Changes To The Highway Code To Boost Safety of Pedestrians & Cyclists

Significant changes will be presented in a revised Highway Code, to be published in the Autumn. For the first time a  ‘hierarchy of road users’ (depicted below) will be introduced, aiming not only to further encourage but also boost the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.  The rule changes will give more focus to walking and cycling than ever before in a bid to encourage more to ditch their vehicles.

Four of the new rules are:

  • New Rule H1 – A ‘hierarchy of road users’ (depicted below) will see responsibility on those who could cause most harm
  • New Rule H2  – Drivers will now have to give way to pedestrians waiting to cross a road or zebra crossing
  • New Rule H3 – Drivers should not cut across cyclists and should wait for a safe gap in the flow of cyclists
  • New Rule 72 – Cyclists can ride in the middle of quiet roads before pulling over to the left when necessary

The aims of the planned changes include:

  • To embed a hierarchy of road users that ensures road users who can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger they may pose to others
  • To ensure strengthened pedestrian priority on pavements and at zebra crossings
  • To share guidance on safe passing distances and speeds and to ensure that cyclists have priority at junctions when travelling straight ahead.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced these updates as part of a £338m package to boost cycling and walking. In an effort to capitalise on the walking and cycling boom during the COVID pandemic, the government will also boost funding for the construction of hundreds of miles of new cycle lanes, improvements to the National Cycle Network, and the delivery of new schemes to encourage walking.


Featured graphic illustration at top of article from The Mail Online

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