of these times then drivers can use it as normal.

Blocking Cycle Lanes

The first photo shows an inconsiderate driver waiting at lights. There is plenty of space available but for some reason they have positioned well to the left. You can see that they have needlessly obstructed the cycle lane in a way which will cause problems for anyone trying to ride past.

drive in a cycle lane  cycle lane

The second photo shows a similar situation. But this time the drivers are guilty of behaving like sheep. The lead driver has stopped at a slight angle. The second driver has pulled up behind them and copied their position, and everyone else has done the same.

As the queue gets longer, eventually the angle means that the last driver is now encroaching into the cycle lane. Their wheels are on the line, but the nearside door mirror could easily catch the arm of a passing rider. Again there is no need at all for the driver to be in this position. Think for yourself and rather than copying what the person in front does, make sure that you stop in the middle of your lane and leave room for those bikes on your left!

Cycling Safety

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