Cyclists Dismount

Well I have often wondered about this, and I found this particularly inspiring. I am glad I do not live or cycle in Harlow any more. What a waste.

Anyway, what I wondered is: what is the legal meaning of the "cyclists dismount" sign is, exactly.

Apart from section 82 which says you should dismount at a level crossing when you see this sign, searching the highway code shows no reference to it. Searching statute law has no references at all. However, as a rectangular blue sign with white lettering it appears to be "informational" in nature in line with the general rules for road signs. I cannot find it on The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 (No. 3113)

So, sort of saying "by the way, in case you needed to know you may find that cyclists dismount at this point". It is not an order or a warning sign. It is in no way instructing cyclists to dismount or do anything.

Maybe if I am following another cyclists that comes to such a sign I should allow for the fact they may stop and dismount. This is something I need to allow for at any time anyway, so hardly a warning and not that useful a sign to tell me that.

So why the hell are we all paying councils to erect signs that basically seem to have no use or meaning?


  1. I've always thought blue signs were "informational" as well, so someone in the know must have told me. Quite a few of those signs in my local area are well-placed for novice cyclists as they're in places that one might not expect traffic going past at close range. There are, however, some next to a pair of steel railings by a very obvious crossing, so swings and roundabouts apply :-)

  2. Don't get me started! Classic case of arse-covering, to try to reduce potential liability if a child cyclist fails to stop at a junction. But the onus must be on road users to take responsibility for their own actions.

    Our local cycling group argues that small Give Way signs would be more appropriate in such cases. But the local authorities have written guidance for these things, and understandably the officers responsible tend to feel that sticking to the guidance is the safest course of action. I seem to recall that the only other sign suggested by the guidance is "End of Route" (but it's been a while since we last checked into this).

    I appreciate Adam's point that such signs may be useful if they highlight non-obvious hazards. But when the signs go up all over the place, they become worthless.

  3. They have a bunch of these on a footbridge near where I used to live. Once saw an old man have a shouting match with a kid there about the kid cycling and politely pointed out to him after that a) the sign is not defined specifically (I'd checked when they appeared because I used to cycle that way from time to time) and b) it's clearly only an informational sign anyway. He wasn't very impressed.

    If the new footbridge that connects two (badly designed) cycle paths had been designed with better facilities for cyclists to begin with...

  4. It's informational. Telling you that cyclists do indeed, on occasion, dismount.

    The Warrington CC site shows some excellent examples of its use.

  5. See what the cycle infrastructure design says..
    3.6.2 In general, the sign should only be used in
    relatively rare situations where it would be unsafe or
    impracticable for a cyclist to continue riding.
    3.6.3 If it looks as if the sign might be needed,
    practitioners should first check to see whether the
    scheme design could not first be modified to make its
    use unnecessary. In general, the sign should not be
    used where a cycle track joins a carriageway directly.
    3.6.4 Where the sign’s use appears unavoidable,
    practitioners should be able to defend their decision
    and explain why it cannot be avoided by design.

    I am designing a cycle route in Sussex and getting inferences..

  6. I know this is an old post, but here's the link you were looking for ("Traffic Signs and ..."):
    It's about 3/4 of the way down the page, and the box underneath confirms that there are no regulations or directions applying to this sign, so it is just advisory.


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