Tuesday, 9 March 2010

The legal status of incomplete Advanced Stop Lines for cyclists

A Premier League footballer cruises into an Advanced Stop Line for cyclists when the lights are at red, and out jumps a cop, who gives him a ticket for breaking the law.

Complete fantasy of course, because the cycling-friendly Metropolitan Police chooses not to enforce ASLs.

But if this imaginary scenario occurred at the ASL shown above (on Lea Bridge Road), I have a hunch that the barrister known as ‘Mr Loophole’ would get his client off the hook on the grounds that an ASL without a cycle logo has no legal validity. I don’t know that’s the case but I strongly suspect that it is. If that is the case, then it’s just another symptom of how unimportant cycling is regarded that road contractors in the London Borough of Waltham Forest paint the ASL rectangle but take weeks to come along and add the bike logo.

I noticed when I cycled down Fairlop Road E11 recently that the freshly painted ASL lacked its bike symbol. And here at the Baker’s Arms junction where the A104 meets the A112 the contractors finished their resurfacing work some weeks ago, leaving behind gleaming new markings and four ASLs, each of which lacks its bike logo.

Of course apart from this legal conundrum, there’s another problem. The type of worker responsible for painting the symbol wastes valuable time holding long conversations with cycling bloggers.