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whats the law for riding 2 abreast

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tonythegreek 21 May 14:27  

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i have been getting some comments about me and my friend riding two abreast (on quiet country roads)
i was told that it was legal to do so,but now i am thinking IS IT?
nothing i can see in the highway code
am i abiding or breaking the law
please help!



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RobBeck 21 May 20:13  

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Hi Tony, i have been asked by passing plod not to do this but to the best of my knowledge and understang, it is not against the law but it is not safe to ride two abreast and the police will ask you not to do so as this does cause and inconvience to other road users. i hope this helps. PS if i am wrong i stand corrected

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happy 21 May 23:29  

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On certain busy roads I sometimes feel safer riding 2 abreast. Cars pass you far too fast. If anything its good to go 2 abreast to force them to slow down, then once they have move into single file to allow them to pass. Hopefully by that point they wont try and whizz pass leaving you no room.

Seems to work most of the time, but specifically above is actually illegal. They say on busy roads you should always ride single file, but otherwise 2 abreast is ok.

Highway Code for Cyclists


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tonythegreek 22 May 16:24  

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thanks for the info robbeck and happy
i know most of its common sense but now i know i am not going to get a fixed penalty or something like that
the website is interesting
cheers for that


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Patt 24 May 20:10  

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We've been pulled over for riding 2 abreast before on a main road when there's been solid white lines in the middle of the road meaning cars couldnt overtake us. Fair enough I guess.

I dont tend to worry about the laws per se, more if Im causing an obstruction to motorists behind encouraging them to take risks trying to get past me. If I am I will see that we single out for a bit.


roseycheeks 25 May 12:20  

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I work for a construction company and we are based by the side of a fairly busy road. I have noticed lately that there seems to be an increase in cyclists using this road. There is also a definate increase in the amount of dual cycling on this road and this does not seem to cause any problems to drivers. I think it is all about the "common Sense" approach. Pam


tonythegreek 26 May 16:16  

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hi pat just been reading the law about double solid lines and you can overtake slowmoving vehicles legally
if it wasnt legal think of the queue you would build up
(i would do a circuler route just to P them Off) LOL

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Patt 26 May 22:23  

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Thanks Tony I will look into this then as there are loads of solid white line roads around here


yram9 23 Jun 16:30  

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No sorry -its extremely rude to other road users. I travelled 15 mins behind two cyclists today who wouldn't pull in to let me (and others) pass. Further behind me was a police car who eventually caught up with them.


shnuggs 30 Jul 14:41  

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I am a serving police officer as well as a keen roadie and can confirm there is no law preventing riding two abreast, it just comes down to common sense and courtesy. Two cyclists riding alongside each other should really pose no different an obstacle than a roadsweeping vehicle or a milk float, these vehicles take up similar road space and at similar speeds but do not have the abbiltiy to suddenly thin out to let others pass as we do.

The law permits solid white lines to be transgressed in order to pass vehicles not exceeding 15mph (us most of the time!) But in the case of yram being caught behind a pair of cyclists for 15 mins, that is a bit lacking in regard for other road users and I too would have been having a well worded chat with the culprits.

The problem we all have to acknowledge is that the narrow strecth of asphalt we are trying to navigate is there for use by cyclists, motorists, horses, farm vehicles and in some cases pedestrians too; no-one has expressed right of way over the other and in order for the roads to flow freely we all need to show consideration to each other.

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dudley 31 Jul 07:19  

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nicely put, Officer!

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wolfboy 02 Aug 23:20  

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Hi, I'm new to the forum. When my son started cycling in the road, we didn't ride two abreast, but I did ride behind him and further out into the road. In my experience most cars go to close and by positioning my self in this way, even if the cars went close to me, there would be a reasonable gap as they passed my son.

Sometimes it's not just a about the law, but doing what you have to be safe.


happy 02 Aug 23:50  

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@wolfboy

Yeah I agree, if I go cycling with my wife I do exactly the same. Without endagering myself or the road users, I position myself further out than usual to make sure there is plenty of room for not only when the car passes both of us, but also incase there is a drain e.t.c. that we have to swerve around.

