A new Highway Code is to be published this Autumn which will give pedestrians greater priority over cars at junctions and crossings.
Other changes include guidance on safe distances and speeds for passing cyclists and confirmation that when travelling straight ahead, cyclists will have priority at junctions.
Some changes aim to strengthen pedestrian priority on pavements and when pedestrians are crossing or waiting to cross the road. The changes not only implement a “hierarchy of road users” but also, according to The DfT, will encourage the continued increase in active travel that was seen during the pandemic. For instance, 2020 saw a larger increase in the number of miles cycled on British roads than all the previous 20 years put together. The figure for 2020 was five billion miles cycled – an increase of nearly 46%.
These changes come alongside a welcome £338 million which will also help to boost cycling and walking. Specifically, the additional funding will help pay for the improved infrastructure that is needed to support these changes, as well as the new programmes to encourage walking.
The changes to the Highway Code are to be implemented in Autumn and will affect England, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland will have its own version.
We will be discussing the detail of this in our webinar on Friday 6 August 2021 which you can register for here, otherwise, please contact a member of our regulatory team on 01254 828300 if you would like any guidance.