Transport for London – Do The Test

Well it seems Major Boris has finally started to weave some magic. Just when we thought all he was good for was mumbling a few words in Latin and bringing back the Route Master, under his leadership TFL (Transport For London) have come up with this pair of superb adverts to help draw motorists attention to cyclists.


Cycling is all about sharing space with other people. The hazards don’t come from the roads but from other people. It is easy to get infected by other road users’ pushiness. Remember this and you’ll be halfway to becoming a safe and more comfortable city rider.

A Few Things to watch out for when Cycling in London from TFL.

  • Black cabs swerving to the kerb to pick up/drop off passengers
  • Pedestrians stepping out into the road without looking (and most of us do it on occasion)
  • Passengers hopping on or off buses without looking
  • Vehicles turning left across you - even more serious if it is a bus or truck
  • Car doors being opened into your path
  • Vehicle creepage at junctions
  • Delivery vehicles parked in cycle lanes
  • Drivers failing to indicate properly
  • Vehicles doing impromptu u-turns

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 8th, 2009 at 16:58 and is filed under Cycling in London. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  1. harrie

    i’d seen the moonwalking bear one – i think they’re good ads but i’m not entirely sure boris actually devised them himself ;)
    also, as a driver i have quite mixed views on this – i’m ALL for cyclists in london, ALL for more and better cycle lanes and i always keep a good eye out for people on bikes. but by the same token some cyclists really are incredibly difficult. i mean thes ones who:
    wear all black at night and have no lights but expect you to see them anyway
    cycle in a weaving way down the middle of the road, holding up several cars at a time, instead of keeping approximately to the sides or middle line if they’re turning
    who turn right mere feet in front of your bonnet but only signal AFTER doing so (any driver doing this is likely to be berated, and rightly so, so it seems incongruous that cyclists can do it, especially as it’s a really dangerous thing to do for all concerned).
    ignore perfectly good and well designed cycle lanes – in the west end especially some cycle lanes aren’t just drawn on, they’re separated by a concrete ridge – but all too often i’ve seen people on bikes blatantly ignore these, instead choosing to cycle directly in front of my bonnet in the car lane. i think it’s a real shame that having had quite a battle to get effective cycle lanes installed, they are then ignored by so many.
    honestly, i’m very much in favour of cycling in london, but i think everyone who is cycling in very built up traffic and pedestrian areas (for instance the west end, shopping areas like chelsea, high st ken etc) should have to do a cycling proficiency test. it’s great that people cycle but there are elements who cycle extremely badly and make it worse for everyone.

  2. mamny fare points harry thanks – i guess its a case of give and take. sadly there are many cyclist out there who dont respect drivers and visa versa. i guess we can only hope that as cycling grows and people become more aware of the dos and donts the correct methods come into actionTom Kevill-Davies
    The Hungry Cyclist – Pedalling The World For The Perfect Meal

  3. It’s well to remember that the use of cycle lanes is not compulsory – just like using a motorway is not compulsory should you wish to use the parallel road. It’s also well to remember that many cycle lanes are regarded as next to useless and others are either so badly designed that they are either unusable or even dangerous. That’s why many cyclists don’t and won’t use them. The Cyclecraft manual, published by the Stationery Office – essentially the definitive guide to safe cycling – shows that it is usually safer for a cyclist to take his or her rightful place on the road with the traffic. Of course, this implies that the cyclist is skilled and experienced. Cycle lanes might be perceived as “safe” by less experienced and less confident riders. A good case for anyone who wants to cycle “properly” to get themselves some good training from one of the numerous organisations that are springing up around the UK.

  4. harrie

    It’s well to remember that the use of cycle lanes is not compulsory …. It’s also well to remember that many cycle lanes are regarded as next to useless and others are either so badly designed that they are either unusable or even dangerous.
    i agree with this – even as a driver (i used to cycle in london as well, and hope to do so again if i can relearn how to turn around without falling off!) it’s clear that a lot of cycle lanes are, frankly, crap. but some of them aren’t, and as a driver it would be useful if when a cycle lane is in place people used it. i’m not sure your motorway metaphor works – to me cycle lanes are more like normal traffic lanes. it’s not compulsory to be in the correct lane at a roundabout or junction, for example, but if you can stick to the correct lane you are (a) going to piss fewer people off and (b) more likely to get where you want to be!
    i agree as well that this assumes that all cyclists can cycle well – a great many can’t. i drive in the west end a fair bit and i see a lot of very considerate cyclists but you’d be amazed how many don’t have sufficient markers (i drive at night quite a bit and frequently see black clothing, black bikes and no lights, which is irritating because you know that if that person is hit by a car, it’s guaranteed to be seen as the driver’s fault), cyclists who don’t indicate when they’re turning, don’t stop for red lights EVEN at big junctions where the chances of being squashed by a bus are high. like tom said, it’s just give and take. as a driver you have to be SO careful to always look out for bikes – cyclists should extend the same courtesy to drivers and try to remain aware that we’re in 2 ton monsters that could easily be very painful, so to take silly risks is not very wise.

  5. …i’m not sure your motorway metaphor works…
    I know what you mean. I was only trying to illustrate that just because it’s there does not necessarily mean that you have to use it. Just for the record, I’m just as trapped in the car dependent culture as anyone, as well as being very pro-cycling – Accredited National Standard Cycle Instructor and all that…

  6. how does one go about becoming a Accredited National Standard Cycle Instructor, sounds like a great thing to get involved withTom Kevill-Davies
    The Hungry Cyclist – Pedalling The World For The Perfect Meal

  7. The first port of call would be here: CTC
    If you’re in London this might be of interest: CTUK
    This is where I took my training course: LifeCycle UK

  8. Thanks WWIm a member of CTC so will follow this up. Im hoping to start some work with Sustrans in the next few weeks so this would be a good skill to have with me. Enjoy the weekend TomTom Kevill-Davies
    The Hungry Cyclist – Pedalling The World For The Perfect Meal

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