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wolfboy 03 Aug 10:02  

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Given the scenario you have just described, you would think it would be obvious to car drivers why we are positioned that way. But they don't seem to get it! Are the only car driver that give you space the ones that are cyclists too! I have noticed that when driving, if I take an exaggerated path around a cyclist, the cars behind follow like sheep!

Woolfboy


Dizzybird 02 Oct 00:13  

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Yes cycling two abreast is fine, however, as discussed previously it can cause problems to following traffic. If the cyclists involved do not move into single file where appropriate then the offence of cycling without due care and consideration to other road users seems appropriate. The Police should not have to resort to reporting anyone though, use that most rare of things "common sense," and everyone can get along.


ravc 24 Jan 10:20  

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I think riding two abreast is totally out of order. First I have a car and a bike that’s worth around two grand (sorry not showing off just giving you an example of how dedicated to cycling I am). The problem with cyclists is that they get very sanctimonious about the fact they are 'environmentally' sound and all cars are evil etc. But in truth break just about every law on the road. I beeped two cyclists’ today riding two abreast on a very busy road. There was absolutely no reason for them to be doing this. I watched them chatting away and looking at each other (hardly a safe thing to do when you are supposed to be concentrating on the road ahead). Riding two abreast should be made illegal. They were riding no faster than 15 miles per hour causing a traffic tailback.




nerostjames 02 Oct 15:10  

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Riding two abreast shouldn't be a problem providing cyclists use common sense and show courtesy to other road users, if the road is quiet no problem, if there's traffic about getting into single file is the way to go.
Unfortunately it's the morons who deliberately stay two or even three abreast, and refuse to get into single file when they know traffic is behind that ruin the cyclists reputation amongst other road users.
I'm a regular cyclist and it makes me cringe when I see selfish groups of riders, deliberately hogging the road, when showing a bit of consideration to other road users should be the way to go!!


cyclinglawyer 23 Nov 19:40  

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On the vast majority of roads if it is safe to pass a single cyclist, it is safe to pass cyclists two abreast. Official government advice is to ride in the centre of the left lane or at least 1 metre from the road edge.. If there is something coming the other way it is not possible to overtake in accordance with HC r 163; if there is nothing coming the other way, motor vehcile can move into the other lane and pass. You do have to be very careful that you do not, by singling out, encourage an unsafe pass when the other lane is not clear.


mamil 30 Nov 09:13  

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I agree with cycling lawyer. Cars should not squeeze past cyclists. If the other lane is free, the car should use it, whether I'm cycling singly or two abreast. If it isn't free there usually isn't space to pass, either way. I wonder if cycling lawyer could give us a weblink to the government advice mentioned?

I'd love to get more awareness of cars always taking the other lane. It's cars failing to do this that scares me most when I cycle on roads.


skiad1 10 Dec 00:32  

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Regularly(and legally) ride side by side with my buddy. I use a mirror though(wouldn't ride on road without one) and so can easily 'see' what's approaching from behind and fall in front or behind so allowing the unhindered flow of traffic, benefitting all road users.....


geeka 20 Dec 12:28  

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Common sense skiad1, I think what you said is spot on. I cycle and drive and seeing people ambling along 2 abreast causing traffic jams near me (narrow yorkshire roads) really annoys me, its all about abit of common courtesy. Unfortunately alot of people on the roads no matter if its cyclists, cars, buses and lorries have this. It would be interesting to all swap situations for a day to understand each others point of view. Might be afew lightbulb moments methinks!


Coatsey 21 Jul 14:25  

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This was taken direct from the Gov website... Third one down. Why would you want to annoy someone deliberately.... Today I had approximately 60 riders on a country lane with a speed limit of 60mph doing 20mph single, double and three abreast for miles. They left no gaps and cars whilst trying to be careful needed to get on with their journey. I was not in a rush, had the roof down and was quite happy until even a motorbike got frustrated and nearly killed himself after waiting behind me and them for awhile. I eventually overtook a few when i saw a gap, got beeped at my a driver coming fast the other way, it was a 60 after all, and when I slowed down to suggest they leave gaps for traffic was shouted down. I passed a few more by now irritated at the abuse I suffered whilst trying to be constructive and stopped and spoke with some of them..

