Why don't speed limits apply to cyclists?

And can we really go as fast as we want – even in 20mph zones?

A 20mph speed limit sign UK
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Cycling and speed limits have been filling headline space and news copy this month, with renewed calls for bike riders to be subject to speed restrictions in the same way as cars.

It came following the death of an elderly woman in Regents Park, London, who died after being in collision with a cyclist who was travelling above the park's 20mph limit for motor vehicles.

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After cutting his teeth on local and national newspapers, James began at Cycling Weekly as a sub-editor in 2000 when the current office was literally all fields. 

Eventually becoming chief sub-editor, in 2016 he switched to the job of full-time writer, and covers news, racing and features.

A lifelong cyclist and cycling fan, James's racing days (and most of his fitness) are now behind him. But he still rides regularly, both on the road and on the gravelly stuff.