Giving way when you cycle
Whether you are required to give way when you cycle depends on where you are cycling.
Being required to give way means that you have to give way or stop until vehicles crossing your direction of travel have passed. If you are uncertain whether you are required to give way, the safest thing is to slow down or stop completely.
Cycling in the roadway or in the cycle lane
If you cycle in the roadway or in a cycle lane, you must observe the rules that apply to vehicles. This means that you must give way
- to vehicles coming from your right (right hand rule)
- to all vehicles on a priority road you are entering (there will be a give-way sign)
- to oncoming vehicles on your right when you are turning left
- to pedestrians at pedestrian crossings
If there is a give-way sign where you cycle, the traffic sign takes precedence over the rule about giving way to vehicles from the right. The requirement to give way then applies at the first junction after the sign.
Are you uncertain whether the driver has seen you and is going to stop? Slow down and be prepared.
Cycling on a cycle path, pedestrian and cycle path, or pavement
When you cycle on a cycle path, pedestrian and cycle path, or pavement, you must follow the rules that apply to vehicles. This means that you must give way to all traffic if you are going to cross the road or are going to turn and enter another road.
Other rules for giving way when cycling on a cycle path, pedestrian and cycle path or pavement
- You are not required to give way to those who are driving into or out from an entrance or exit driveway.
- If you dismount your bicycle and walk it across the pedestrian crossing, cars are required to give way to you.
Other rules for giving way
When you encounter traffic lights at an intersection, you must follow the traffic light signal that applies to the lane you are in. If the traffic lights are out of service (yellow flashing light or no light signal), the give-way sign will apply where such is in place, or otherwise the right hand rule will apply.
You are required to give way to vehicles in the lane you intend to enter or cross. You are also required to give way when you are entering the road from the roadside or the road shoulder.
Cycling in roundabouts
When you cycle into a roundabout, you must give way to vehicles that are in the roundabout. If you are changing lanes inside the roundabout, you are required to give way to vehicles in the lane you want to enter.
Overtaking or passing
As a general rule, overtaking must take place on the left. As a cyclist, you may overtake another vehicle – but not another cyclist – on the right. Overtaking on the right side may be relevant past vehicles at a standstill or slow-moving queues.
Turning left at an intersection
When you are turning left at an intersection, you can choose whether to make a major or a minor left turn.
- A minor left turn means that you turn left at the intersection in the same way as other vehicles.
- A major left turn means that you cycle straight ahead until you arrive at the other side of the intersection, and check if the road is clear, before you turn left on the crossroad.