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Changes To The Highway Code

Encouraging walking and cycling in urban and rural areas - A blog from the TRANSPORT ACTION GROUP

The Department Of Transport has recently issued an updated version of the Highway Code to improve road safety for people walking, cycling and riding horses. It has followed a public consultation in 2020. Walking and cycling charity, Sustrans, with other partners have helped develop the new code. The changes now prioritise safety for all and introduces a new hierarchy of road users.

The hierarchy prioritises those road users most at risk in the event of a collision. At the top comes people walking. Next comes the person riding a horse, they must look out for the pedestrian. The person cycling assumes responsibility to look out for the safety of those walking and riding. In the same way, a driver has responsibility for those walking, cycling and horse riding. The guiding principle is to be especially aware and give way to those above you in the hierarchy. All road users need to be aware of the safety of other road users and act responsibly.

The complete 8 areas of change are :

  1. The hierarchy of road users

  2. People crossing the road at junctions

  3. Walking, cycling and riding in shared spaces

  4. Positioning in the road when cycling

  5. Overtaking when driving or cycling

  6. People cycling at junctions

  7. People cycling, riding a horse and driving horse-drawn vehicles on roundabouts

  8. Safer Way to get out of your vehicle (‘Dutch Reach’) and parking for charging e-vehicles

It will take a while for the different groups to learn their new responsibilities and freedoms, so be safe and don’t assume straight away that the lorry driver is going to slow down or stop. But let us hope in time to come , that getting around on the roads and the footpaths will be a lot safer and encourage more people out on their bikes, their horses and even just walking.

You can find a guide to all the changes here :


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