2 Jun 2020

Easing Lockdown; How Does That Affect Cyclists?

As the government signals the first tentative steps in relation to returning to work, the picture on UK roads will change significantly, and quickly.

Previously vehicles were few and far between as only key workers were allowed out, with the majority of the population urged to stay at home during the Coronavirus pandemic.

That has all changed. But what does this mean for cyclists on our roads?

COVID-19 and the Current Pandemic. Where Are We Now?

After over two months of an enforced lockdown, where government instruction was to avoid leaving the house as much as possible, the first real signs of an improving situation are showing themselves.

COVID-19 started in Wuhan, China, before spreading quickly across the country. This escalated beyond their borders, with South Korea particularly badly affected. It became a pandemic when spreading past Asia’s borders and into Europe, with Italy and Spain suffering the worst of it.

The UK would then go through a time of misery, uncertainty and loss of loved ones as the World, seemingly, went into lockdown, restricting the movement of populations to prevent the further spread of the virus.

This has allowed peaks to be reached, and figures in terms of infection, hospital admissions and deaths, caused by the virus, to drop consistently and avoid a humanitarian crisis the likes of which the UK has never seen before.

Stringent measures have been eased by government as they seek to get the country back up and running.

A Change in Message

The government had previously insisted upon a ‘stay home’ message, but this has been altered to ‘stay alert’. Allowing for people to go outside more often and for different reasons, it calls for vigilance in ensuring social distancing.

This move away from a ban on movement out of the house means more cars and other vehicles are on the road, with increasing numbers of cyclists – many of whom who are relatively new to cycling after taking it up during the pandemic lockdown – now needing to be more aware of a greater volume of traffic.

Rules of the Road for Cyclists

There are rules of the road to help cyclists travel safely on UK roads. Here are just a few:

  • Use cycle lanes wherever possible. These provide a dedicated space for cyclists to travel alongside traffic and are becoming an increasingly visible presence in UK cities as the government looks to increase the cycle lane network.
  • Respect all traffic signs and signals.
  • Wear high-vis clothing. Utilising at least one piece of high-vis clothing or reflective gear allows you to be much more visible to other road users.
  • Your bike needs a white light on the front and red at the rear at night-time.


Am I allowed to cycle during lockdown?

Absolutely. The government is actively encouraging people to exercise, with the rules now allowing for as much exercise as a person wishes, rather than the one outing per day previously permissible.

Can I maintain social distancing while cycling?

You are allowed to exercise with one person outside of your household, providing you can stay two metres apart. Cycling on your own obviously makes social distancing easier, but if you are out with a person outside of your household then maintain the gap when cycling, swapping roles of leader and follower to keep it interesting for you both.

What should I expect when cycling as part of the commute to work?

Government figures are showing an increase in the number of cars on UK roads as lockdown restrictions ease. This will inevitably see more traffic around you as you cycle, especially on the commute to work where you are more likely to use busy routes. Cyclists should continue to be alert to their surroundings throughout the journey.

There may also be an increase in the number of cyclists using cycle lanes as surveys suggest more people are keen to continue using their bikes after utilising them during lockdown.

If you have been a cyclist involved in an accident on the road, that wasn’t your fault, then take a look at our dedicated cycling accident claims page for more information and to start your claim today.

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