I've never seen reasonable people act as a group so stupidly and even defend their cycling style. Even after I said it was about their safety. One guy even wanted to have a fight. The people ranged from mid twenty's to 60's. By now both them and I were really agitated.

So if you ride a bike remember you don't pay road fund and ultimately it is you that get hurt whilst the driver is left with trauma. The rules below are clear and when I ride I follow these... Oh and yes there are stupid drivers but why make it easier for an accident. I'm shocked at the attitude of so called well to do people when in a group, or should I say pack.

No. 66

You should keep both hands on the handlebars except when signalling or changing gear

keep both feet on the pedals

never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends

not ride close behind another vehicle

not carry anything which will affect your balance or may get tangled up with your wheels or chain

be considerate of other road users, particularly blind and partially sighted pedestrians. Let them know you are there when necessary, for example, by ringing your bell if you have one. It is recommended that a bell be fitted


leelee 22 Jul 17:02  

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i have always known that a cycleist has the same rights as anybody else that is to ride in the centre of your lane i have knowen this all my days
also any moter car / bus whatever/has to give a metre gap when passing the same applies to standing cars / this is so you dont hit a door that may be opened as you pass/.
all cycle lanesa are about one metre wide for this reason
i dont know this as law /except you can use the centre of your lane /2 a breast is just a thing that takes up the same space as one
there is no harm as cars/ bus /wagon have to pass as safly as possable one or two or three
because your question involves back lanes i would not do it as they are not very wide an may cause acident
cyclists have to abide as well as anyone commen sence decides
happy pedlin



lexyboy 27 Jul 17:47  

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why would you want to do this? No reason other than to make as big a nuisance as possible,oooh look at me i'm a cyclist and i'm riding two a breast just because I can! pathetic. as for those who say it makes them safer well the mind boggles and low and behold the only decent drivers on the roads are also cyclists wtf. High time you guys were forced not to do this as common sense just doesn't seem to prevail when it comes to cyclists who have such an obvious chip on there shoulder as reguards motorists. Oh while I,m on the subject if you are involved in a collision with a much hated motorist while trying to piss them off YOU will come off worst, wise up!!




kea 17 Aug 19:20  

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I cycle 2 abreast because its an enjoyable pastime and part of that involves talking to fellow cyclists although of course not on busy or main roads. when on a club run hopefully riders are aware that there is a build up of traffic and act accordingly.Lexy boy seems to be one of a group of motorists who thinks it would be ok to collide with a cyclist because they have been inconvenienced. I think it is you that needs to wise up


BusterG 20 Aug 11:19  

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Well said KEA!
Law says riding 2 abreast is ok as it equates to a car width.
Reason says go single file if cars are about to err on safety side.
About Lexyboy - well from the sounds of it - is too angry to have a mate to cycle with so hasnt felt the benefits of cycling 2 abreats yet.

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corrwg1 22 Aug 20:29  

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Rules for cyclists (59-82)

66
You should

never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends

I hope this puts beyond all doubt what Directgov states concerning this matter.

Single file on narrow and busy roads.


corrwg1 22 Aug 20:35  

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Directgov

The Highway Code

Rules for cyclists (59-82)

66
You should never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends

I hope this makes it clear as to what Directgov instructs concerning this matter.



IanAlexander 08 Jun 15:04  

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Rule 66 of the Rules for cyclists states "never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends" this can be found here https://www.gov.uk/rules-for-cyclists-59-to-82/overview-59-to-71 . This would mean that if you rode two abreast on a narrow road or in busy traffic at the discretion of the traffic officer involved you could be charged with an offence, most likely failure to pay due care and attention, which of course if you hold a driving licence would get you an endorsement and under new tariffs a minimum of £100 fine up to £2500. However it is unlikely an officer would book you for it unless he's noticed you before and feels your a serious risk to your own or other road users safety.

Ian


stumpydogman 22 Sep 14:49  

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Just noting the last reply. You cannot receive fixed penalty against your driving licence when on a bike. Sense says that on narrow roads it would be best not to cycle two abreast. There is not specific law in the road traffic act for cycling two abreast, and the Highway Code is just that, a code and guideline for this. Be sensible and be safe.


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