A safer Highway Code for cyclists

After years of campaigning by Cycling UK, the Government announced a review of The Highway Code in July 2020. We've been closely involved in developing the proposed changes, which could make roads significantly safer for people cycling and walking, and after a huge response from our supporters we're hopeful these changes will make it into the Code - but there's still more work to be done.

What are the proposed new Highway Code rules?

Cycling UK has been closely involved in pre-consultation with the Department for Transport, and we’re delighted that many of the new rules we’ve suggested have been included in the review proposals, including:

  • The introduction of the 'Hierarchy of Users' or ‘Hierarchy of Responsibility’, recognising that road users who pose greater risks to others ought to have a higher level of responsibility.
  • Simplification of the rules relating to non-signalised junctions, which will make junctions safer and address ‘left-hook’ collision
  • New rules to tackle dangerous overtaking and ‘close passes’, with a guideline minimum safe passing distance of 1.5m
  • The inclusion of the Dutch Reach, to help prevent ‘car-dooring’

These are just some of more than 50 changes, and we've highlighted 10 key changes which will help make our roads safer. If adopted, these new rules could help address many of the everyday problems all cyclists face on the roads, and would help educate all drivers, feeding into driving lessons and tests, and help the police better enforce driving, which puts people cycling and walking at risk. (Note: following feedback from our supporters, we have revised our position on Rule 66, which you can see in our proposed 10 key changes). 

The consultation on the changes ran from 28 July to 27 October 2020, and you can read our full consultation response online. We're delighted that we saw our largest ever campaign response, with over 16,500 people writing to the Department of Transport to support changes which will make our roads safer for cycling. 

However, there's still work to do, and any changes which are made must be well communicated and publicised to road users, to ensure they are adopted by people driving, cycling and walking.