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: It’s legal for people to cycle in the middle of a lane and it’s sometimes 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: It’s legal for people to cycle side by side on roads in Scotland.