To filter or not to filter

To filter or not to filter… that is the question.

Filtering – riding our bikes between stationary cars caught in a traffic queue, or going very slowly – is legal, but just because we can, doesn’t mean we should!

Let’s be honest, it’s always tempting to filter; after all, one of the main reasons to get a bike is to avoid the queues on busy city roads. But there are things to consider.

First, where to filter. The best place is offside to the vehicles on the inside lane, effectively creating a bikers’ centre lane. Filtering on the kerb side is not recommended. It’s also illegal in a no overtaking zone or at pedestrian crossings, and police can prosecute if they say the filtering is reckless.

But even if we can create a safe ‘centre lane’ ,there are risks. First, take it slow; 5-10mph faster than the traffic is going is a good rule of thumb.

And yes, that means if the traffic is stopped, we do 5-10mph!

Plenty of bikers find that when they filter, their centre lane vanishes, because two vehicles in the queue are sat too close together. Don’t try to squeeze through. Just sit and chill for a moment until the space widens.

Watch out for the unexpected. Car or van drivers often pop their heads out of the window to see what the hold-up is all about, or decide to switch lanes because the other one is moving quicker. They do this sometimes without thinking of looking in their mirrors… after all, no-one is approaching them from behind… are they?

Finally, watch out for pedestrians crossing the road by picking their way through the queue. They may not spot you – particularly if you are filtering past a higher sided vehicle.

Scroll to top
Social Share Buttons and Icons powered by Ultimatelysocial

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.