The Highway Code currently advises that cyclists “should never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends”.
But Roger Geffen, policy director at the charity Cycling UK, said it showed the need for an update to the code while urging all drivers and cyclists to be considerate of other road users.
“A frequent misconception of group riding is that bunching up is inconsiderate behaviour,” he said. “However this makes the group far safer and easier to overtake than a longer thinned out group.
“The less time spent passing the vehicle, or group of cyclists, the safer, easier and faster it is for everyone.”
Mr Geffen added that overtaking a bunched-up group of cyclists would not be any more difficult than overtaking a car or an HGV on a single carriageway.
“This misunderstanding of the benefits of group riding shows why the forthcoming revisions to the Highway Code are very timely,” he said.
“It also highlights why a dedicated and fully funded public awareness campaign for all the changes is necessary when they are finally introduced.”
In recent years, Cycling UK has successfully lobbied the Government for improved guidance about close passing and safe distances to make it into the code.
The Department of Transport last month confirmed that the Highway Code will soon be updated in order for road users “who can do the greatest harm [to] have have the greatest responsibility”.