Myths and facts

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Challenge the misconceptions around cycling and read on for some myth-busting...

Whatever way you choose to travel, everyone is just trying to get from A to B, but when we ran focus groups with car drivers, some myths about cycling came up again and again – which could go some way to explain the resentment some people feel towards people on bikes.

We thought it might help to share the truths behind the myths...

Myth: If there is a bike lane, people on bikes should get off the road.

Fact: It’s not compulsory to cycle in a bike lane or on a shared pavement.

Myth: People on bikes shouldn’t move past stationary traffic.

Fact: Filtering is legal. People on bikes can ride past stationary traffic to keep moving.

Myth: Cycling slows down road traffic.

Fact: Bikes take up less space and cause less congestion than cars.

Myth: People on bikes should cycle close to the gutter.

Fact: The centre of the lane is often the safest place to cycle to see the road ahead, be seen, and prevent close passes.

Myth: Cyclists shouldn’t be in the middle of the road.

Fact: The Highway Code advises people to cycle in the middle of the lane, as it's often the safest place.

Myth: Cyclists don't pay road tax.

Fact: Everyone pays for our roads through general and local taxation.

Myth: There’s no cycle proficiency training these days.

Fact: Cycle proficiency training is still happening in schools across Scotland… it’s just called something else now - Bikeability Scotland.

Myth: Cars have right of way over bikes.

Fact: People on bikes have equal rights to people in any vehicle.

Myth: Cycling two abreast is illegal.

Fact: The Highway Code advises that it is legal and can be safer for people to ride side-by-side on roads in Scotland, to prevent dangerous overtaking.