Cyclists And Motorists Clash Over ‘Correct Cycling Protocol’

by : Emily Brown on : 09 Aug 2021 12:13
Cyclists And Motorists Clash Over 'Correct Cycling Protocol'Pexels/Pixabay

Social media users are debating what is considered the ‘correct’ cycling protocol after footage of cyclists riding side-by-side was shared online. 

On roads where cycle lanes don’t exist, cyclists have no choice but to ride on the road and share lanes with motorists; a fact which can leave some drivers extremely frustrated.


It’s common for drivers to try and overtake those on bikes in order to travel at the speed limit and reduce lines of slower-moving traffic, but while this action would appear to be made more difficult if numerous cyclists were travelling side-by-side on the road, rather than single file, some people say this isn’t the case.

The debate came about after presenter Jeremy Vine posted a video of a group of cyclists riding side-by-side, writing: ‘People who cycle in the country should be encouraged to ride 2, 3 and 4 abreast like this.’

Vine argued that riding side-by-side ‘calms’ the traffic behind, ‘makes it less easy for bad drivers to attempt dangerous passes’ and makes it ‘more pleasant and sociable’ for the cyclists involved.


The presenter backed up his point by sharing a graphic from Surrey Police, which explained that a car should be able to move fully into the opposite lane when overtaking cyclists, whether they are travelling in single-file or side-by-side.

It stated: ‘If one moves into the opposing lane then the position of the rider is completely irrelevant. If rider position is irrelevant then so is the number riding abreast. Riding in a block is courtesy to motorists otherwise overtaking would take three times as long and opportunity would be less frequent or impossible.’

Though the graphic was shared by police, some Twitter users hit back with a contradictory rule stated in the Highway Code, which reads: ‘Never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends.’


Numerous people have joined in the debate, with one person who says they have been cycling for 45 years stating that they believe it’s ‘reasonable for cyclists to move into single file when a queue of cars etc is behind them’, adding: ‘Roads are shared spaces; we should respect and make room for each other.’

Another person argued: ‘Jeremy you need to read rule 66 of the highway code, you are actively encouraging people to ignore the highway code. As a driver and a cyclist I say you are being irresponsible.’


Vine has remained firm on his stance in spite of the backlash, responding to one person who accused him of ‘actively encouraging people to ignore the Highway Code’ to stress that the graphic he shared was ‘from the police’, adding: ‘I would listen.’

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Life, Cycling, Driving, Now, Twitter


Jeremy Vine/Twitter
  1. Jeremy Vine/Twitter