Highway Code - Important changes - reply asap

A consultation on the Highway code closes next week. We are not replying on your behalf but please have a look and either email HighwayCodeReview2020@dft.gov.uk or fill in the online form


What are the new proposals?


There are 3 main changes that are being proposed through this consultation:

  • introducing a hierarchy of road users which ensures that 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 ensuring that they have priority at junctions when travelling straight ahead

These changes also reflect many years of persistent campaigning by cycle activists. They are also in line with new rules on building and designing for cycling LTN1/20 cycle infrastructure design which came out this year. More comment can be seen at

https://www.cyclinguk.org/tags/highway-code-0


A frequent cause of injury or death to cyclists is the behaviour of is motorists and lorry drivers at junctions.

New Rule H3 places a requirement on drivers to give priority to cyclists when they are turning into or out of a junction, or changing direction or lane, just as they would to other motor vehicles


Laws TSRGD Schedule 14 part 1 and part 5 and HA 1835 sect 72 & R(S)A 1984, sect 129

  • Rule H3: Rule for drivers and motorcyclists

"You should not cut across cyclists going ahead when turning into or out of a junction or changing direction or lane, just as you would not turn across the path of another motor vehicle. This applies whether cyclists are using a cycle lane, a cycle track, or riding ahead on the road and you should give way to them.

Do not turn at a junction if to do so would cause the cyclist going straight ahead to stop or swerve, just as you would do with a motor vehicle.

You should stop and wait for a safe gap in the flow of cyclists if necessary. This includes when cyclists are:

  • approaching, passing or moving off from a junction

  • moving past or waiting alongside stationary or slow-moving traffic

  • travelling around a roundabout

New rule 13 is confusing


"Cycle tracks may run alongside footpaths or pavements and be separated from them by a feature such as a change of material, a verge, a kerb or a white line.

Some routes shared with cyclists will not be separated by such a feature allowing cyclists and pedestrians to share the same space. Cyclists should respect your safety (see Rule 62) but you should also take care not to obstruct or endanger them unnecessarily.

Some routes are shared between pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders and horse drawn vehicles. Cyclists and horse riders should respect your safety but you should take care not to obstruct or endanger them unnecessarily."


There are two types of cycle track, shared use, (mixed pedestrian and cycling) and segregated use (different areas prescribed for each user). CD 195 issued September 2019, revised May 2020 and LTN 1/20 are very clear that cycle tracks are for cycling only, not for cars or pedestrians, this is because cycles travel at a much higher speed and cannot stop, start or manoeuvre as easily as a pedestrian standing on a sixpence. Likewise cycle tracks are not for motor vehicles as they are larger, heavier, faster than cycles and can inflict serious injury. It is really important that pedestrians do not walk on cycle tracks, but this is not made clear enough.


Under the old rules cyclists were allowed to cycle not more than two abreast (often interpreted as in single file!). However cyclists and horse riders will often choose to go 2 abreast in order to prevent dangerous, close overtaking when there is inadequate road space or ahead visibility. New wording is ambiguous

A discussion of the new rule can be seen on Cycling UK

https://www.cyclinguk.org/blog/why-highway-code-should-protect-riding-two-abreast


Cycle Basingstoke will not be replying to the consultation on your behalf but we do urge you to have a look and send in your comments

you can reply by email HighwayCodeReview2020@dft.gov.uk

or fill in the rely form online https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/K736D5/

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