The new highway code advises cyclists to use bike lanes where provided. But cycling organisations say this will make travelling on two wheels more dangerous. How come?
Shattered glass. Strewn rubbish. Parked cars. Deep drains. Jarring potholes. Lanes barely wider than a bike (sans rider). Lanes of a few metres. Or that switch from one side of the road to the other.
Such is the state of many of the cycle routes that criss-cross our towns and countryside. Yet these are the very facilities intended to encourage people onto their bikes.
And now the Driving Standards Agency, part of the Department for Transport, has released a draft highway code advising that cyclists should use bike lanes where provided.
The CTC, the UK's national cyclists' organisation, has collected thousands of signatures in a campaign to try to get the new wording changed. They fear that this advice could actually put cyclists at risk; that drivers' insurance companies will try to avoid paying damages to cyclists injured after riding in the road rather than a nearby cycle path.
But cyclists have told BBC Radio 4's PM that they have good reason to ride in the road, as bike lanes are often badly designed, even dangerous.