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Cyclists called on to support “10 key changes” to Highway Code

Have your say on Highway Code using Cycling UK’s simple web tool

After the Government this week launched a consultation on proposed changes to the Highway Code, Cycling UK is calling on cyclists to support 10 key changes which the charity says would make cycling safer.

The 10 changes include clearer guidance on overtaking cyclists, advice on the use of the Dutch Reach method of opening car doors and clarification that groups of cyclists can ride two abreast. (Although we have wondered this week whether the proposed wording for the last of those could potentially spell the death of the chain gang.)

Another major proposal is for the introduction of a hierarchy of responsibility for different road users. This would mean that those in charge of the largest vehicles, with the potential to cause the most harm in a collision, would bear the greatest responsibility to take care and reduce the danger they pose to others.

There is also a proposal to improve safety at junctions by stating that whoever is going straight ahead has right of way.

Cycling UK has produced a short film about that one.

The charity – along with Living Streets and transport expert Phil Jones – has been working to influence the changes in the consultation for over a year, and believes those proposed are vital and long overdue.

Cyclists are being asked to respond to the consultation and there is a web tool on the Cycling UK website to help you do so. (It’s not a copy-and-paste thing and you’re not obliged to approve of all 10 proposed changes.)

Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns, said: “We’ve been waiting for more than a decade for revisions to the Highway Code giving greater consideration to people cycling, and these 10 key changes to Highway Code will make cycling safer.

“This hasn’t happened overnight. Back in 2018 more than ten thousand of Cycling UK’s members and supporters backed our call for these Highway Code changes in response to the government’s cycle safety consultation.

“That support got us a seat at the discussion table – and together with our partners we’ve made sure we have draft proposals which will improve cycle safety.

“The struggle to make the roads safer for everyone is not done – we need these proposed changes to be approved and make it into the new Highway Code. Cycling UK would call on everyone who supports safer roads for cycling to support the changes by heading to www.cyclinguk.org/highwaycode.”

The full list of 10 key changes is as follows:

  1. Hierarchy of responsibility
  2. Junction priority
  3. Overtaking rules
  4. Opening car doors
  5. Rule 66 – group riding
  6. Rules 67, 72, 213 – Road positioning
  7. Rule 140 – priority at cycle tracks, and that cyclists don’t have to use them
  8. Rule 151 – allowing pedestrians and cyclists to cross in front of you in slow moving traffic
  9. Rule 178 on Advanced Stop Lines
  10. Rule 186 – drivers to give priority to cyclists at roundabouts

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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