“Time to light up” says Cycling UK as clocks go back

National cycling charity also urges drivers to be aware and give space to cyclists

As the clocks turn back this weekend, Cycling UK is advising everyone who is cycling not to be caught out and to make sure their bikes are fitted with lights during the hours of darkness.

British Summer Time will end at 2am on Sunday, 25 October, meaning lighter mornings but darker evenings for the school run or commute.

Cycling UK believes people cycling, like all road users, should behave responsibly and within the law and ensure that they and their cycles are visible at night.

Cyclists must have white front and red rear lights lit at night – flashing lights are now permitted. Cycles must also be fitted with a red rear reflector, and amber pedal reflectors if they were manufactured after 1 October 1985.

Cherry Allan, Cycling UK’s campaigns and policy co-ordinator said: “With more people than ever choosing to cycle for their commute or for the journey to school, it's important all cyclists understand the regulations on lights. As we lose an hour this weekend, it’s increasingly likely many of these journeys will be made in darkness.

“It’s time to light up, not just so cyclists can see where they’re going but also to help you be seen by other road users. Cycling UK always asks for people driving to be aware of cyclists and give them plenty of space when overtaking, but especially now that the evening commute for the vast majority of people is in darkness.”

With road defects being harder to spot in the darker hours, and autumnal leaf fall and damp road conditions potentially creating a slip hazard for people cycling, the national cycling charity is also urging drivers to be especially aware of cyclists and to give them extra space while overtaking.

The AA has a list of general tips for drivers regarding cyclists, several of which are particularly relevant as the clocks turn back.

Cyclists are more vulnerable than car users. They have the same rights on the road and drivers should remember they are sharing the road with cyclists

The AA

The AA advises: “Cyclists are more vulnerable than car users. They have the same rights on the road and drivers should remember they are sharing the road with cyclists. 

“Drivers should give as much room as practically possible when overtaking a cycle – Highway Code Rule 163 illustrates one car’s width – they may have to move out to avoid hazards like drains, potholes, or other debris on the road that you may not be able to see. At night, drivers should use dipped headlights when approaching cyclists as they would when approaching any other road user.

“And they should allow cyclists extra room in wet weather as surfaces will be wet and slippery.”

The AA also advises drivers to check their own vehicles lights as more than a third (37%) of drivers say cars with defective lights are the pitfall of autumn driving.