From the Westminster Cycling Campaign a few years ago:-
“The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 came into force on 31 January 2003, replacing the 1994 version. Full text and illustrations at: http://www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk/si/si2002/20023113.htm
The Department for Transport published a leaflet explaining new road markings and signs, including Advanced Stop Lines. The leaflet stated:
“Where a cycle reservoir has been marked out at traffic signals at a junction, all vehicles MUST stop at the first stop line reached unless the signal is green, or the vehicle cannot be safely stopped for an amber signal. Pedal cycles may use the approach cycle lane to enter the reservoir without crossing a stop line. Motorcycles MUST NOT use the approach cycle lane to enter the reservoir while a red signal is showing even if the cycle lane is an advisory one rather than a mandatory one.”
How many motorists stop at the first line?
Members of Westminster Cycling Campaign surveyed several junctions in the spring of 2002, the autumn of 2003 and the spring of 2005.
The results of the 2005 survey showed that:
Motorcycles were the type of vehicle least likely to stop at the first line. Only 24% did so. This was a small improvement on the 19% recorded in 2003, however.
Taxis were second least likely to stop (51%, down from 63% in 2003).
There were continued improvements in compliance by buses (83%, up from 73% in 2003 and 59% in 2002) and by lorries and vans (79%, up from 71% in 2003 and 54% in 2002). The improvement for buses may have resulted from our appeal to the Mayor of London is 2002 (see response on right).
Cars had dropped to 65%, after rising to 79% in 2003 from 60% in 2002. Fortunately the number of cars seemed to be dropping by about 10% a year.
Drivers were more inclined to cross the first line on red or amber in heavy traffic conditions. Only 28% stopped at the first line in Trafalgar Square (19% for motorcycles).
The highest proportion of motor vehicles (68%) stopped at the first line in Vauxhall Bridge Road, where there is a half-width ASL reservoir. Other factors need to be taken into account, however, such as the comparatively light traffic and low number of motorcycles and taxis.
In the past few years, highway authorities have invested quite a lot of money in advanced stop lines. Although they are not a panacea, they can make cycling through London a lot easier if they are properly designed. But their effectiveness is very much reduced by the minority of motorists who disregard them.
The Mayor’s response in (2002) (Livingstone)
“TfL has pioneered the introduction of a BTEC qualification for bus drivers in London. As part of the qualification drivers will be reminded of accurate stopping distances from junctions. This new qualification will be applied to all new drivers from September of this year , and bus operators are also being encouraged to train [existing] staff to the same level.
“Thank you for your suggestion of a campaign to remind bus drivers to stop correctly at junctions. As you will be aware, we place posters on the back of buses concerning many important matters. I will make sure that your suggestion is considered as part of our ongoing review of new poster requirements.
“I will also talk to the Public Carriage Office regarding issuing advice to taxi drivers. TfL hold regular meetings with the taxi industry and it may be relevant to mention this issue at one of these.”