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The Department for Transport (DfT) have recently announced proposed changes to the Highway Code, giving greater priority to pedestrians and cyclists.
Amongst the 33 proposed changes to the Highway Code, the DfT have set out clear specific rules to improve safety for pedestrians, particularly children, older adults, disabled people, cyclists and horse riders. The DfT have stated that “It is important that these groups feel safe in their interactions with other road users.”
What is the new proposed Highway Code ‘hierarchy’?
The DfT has proposed a new concept it calls the “hierarchy of road users”.
In order of vulnerability, these are: pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders, motorcyclists and motorists. It places the greatest responsibility on drivers for the safety of other road users.
How do the rules of the New Highway code affect cyclists ?Drivers, motorcyclists, horse riders and cyclists: At a junction you should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross into which or from which you are turning.
You MUST give way to pedestrians on a zebra crossing, and pedestrians and cyclists on a parallel crossing. You should give way to pedestrians waiting to cross a zebra crossing, and pedestrians and cyclists waiting to cross on a parallel crossing.
Horse riders and horse drawn vehicles should also give way to pedestrians on a zebra crossing, and pedestrians and cyclists on a parallel crossing.
Pedestrians have priority when on a zebra crossing, on a parallel crossing or at light controlled crossings when they have a green signal.
Cyclists should give way to pedestrians on shared use cycle tracks. Only pedestrians may use the pavement.
This includes people using wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Pedestrians may use any part of the road and use cycle tracks as well as the pavement, unless there are signs prohibiting pedestrians.
Of course there have been various updates and iterations to The Highway Code over the years, but none such as the new rules proposed, which will give pedestrians and cyclists greater priority over motor vehicles.
This is great news for us cyclists, and with £338 million being pumped into walking and cycling, we think that the future is certainly looking safer and greener.
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