There are few bigger topics of confrontation in west London than drivers and cyclists sharing the road.

And of course, plenty of people think they know the laws of the road and will gladly share their opinions, whether they're correct or not.

The law on whether or not cyclists are allowed to cycle two abreast - in other words, side by side - on the road is very clear.

It is legal to ride two abreast on a road.

In other words, cyclists are perfectly entitled to cycle side by side on most roads in the UK.

The benefit for cyclists is increased visibility and the length of the obstruction for a driver is shortened when passing large groups.

Can cyclists ride side by side?

However, Rule 66 of the Highway Code says you should never ride more than two abreast.

It also says you should ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends.

Cyclists need to factor in the road conditions and should go into single file when necessary.

Cycling in London

And drivers should be aware that cyclists can legally ride two abreast.

When approaching large groups of cyclists, give them time, space and be observant when overtaking.

They may have to move out into the carriageway quickly to avoid a pothole. Give them the space when overtaking that you would a car.


If a group of cyclists are holding up the traffic, they should consider moving into single file, to let the cars pass, this helps to keep the traffic flowing.

There are reasons cycling two abreast is safer for both cyclists and drivers

1. It's safer

Cyclists are more visible in this way. And it means drivers have to give them more room to overtake - rather than overtake in the same lane.

2. Drivers can overtake quicker

A driver can overtake a group of cyclists quicker if they are riding side by side than if they are riding single file.

So, now you know!

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