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No right turn, except in two stages is an instruction that may not mean much to drivers, but cyclists should be very familiar with it.

The words appear on a road sign that was lauded by London Mayor Boris Johnson when it was introduced to the capital nearly eight years ago – but do you know what it means? 

The first such measure was installed at a crossroads in Bethnal Green, east London, before similar junctions were created in Edinburgh and Southampton.

The two-stage turn was designed to protect cyclists in 2015 – but even cycling groups are critical of them.

So, MailOnline asks… would you know what to do if approaching one of these blue signs, or a traffic light displaying ‘no right turn, except in two stages’? 

No right turn - except in two stages: These road signs are dotted all across London... but would you know what to do if you were approaching one on a bicycle?

No right turn – except in two stages: These road signs are dotted all across London… but would you know what to do if you were approaching one on a bicycle?

Cyclists take note: You can turn right, but only in two stages - do you know what to do?

Green light: It is safe to proceed... but how?

On your bike: Cycle lane signs at the junction of Cambridge Heath Road and Whitechapel Road in East London

Two-stage right turns have been introduced to a number of busy city roads in recent years – but drivers are still baffled by signs indicating the unusual manoeuvre. 

The Highway Code: Two stage turns 

At some signal-controlled junctions there may be signs and markings informing cyclists to turn right in two stages:

Stage 1: When the traffic lights turn green, cyclists wishing to make the turn should go straight ahead to the location marked by a cycle symbol and turn arrow on the carriageway; then stop and wait there

Stage 2: When the traffic lights on the far side of the junction, now facing the cyclists, turn green, they should then complete the manoeuvre

The junctions were brought in to help protect cyclists from ‘unsafe’ right turns at crossroads, allowing them to avoid waiting for oncoming traffic to pass or being struck by left turning vehicles.

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Instead, a new safety measure has been launched with a special ‘advance cycle light’ is added to traffic lights at the crossroads, which turns green while motorists continue to be held by a red light.

The first of the stages sees cyclists, positioned to the left of the road, proceed to move into a ‘marked holding area’ to their left.

They then position their bike 90 degrees to the right to face opposite towards the road they wish to travel towards. 

Bicycles again get a head start through the next set of lights, allowing to cyclist to travel in a straight line towards their destination, rather than having to cross any oncoming traffic.

Despite having been around for nearly eight years, though,  

The blue sign advertising the junctions reads: ‘Right turn in two stages’.

Above it a picture of a bicycle is shown with an arrow indicating cyclists to position themselves in a box in front of traffic on the road to their left, before another arrow points to travel in a straight line across the junction.

The safety measure has been introduced at some junctions to avoid cyclists positioning themselves on the right of a road and having to wait for oncoming traffic to pass before turning

The safety measure has been introduced at some junctions to avoid cyclists positioning themselves on the right of a road and having to wait for oncoming traffic to pass before turning

The cyclist will instead move their initial stopping point to a holding area on their left, where they will turn their bike to face their intended road opposite

The cyclist will instead move their initial stopping point to a holding area on their left, where they will turn their bike to face their intended road opposite

A special 'advance cycle light' has been added to traffic lights at the crossroads, which turns green while motorists continue to be held by a red light, allowing the cyclist to move off without encountering traffic

A special ‘advance cycle light’ has been added to traffic lights at the crossroads, which turns green while motorists continue to be held by a red light, allowing the cyclist to move off without encountering traffic

The first two stage right turn in Britain was introduced in London in August 2015, at the junction of Whitechapel Road and Cambridge Heath Road in Bethnal Green.

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Junctions have also subsequently been introduced in Edinburgh and Southampton in recent years.

Despite being advertised as ‘very straightforward to use’, the junctions have been criticised for being unsafe, confusing and increasing journey times.

Huge rise of cyclists during the pandemic led to an equivalent spike ijn riders killed on Britain's roads - although minor injuries fell. The graph shows deaths and injuries from 2004 to 2021

Huge rise of cyclists during the pandemic led to an equivalent spike ijn riders killed on Britain’s roads – although minor injuries fell. The graph shows deaths and injuries from 2004 to 2021 

Sex and age of cyclists killed or seriously injured on UK roads from 2016 to 2021

Sex and age of cyclists killed or seriously injured on UK roads from 2016 to 2021 

Time of day of collisions: Reported pedal cyclist KSIs by hour of day and day of the week from 2016 to 2021

Time of day of collisions: Reported pedal cyclist KSIs by hour of day and day of the week from 2016 to 2021

Type of road: Percentage of cycle casualties by urban and rural area from 2016 to 2021

Type of road: Percentage of cycle casualties by urban and rural area from 2016 to 2021

Speaking after a new scheme was completed in Bethnal Green, then campaigns manager at the London Cycling Campaign Rosie Downes said it was ‘quite concerned about the delays that cyclists will experience’, which may lead to some taking risks to avoid the delays.

LCC still maintains that two-stage right turns are not the best approach to improving the safety of cyclists.

Instead, they are pushing for alternatives, such as the Circulating Cycle Stage junctions introduce in Manchester.

These are signalised junctions which have all cyclists running at once in an orbital fashion around the junction.

But Transport for London said the two-stage right turns would ‘significantly cut the cyclist casualty rate’.

New bus stop bypasses have also been introduced to allow cyclists to avoid the 'risky' manoeuvre of overtaking a bus

New bus stop bypasses have also been introduced to allow cyclists to avoid the ‘risky’ manoeuvre of overtaking a bus

Mini zebra crossings feature along the cycle lane, ensuring passengers can safely reach and board the bus

Mini zebra crossings feature along the cycle lane, ensuring passengers can safely reach and board the bus

A statement added: ‘Around 85 per cent of cyclist accidents happen at junctions, mostly involving turning traffic.’

Then mayor Boris Johnson said the junctions would ensure ‘people can cycle safely and more confidently in our city’.

New bus stop bypasses have also been introduced to allow cyclists to avoid the ‘risky’ manoeuvre of overtaking a bus.

The bus stop bypass instead allows cyclists to the left, behind the bus stop, along a small cycle lane before rejoining the road ahead of it.

Mini zebra crossings feature along the cycle lane, ensuring passengers can safely reach and board the bus. 

Can you save money on car insurance?

Car insurance bills have a habit of creeping up, so comparing prices for the best deal is a wise move. 

Financial Conduct Authority rules introduced last year were meant to stop insurers bumping up renewal quotes, but many are seeing prices rise. 

It still makes sense to check for better deals on the comparison sites. We suggest:

MoneySupermarket*

Confused.com*

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Also check Direct Line and Aviva that do not appear on comparison sites.

* Affiliate links: If you take out a product This is Money may earn a commission. This does not affect our editorial independence. 

Car insurance: can you save money? 

> Tips to cut the cost of car insurance 

> Beware these sneaky car cover fees 

 

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