Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Motorway cyclist charged after trying to argue the law with police

Christopher Aymer has been charged with using excluded vehicle on a motorway, and obstructing a police officer.

A cyclist who was stopped by police on a motorway in Hampshire has been charged with two offences after attempting to argue about the law with the officer who stopped him.

Officers from Hampshire Police’s Roads Policing Unit were responding to reports of a cyclist who had been seen riding on the M27 near Cadnam in the New Forest, close to Junction 1 at the western end of the motorway which runs eastwards towards Southampton and beyond that, Portsmouth.

In a now-deleted post on Twitter, accompanied by a dashcam screenshot of the rider, Hampshire Police said that the cyclist had been “located, however he refused details and wanted to argue the law regarding pedal cycles’ use of the motorway.

“We won't mess around in such a perilous location so the male was swiftly arrested,” the force added.

According to the Daily Echo, Christopher Aymer, aged 28 and from Bournemouth, has been charged with using excluded traffic on a motorway, and with obstructing an officer.

He is due to appear before Southampton Magistrates’ Court on 24 August.

Cyclists are banned from motorways under Highway Code rule 253, which says, unequivocally:

Prohibited vehicles. Motorways MUST NOT be used by pedestrians, holders of provisional motorcycle or car licences, riders of motorcycles under 50 cc, cyclists, horse riders, certain slow-moving vehicles and those carrying oversized loads (except by special permission), agricultural vehicles, and powered wheelchairs/powered mobility scooters.

Nevertheless, footage often emerges on social media, including from accounts run by road policing units, of riders pedalling along the hard shoulder. Often, the rider is escorted off the motorway and given a stern lecture, but not charged with an offence.

Cyclists can end up on a motorway for a number of reasons – sat-nav errors (including when a navigation app such as Google Maps is set for a journey by motor vehicle rather than bike), ignoring signs stating that cyclists are not allowed there, or plain ignorance of the law, the latter constituting an excuse, but not a defence.  

It’s likely that in this case, it was the cyclist trying to argue the law with the police officers who stopped him that was a factor in the decision to press charges.

We’ve reported on many cases here on down the years of cyclists who have strayed onto motorways.

In January this year, Northwest Motorway Police stopped a cyclist near the Croft Interchange in Cheshire who had ridden on the M6 and M62 after “dozens” of people travelling on the motorways got in touch to report the presence of the rider – and discovered that he was wanted on a warrant for failure to appear in court.

And last year, a reader sent us dashcam footage of a Deliveroo rider he had spotted riding on the M6 close to Birmingham’s Gravelly Hill Interchange – better known as Spaghetti Junction, although is not known whether or not the cyclist was delivering pasta dishes.

Glasgow has been hosting the UCI World Championships for the past week and a half, but we have not seen any reports of competitors going for training rides on motorways in and around Scotland’s largest city – unlike in 2014, when the Commonwealth Games were held there.

Triathlete Jonathan Brownlee, who was competing for England at the Games, tweeted a picture of four riders belonging to the Sri Lanka national team, and accompanied by a support car, as they rode on the M74 motorway.

“Suppose it is a nice wide road,” Brownlee added.

Please note that comments are closed on this story.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

Latest Comments