ny one familiar with this junction will often see vehicles using and queuing across the bicycle lane on the left.
Is this the correct thing to do?
In mitigation for the drivers using the lane there is an argument to say that they are ‘keeping the traffic flowing’ a perfectly valid point. Especially since the traffic light controls on the junction operate independently for ahead+left/right leading to separate queues travelling at different speeds on approach.
Let’s have a look at the highway code as guidance to the correct and lawful way.
Cycle lanes. These are shown by road markings and signs. You MUST NOT drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a solid white line during its times of operation. Do not drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a broken white line unless it is unavoidable. You MUST NOT park in any cycle lane whilst waiting restrictions apply.
The key words here are ‘MUST NOT’.
MUST NOT instructions in the highway code are legally enforced and by driving into a bicycle lane with a solid white line (mandatory bike lanes) you will be breaking the law and can be ticketed.
So please remember if on test you MUST NOT use this bicycle lane.
Mark at go4manual