Drivers face £160 fine under new cycle lane rules in London

Published 27 June 2022
  • Transport for London (TfL) and London boroughs have been given new powers to fine vehicles that drive in cycle lanes. 
  • Drivers could be charged up to £160 (reduced to £80 if paid within 14 days). 
  • Move is designed to improve safety for cyclists. 

The Government has introduced new powers allowing TfL and London boroughs to fine motorists who infringe on cycle lanes and cycle tracks.

Most cars are already prohibited from driving within or crossing the white lines of the cycle lanes that are marked by a solid white line and cycle tracks but until now they have only been enforced by the police.

TfL said that cycle lanes "play a vital role in keeping people cycling separated from most motor traffic, reducing the risk of collisions, which can cause death and serious injury” and that improving non-compliance will "help improve safety and the confidence of cyclists”. 

Initially, TfL will use existing CCTV cameras to enforce contraventions in cycle lanes and cycle tracks at key locations across its road network.

Group Of Cyclists In London

Will Norman, London's walking and cycling commissioner, said: "Making London's streets safer is our top priority. These new enforcement powers will deter motorists from infringing on crucial space specifically designated to keep cyclists safe and will help improve cyclist's confidence when getting around the capital.

"Enabling more Londoners to walk and cycle continues to be at the heart of the Mayor's vision to create a healthier, cleaner and more sustainable London for everyone - these new powers will play an important role in that."

Mayor Philip Glanville, London Councils' climate change, transport and environment lead, acknowledged that most motorists do follow the rules but that "enforcement is a good deterrent for those who put other road users at unnecessary risk".

When do the new cycle lane rules in London take effect?

The new enforcement rules for driving in a cycle lane take effect from 27 June 2022. 

From this date, TfL may issue a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) to drivers if they drive over the white line of a cycle lane when not permitted or stop or park in a cycle lane when not permitted.

When can I drive in a cycle lane without being fined?

Transport for London (TfL) says that drivers may be permitted to cross the solid white line of a cycle lane if they are turning left or accessing private property.

They may sometimes be permitted to stop or park in a cycle lane, even when it is in use, but only when the normal rules of our red routes allow. Signs or road markings will let you know where this is permitted.

Driver may not drive along the cycle lane before or after these manoeuvres, and they should give way to cyclists using the cycle lane so they do not need to stop or swerve.

Can I ride a scooter in a cycle lane in London?

Only electric scooters available to rent as part of a Government trial can be used in cycle lanes in London (along with traditional pedal cycles). 

Other types of scooters and motorcycles may not use cycle lanes.

Ask HJ

New Highway Code - when do drivers have to give way to cyclists?

The new Highway Code states that drivers turning left and right must give way to cyclists coming from behind them. Does this mean drivers waiting at the crown of the road to turn right must check for cyclists coming from behind in the middle of the road down their offside or does this just apply in a one-way street scenario?
The requirement to give cyclists going straight priority at junctions applies in all situations (unless sign, road markings or signals indicate otherwise) and not just one-way streets.
Answered by Sarah Tooze
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Do you need a driving licence for an electric bike?

I understand that electric scooter riders require a driving licence to use, is the same true for electric powered bicycles, and, if so, is a provisional sufficient?
If it is an electrically assisted pedal cycle (i.e. it has pedals that can be used to propel it), it has a maximum power output of 250 watts and the electric motor won't assist you when you’re travelling more than 15.5mph then you don't need a licence to ride one and it does not need to be registered, taxed or insured. However, if it doesn't meet this criteria it is classed as a motorcycle or moped and you will need a driving licence, tax and insurance, and will need to wear a crash helmet. See:
Answered by Sarah Tooze
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GTC20th    on 30 June 2022

Fair enough. Will they also fine cyclists who don't use cycle lanes and hog the road?

Christopher Whitehouse    on 30 June 2022

If cyclists want to be treated the same as motorists, they should following the same laws. Pass a profiency test for riding on the road. Have a certificate to show their bicycle is roadworthy. Have tax and insurance for the bicycle. If they don't comply treat them the same as motorists and fine them. Genuine cyclists would comply.

CARLTOND    on 30 June 2022

Who told you any cyclist wants to be treated like a motorist? Tax? I don't pay any road tax for my car, so why should I pay any for my bike? Insurance? Again, I have that got it free with my cycling membership such is the low risk of a claim. I didn't get my car free with my driving membership though. By the way have you seen how many drivers on the road, despite being a legal requirement. Its nearly 2 million!

Diesel_fan    on 30 June 2022

This is worrying because the police would deal with an incident that contravened the law (usually against the motorist) but local councils will just issue ticks at will because they have to make money. As others have said, will the new rules be enforced against cyclists who cross the solid white lines and travel in the lanes designed for normal motorists?

CARLTOND    on 30 June 2022

What does it say in the Highway Code regarding cyclist having to use any cycle lane?

CARLTOND    on 30 June 2022

No, because cyclist are not required to use cycle lanes, just like buses don't have to use bus lanes and motor vehicles don't have to use motorways.

gerry1945    on 1 July 2022

I used to be a strong cyclist I am now retired but i agree cyclists should use their own lanes when available and they should be fined when they do not use them they should also be required to meet all the laws that motorists are required on the road. Cyclists should have a number plate and registered as cyclists are in Germany and Europe with this road tax and insurance. Why should they be allowed to use the road and not charged for the benefit. An initial test would be a good thing also so they are proficient.

