The issue of what is the normal cycling position was raised at the last ITO group meeting following the proposed changes suggested by Francesca who pointed out that the term ‘normal riding position’ is currently used in the NS (E.g. 8.3 and 17.3) to describe the secondary position. There was then some brief debate about how the secondary position should be described.
The level 2 outcomes are written as though the trainee approaches a hazard in the secondary position and then moves into the primary position to deal with that hazard. For example, 8.1 ‘On approaching a side road trainees should look over their shoulder then move into the primary position’ or 11.1 ‘In advance of the junction, the trainee must observe behind, move into the primary position…’
It seems to me that whilst the ‘normal position’ for cycling on busy roads for a person who is able to keep up with the speed of the traffic flow is the primary position, the normal position for a child cycling slowly on quiet roads (when not actively dealing with a hazard) may be the secondary position as there will be few instances where they will be travelling at the speed of the traffic flow.
Road positioning will clearly vary depending on how busy the roads are which are being used and at level 3 the normal position is much more likely to be in primary. It will also depend on factors such as the volume of parked cars.
As currently written it seems to me the NS reads as though the default (normal) position is secondary in the level 2 outcomes. As the Level 3 outcome 3 (understanding advanced road positioning) reasoning section states ‘The primary position is the default position for negotiating level 3 junctions’
It would be useful to get others’ views on this.