Gutter riding - Road Cycling UK

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Gutter riding

This from the CTC:

A cyclist who was prosecuted for obstructing the highway, whilst cycling in accordance with the National Standard for cycle training, has today been found guilty by a District Judge in Telford Magistrates Court and fined £100 with £200 costs.

CTC member Daniel Cadden was cycling fast downhill on a single-lane approach to a roundabout when he was stopped by police who believed that the position he had taken in the centre of his lane was forcing cars to cross the solid white line in the centre of the road illegally in order to overtake. But rather than stop the cars that had broken the law, the officers decided to charge Daniel Cadden with obstructing the highway.

Cyclecraft, the book published by The Stationery Office on skilled riding techniques, states: “The primary riding position (the centre of one’s lane) should be your normal riding position when you can keep up with traffic, or when you need to prevent following drivers from passing you dangerously.”

CTC Director, Kevin Mayne, said “The police at the scene said that Daniel should have been cycling well over to the left – effectively in the gutter – but the judge felt that Daniel should have crossed three lanes of busy traffic and used a segregated cycle track to save fractions of seconds off the journey times of a few motorists. CTC continues to fight a re-draft of the Highway Code, which says cyclists ‘should use cycle paths where provided’, in order to tackle the attitude, held by many people in the judiciary, police and public alike, that cyclists should be out of the way of motorists.”

Daniel Cadden was supported in his defence by the Cyclists’ Defence Fund (CDF), the independent charity which was founded by CTC to provide cyclists with support in legal cases. The CDF paid for John Franklin, author of ‘Cyclecraft’, to appear as an expert witness for the defence.

Chair of the CDF, Colin Langdon, said: “This is an extremely regrettable judgement and I fully expect it to be contestable. Daniel Cadden clearly needs to take legal advice about the options open to him. However, this is exactly the sort of case for which the Fund is always in need of donations, so that we can defend the rights of cyclists as road users and more generally to raise awareness of cyclists’ position in law.”

To donate money to the Cyclists’ Defence Fund, go to www.cyclistsdefencefund.org.uk

Or join the CTC here: www.ctc.org.uk

Whis is this such big news? Well there is so much pressure from the pro-car lobby on cyclists to ‘use the lanes provided’ this could be used in future as a test case scenario. Let us know what you think in the forum.

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