May 05, 2006

Highway Code

Over 11,000 cyclists have complained about proposed changes to the Highway Code. In particular against a proposed addition which would tell cyclists to "use cycle facilities…..where provided".

If such an amendment were incorporated, insurance companies would use it to reduce the size of compensation given when motorists drive into cyclists who have chosen to use a road rather than a nearby cycle facility.

This is unjust. Parliament has decided that cyclists have the right to use all roads except those from which they are explicitly excluded (mostly motorways), the Department of Transport should not attempt to erode that right without due process. It's especially galling as some cycle facilities are more dangerous than the carriageway and many are more inconvenient.

The outrage generated by the proposal has lead to close scrutiny of the Highway Code's current text. The advice it gives to cyclists is simply not based on practical experience in the real world. It suggests that cyclists should follow a rigid and poorly informed set of rules irrespective of the consequences for their safety. On the other hand, some of the most important advice that can be given to cyclists, such as the importance of positioning and exercising care when using many cycle "facilities", is conspicuous by its absence.


Ctc's View
Howard Peel's View
Cycle Campaign Network's View

To register your own comments go to


Consultation closes 10th May!

- 3 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. nick

    I totally agree that this new law is plain stupid. I cycle to campus from Coventry, going down the Kenpass highway then into Kenilworth road. My observations of the issues associated with the bike lanes are;

    1. Often get cars parked in the lane
    2. Occasionally get skips blocking the lane
    3. Often get wheelie bins in the lane
    4. A number of road signs mean you have to weave in and out of the lane
    5. Predestrians think you are riding on 'their' pavement and fail to give way
    6. Cars do not give way if they are crossing the bike lane to turn into a side–road (I have been physically knocked off my bike by someone who 'didnt see me').
    7. The surface of the bike lane is badly maintained and bumpy
    8. The bike lane is badly marked, with little in the way of signs or painted road surface to differentiate it from the pavement
    9. The bike lane stops randomly with little signage
    10. One bike lane in cov near the technology park is actually blocked by a railing

    I think it is utterly rediculous to *make cyclists use lanes when many of them suffer the problems listed above. A far better use of legislation would be to force councils to make appropraite provision for cyclists, providing routes that are convinient for us.

    05 May 2006, 10:48

  2. Thankfully the Highway Code does not lay down the law (except where it states must or must not). But what's written in it does have an impact on legal proceedings.

    I think trying to separate cyclists from the rest of the traffic in built up areas is rarely satisfactory. It's best to re–arrange things to make it easier for cycles and cars to mix safely – slower car speeds at junctions, room for cars to overtake cycles etc.

    05 May 2006, 18:37

  3. Cath

    Due to high level of response deadline has been extended to 12 May


    10 May 2006, 20:26

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