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Surprising Things Cyclists Do

With more cars on the road than ever, driving can be extremely busy especially during peak times and seasons and with cyclists added to the mix it can be a nightmare for some. Whilst you share a road with cyclists, that doesn't mean to say they have to be qualified or pay for the right to use the road like you do. 

More so than not, cyclists can be more of an irritation to UK motorists - here’s what the highway code has to say about them.

Cyclists Avoid Road Tax

Although most of the time cyclists share the road with motorists, cyclists actually avoid paying any road tax. Cyclists often grumble about the state of the roads but do they have the right to complain if they don’t pay their way? 

In 1936 the Road Tax was abolished. Surprising? Although motorists think they pay ‘Road Tax’ they actually pay for something known as Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) which is based on their vehicles emissions and goes straight to the Treasury. Things like income tax and VAT actually pay for the roads and almost 85% of cyclists also own a car too so they, on the most part, contribute as much as those who don’t cycle.

Cycle Lanes and Road Riding

Often motorists get annoyed by cyclists riding in the road when there’s a perfectly good cycle lane just next to it. 

The law does not require cyclists to use cycle lanes even though they are there and in some cases cycling facilities are not safe or practical. So, cyclists are well within their rights to use the road if they so wish.

Pavement Cycling

Pavement cyclists are often a nuisance to other cyclists as well as a danger to pedestrians. The law is that unless a footpath is designated otherwise, cyclists aren’t permitted to ride there and can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice.

But this is where it gets confusing. Police officers who are responsible for the enforcement say that many cyclists, especially children and younger people are afraid to cycle in the road so discretion is required rather than issuing fines left right and center.


You must have seen it on occasion where cyclists will filter through traffic whilst you're sitting stationary already late for work. 

Although annoying, it is perfectly legal and in a lot of built up city centres, cycling Conwy is often quicker than driving because of it.

Riding Without a Helmet

There is no law against riding without a helmet even though it is advised to do so. Whilst there is plenty of evidence to say that helmets can prevent serious head injuries, not everyone has to wear one if they don’t want to. 

Riding Side By Side

Another bugbear for motorists is cyclists who ride side by side. Although it is more convenient for you as a motorist to go around if they are in a single file line, it is not illegal for cyclists to ride like this. It is only permitted to ride in a single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding around bends. 

For some cyclists this is their preferred way to ride as it is much safer and sociable.

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