Have you responded to the Highway Code consultation?

As you may know, the government is consulting on a revision of the Highway Code. The consultation ends at midnight on Tuesday 27 October, so there is still time to do an individual response online using this link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/review-of-the-highway-code-to-improve-road-safety-for-cyclists-pedestrians-and-horse-riders

Cycling organisations have been heavily involved in lobbying to make the Highway Code more cycle-friendly and are keen for as many organisations and individuals as possible to respond.

You may find it helpful to see the comments made on behalf of Barnet Cycling Campaign:

H1] We support the concept of a “Hierarchy of Road Users” giving priority to the needs of a the most vulnerable. It reminiscent of the law of the sea that “sail comes before steam”. We would prefer the term “Hierarchy of Responsibility”.

H2] We support pedestrian priority at junctions and priority on shared pedestrian / cycle paths.

H3] We would support the rule prioritising cyclists going straight ahead at junctions.

Rule 8] Is not well defined. An illustration would help. For example, a pedestrian may want to cross a major road where another road meets it a junction.

Rule 59] People should be able to cycle in normal clothing. We would prefer the wording “You should ensure clothes cannot get tangled up in the chain or in a wheel or obscure your lights when you are cycling”.

Wearing a helmet is a matter of choice. We suggest that removing the word should and changing the clause to the following advice. We would prefer the wording “Evidence suggests that wearing a cycle helmet will reduce your risk of sustaining a head injury in certain circumstances. Cycle helmets, if worn, should conform to current regulations, be the correct size and securely fastened”.

Rule 66] We would prefer the wording of the second paragraph to read “cyclists may ride two abreast at any time, but consider a riding in single file on narrow lanes to provide for passing when drivers approach from behind or in front. When riding in groups on narrow lanes, it is sometimes safer to ride two abreast to shorten the overtaking distance or discourage overtaking when it could be unsafe”.

Rule 67] We would strongly support the advice to leave a door’s width when passing cars. A car door’s width is often wider than 0.5m. We feel that most of the time cyclists should take the “primary position” as recommended in Rule 72 (below).

We would endorse caution when passing on the left of large vehicles due to their blind spots.

Rule 72] We would support the recommendation to take the “primary position” on quieter roads.

Rule 76] We support the priority given to cyclists going straight ahead, unless road signs or markings indicate otherwise.

Rule 82] Puffin crossings should be mentioned as well as Toucan crossings.

Rule 140] Add “You must not drive or park in cycle track at any time.”

Rule 163] We support the changes to this rule:

1] Allowing cyclists to filter though slow moving and stationary traffic provided they exercise caution.

2] Advising a minimum overtaking distance of 1.5 metres under 30mph and 2 metres at speed over 20 mph and for all large vehicles.

In the section on overtaking distances, we would recommend changing the wording from “As a guide” to “You should”.

Rule 213] Amend to read “Cyclists are also advised to ride at least a door’s width from parked cars for their own safety, which can mean they need to cycle in the centre of the lane”.

Rule 239] We support drivers using the so-called “Dutch Reach” to avoid the “dooring” of cyclists and motorcyclists.

The consultation is at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/review-of-the-highway-code-to-improve-road-safety-for-cyclists-pedestrians-and-horse-riders and closes at midnight on 27th October.