Highway Code: cyclists could get priority on the roads

Cycling in London

Cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders could be given greater protection as part of proposed changes to the Highway Code.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has issued a consultation document seeking views on the proposals, which are designed to improve road safety for vulnerable road users. It’s not a full-scale revision of the Highway Code. Instead, the changes focus on three main areas:

  • Introducing a ‘hierarchy of road users’ that ensures those road users who can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to others.
  • Clarifying existing rules on pedestrian priority on pavements and that drivers and riders should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross the road.
  • Establishing guidance on safe passing distances and speeds when overtaking cyclists or horse riders, and enduring that they have priority at junctions when travelling straight ahead.

‘Considerable new text’

The rules for cyclists are likely to stimulate the most discussion. The DfT says “there is considerable new text within this chapter” of the Highway Code to ensure the safety of cyclists.

This comes amid the announcement of a government scheme offering £50 bike repair vouchers to cyclists in England. The Fix Your Bike Vouchers scheme website was “taken offline by the Energy Saving Trust following high levels of interest”.

The proposed changes clarify the position on cyclists riding two abreast, while informing motorists that cyclists should be given priority on a roundabout. Drivers are also told to give cyclists “at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car”.

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Crucially, cyclists will be able to ride two abreast or more and will be encouraged to ride in the centre of their lane in the following situations:

  • On quiet roads or streets. If a faster vehicle comes up behind you, move to the left to enable them to overtake, if you can do so safely.
  • In slower-moving traffic. Move over to the left if you can do so safely so that faster vehicles behind you can overtake when the traffic around you starts to flow more freely.
  • At the approach to junctions or road narrowing where it would be unsafe for drivers to overtake you.

“This is quite important,” says Duncan Dollimore of Cycling UK on The Guardian website.

“There are some roads police who believe you should ride 50cm from the gutter, and that you shouldn’t be rising two abreast on a country road.”

‘Dutch Reach’

In the ‘waiting and parking’ section of the Highway Code, motorists will be advised to use the ‘Dutch Reach’ method when opening a car door. This means reaching across to open the door with the hand furthest from the door. This protects cyclists approaching from behind by ensuring you turn your body to face the window and don’t open the door too widely.

How to pass horses safely on the road

The government says the objective of the ‘hierarchy of road users’ is not to give priority to pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders in every situation’. However, it does attempt to place the road users most at risk in the event of a collision at the top of the hierarchy.

The revised Highway Code could also include references to blanket 20mph speed limits in urban areas. To reflect the car industry’s shift to electrification, there’s also specific references to electric car charging points and cables.

The consultation period will run until midnight on 27 October 2020. The full document can be found here.

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3 replies
  1. MJ Dow
    MJ Dow says:

    In *my experience* cyclists, at least in Ireland, DO NOT RESPECT ANYONE OR ANYTHING. It seems to me they think themselves above the law, cycling against lights, traffic, diagonal, on/off footpaths, BULLYING AND HARASSING PEDESTRIANS AND DRIVERS.
    I believe cyclists should be required to have a license and insurance, besides lights, vests, helmets, bells, etc. And made to abide by the law OR ACTUALLY FACE LEGAL CONSEQUENCES.

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders might be given higher safety as a part of proposed modifications to the Freeway Code.The Division for Transport (DfT) has issued a session doc searching for views on the proposals, that are designed to enhance street security for susceptible street customers. It’s not a full-scale revision of the Freeway Code. As an alternative, the modifications give attention to three important areas:Introducing a ‘hierarchy of street customers’ that ensures these street customers who can do the best hurt have the best duty to cut back the hazard or menace they might pose to others.Clarifying present guidelines on pedestrian precedence on pavements and that drivers and riders ought to give method to pedestrians crossing or ready to cross the street.Establishing steering on protected passing distances and speeds when overtaking cyclists or horse riders, and enduring that they’ve precedence at junctions when travelling straight forward.‘Appreciable new textual content’The principles for cyclists are more likely to stimulate probably the most dialogue. The DfT says “there may be appreciable new textual content inside this chapter” of the Freeway Code to make sure the security of cyclists.This comes amid the announcement of a authorities scheme providing £50 bike restore vouchers to cyclists in England. The Repair Your Bike Vouchers scheme web site was “taken offline by the Power Saving Belief following excessive ranges of curiosity”.The proposed modifications make clear the place on cyclists using two abreast, whereas informing motorists that cyclists needs to be given precedence on a roundabout. Drivers are additionally instructed to offer cyclists “a minimum of as a lot room as you’ll when overtaking a automobile”.Crucially, cyclists will be capable of trip two abreast or extra and will likely be inspired to trip within the centre of their lane within the following conditions:On quiet roads or streets. If a quicker automobile comes up behind you, transfer to the left to allow them to overhaul, if you are able to do so safely.In slower-moving site visitors. Transfer over to the left if you are able to do so safely in order that quicker automobiles behind you possibly can overtake when the site visitors round you begins to movement extra freely.On the method to junctions or street narrowing the place it will be unsafe for drivers to overhaul you.“That is fairly necessary,” says Duncan Dollimore of Biking UK on The Guardian web site.“There are some roads police who consider you must trip 50cm from the gutter, and that you just shouldn’t be rising two abreast on a rustic street.”‘Dutch Attain’Within the ‘ready and parking’ part of the Freeway Code, motorists will likely be suggested to make use of the ‘Dutch Attain’ technique when opening a automobile door. This implies reaching throughout to open the door with the hand furthest from the door. This protects cyclists approaching from behind by making certain you flip your physique to face the window and don’t open the door too broadly.The federal government says the target of the ‘hierarchy of street customers’ is to not give precedence to pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders in each scenario’. Nevertheless, it does try to put the street customers most in danger within the occasion of a collision on the high of the hierarchy.The revised Freeway Code might additionally embody references to blanket 20mph velocity limits in city areas. To replicate the automobile business’s shift to electrification, there’s additionally particular references to electrical automobile charging factors and cables.The session interval will run till midnight on 27 October 2020. The total doc might be discovered right here.ALSO READ:‘Untold harm’ attributable to 4×Four drivers in ShropshireHow to seek out street site visitors data and keep away from delaysHow to make use of the Eurotunnel for a vacation overseas Supply hyperlink […]

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