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Mayor of London

Cycling safety

Cycling safety tips

  • Stop at red lights. It's safer and could save you a £50 fine
  • Stay central on narrow roads. Try to ride away from the gutter. If the road is too narrow for vehicles to pass you safely, it might be safer to ride towards the middle of the lane to prevent dangerous overtaking by other vehicles
  • Stay away from parked cars. Ideally, keep a door's width away in case the door opens suddenly. Also, try to ride in a straight line past parked cars rather than dodging between them
  • Stay back from HGVs. Lorries and other large vehicles might not be able to see you clearly, so stay well back behind them
  • Always pay attention. Stay focused on what's going on around you so you can see what other road users might do
  • Make eye contact. Try to make eye contact with drivers so you're sure that they have seen you
  • Don't pavement cycle. Don't cycle on the pavement or up a one-way street (unless clearly marked for cyclists)
  • Wear bright clothes. Stay safe by wearing bright clothes during the day and reflective clothing/accessories at night
  • Night lights. Use lights after dark - white at the front and red at the rear. You may be fined £50 if you don't have them
  • Signal. Use appropriate hand signals to indicate that you're turning left or right
  • No phones or devices. Don't use a mobile phone or earphones
  • Helmet. Consider wearing a helmet
  • Cycle training. There is free, or subsidised cycle training, including commuter skills, for adults and children in most London boroughs

Types of cycle lane 

Mandatory Cycle Lanes are marked with a continuous white line. Drivers must not drive, wait or park in the lane during its hours of operation.

Advisory Cycle Lanes are marked with a broken white line. Drivers should not enter the lane unless it is unavoidable.

Contra-Flow Cycle Lanes let cyclists travel against the flow of traffic on one-way streets - they are mandatory cycle lanes (see above).

Shared Bus and Cycle Lanes allow cyclists to use the bus lane. Motorists must not enter the lane unless indicated on signs.

Pedicab safety

Pedicabs, or cycle rickshaws, are not regulated by us and can cause disruption to other road users.

Pedicabs may be a common sight in London's West End, but their riders do not need to be licensed, have insurance or be checked by the Criminal Records Bureau.

If taking a pedicab, the London Pedicab Operators Association recommend that you agree a fare before setting off.

They also encourage that you check the rider and pedicab have identification.