Pete Sanders    on 30 June 2022

The private car will soon be a thing of history as no one will be able to afford to use one!

Anne Johnstone    on 1 July 2022

I think that's the idea isn't it?

batterseamike    on 30 June 2022

Perhaps the fines issued to motorist for encroaching into a cycle lane will enable local authorities to employ marshals to fine cyclists who refuse to stop at red lights and who ride on pavements. I wish!

gerry1945    on 1 July 2022

Absolutely so true !

conman    on 1 July 2022

yet again a one sided rule that will not work. It's about time the powers above instead of thinking that fines are the answer actually address the infringements on the road both cyclists and vehicle drivers. A one sided approach achieves nothing.

Anne Johnstone    on 1 July 2022

"The requirement to give cyclists going straight priority at junctions applies in all situations (unless sign, road markings or signals indicate otherwise) and not just one-way streets."

That seems insane. If you are turning right and a car or motorbike comes up and overtakes you that is there fault (i presume....) but if a cyclist does that, it is your fault. This is all wrong.

Barry Barnes    on 1 July 2022

Why does the new Highway Code not cover cyclists 'driving' on the pavement. If plowed why should they not keep 1.5m distance and also give way to pedestrians. Also warn pedestrians of approach from behind with a bell. If they get so much protection against motorist why allow them to cut out of the road when its busy and mount the pavement , and so on. They are allowed to do whatever they want

   on 1 July 2022

This makes Road Tax/Excise Duty, call it what you like at £165/ at the price. Imagine driving into a cycle lane, a mere once a day.

I'm sure the Mayor of London sees the £'s sign in all this as well as the reduction in CO2 & NO (how is that going in any case?).

As for cyclists undertaking on the left to go straight on, where a vehicle is turning left, or overtaking a vehicle which could be turning right, pure insanity...and not a "Right" in any code would I consider taking up - even in my daredevil years riding a cycle (with a magnificent three gears, thumb push bell and dynamo driven lights).

Surely, somebody has done a dry run with these rules before plonking them into the Highway Code?

Or am I missing something?


Tony Mahon    on 2 July 2022

In the 1960's in the Netherlands a Dutch MP's daughter was killed in a collision with a car. He could see the conflict that was going to happen if the road system was not changed before cars became so numerous.
So, they redesigned the road system and built and maintained decent cycle lanes ,where the cyclist has priority and MUST use the lanes where they are provided. It worked. The famous cyclist Chris Boardman made a film which is on YouTube ,from memory it is called
"Cycling in Europe during the Pandemic". He makes the observation
" I have been here several days now and I haven't seen many cyclists,I have seen a lot of people on bikes ". The culture in the Netherlands is such that people consider a 3 or 4 mile journey to be a normal ride for almost anyone on a cycle. In the UK we are playing catch up but very slowly and have a situation where bike lanes are not mandatory and are poorly maintained and ,in many cases, poorly designed. The result being that they may well be strewn with broken glass from last nights revels or shared with pedestrians who often just stray in front of the bike with no warning.I do have a bell and I use it but nowadays there is every chance that pedestrians will not hear over whatever music they are listening to. On road cycle lanes in my are ( Lancashire ) very often have cars parked in them ( which they can legally do ) and this forces the cyclist further into the road.
If I know from experience that a cycle lane is well maintained I will use it but even then I have to be aware of cars emerging from a side road or a car behind me on the main road passing me and turning left because they have priority.

From YouTubes I have seen I would hate to be a cyclist in London and I'm not saying that all cyclists obey traffic lights , the same people very likely behave the same when behind the wheel of a car.

Just a few thoughts from somebody who drives,cycles and walks.

   on 2 July 2022

What about cyclists who insist on using the road when there is a designated cycle path beside the carriageway???

ardea    on 2 July 2022

Such paths are seldom (never?) swept and in my experience likely to give you a puncture every couple of miles - it's where broken glass from road collisions gets swept! Not fit for purpose!

Tony Mahon    on 3 July 2022

Yes ,I did say that motorists often park in designated cycle lanes and also agree with ardea that cycle lanes are rarely swept and often littered with broken glass.
Sometimes the paths are initially clearly marked with a skimming of coloured tarmac which is not maintained and breaks away from the main layer which causes them to be extremely bumpy to ride in and many bikes have no suspension other than the compliance of the frame.
I do think that drivers who immediately look to blame cyclists would benefit from riding a bit for a period to see the problems from that angle. Most cyclists are also drivers and I think that gives a better appreciation of problems.
In the past most drivers would have had their first experience of road use on a cycle then sometimes moving on to motor bike then car.
What about making cycle riding part of gaining a licence to drive,any takers ?

Tony Mahon    on 3 July 2022

Further to above ,I forgot to mention that usually the designated cycle lane at the side of the road is almost always far rougher than the carriageway just outside it and is also the place to find sunken grids which could well cause a cyclist to fall and in the worst case be run over by a car.

Richard M Russell    on 25 July 2022

This legislation may have the reverse effect on cyclist safety as they assert their rights over larger vehicles. I would use a bike if there were more dedicated bike tracks. The edges of highways are just not fit for purpose. If cyclists want dedicated cycle tracks they need to be taxed to pay for them. Such tax could also include 3rd party insurance cover.

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