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Highway Code 2021 Update - Has It Created a Hierarchy of Road Users?
Updates to the Highway Code have been announced today, which - when implemented - will mean that pedestrians and cyclists have more rights on the road than motorists.


Learning the Rules of the Road is part and parcel of learning to drive a car or ride a motorbike, although many people haven't refreshed their knowledge of the Highway Code in quite a while....

The updated version, which is due out this Autumn, will tweak 33 existing rules and introduce two new ones, and may include the "Dutch Reach" technique for opening doors (For those of you unfamiliar with it, you use the hand furthest from the car door to open it, as it automatically makes you turn. This helps you spot cyclists and pedestrians, reducing the risk of hitting them with your car door)


During the past eighteen months of the Covid-19 Pandemic, there has been a sharp increase on walking and cycling. The Department of Transport seek to capitalise on this with a £338 million package to boost walking and cycling over journeys taken by car or motorcycle. It also includes funding for new cycle lanes, improvements to existing cycleways, and initiatives to encourage people to walk instead.


Whilst this will be a boost to the environment, it looks to put pedestrians and cyclists firmly above all motorists on roads all over the UK, and will look like this: 

  1. Pedestrians
  2. Cyclists
  3. Horse Riders
  4. Motorcycles
  5. Cars and Taxis
  6. Vans and Minbuses
  7. LGV's and HGV's


Last year, the insurance company Admiral ran a poll to garner people's views on the hierarchy of road users: and asked "Should pedestrians and cyclists be at the top of hierarchy of all road users? 

Out of the Motorists asked, 30% said yes and 70% said no.
Out of the Cyclists asked, 60% said yes and 40% said no.
Out of a combination of Motorists and Cyclists, 52% said yes and 48% said no.

Source: https://www.admiral.com/magazine/guides/multicover/do-you-know-the-rules-of-the-road


As you can see, many people already believed that all road users need to see cyclists as equals, however, these proposed changes put cyclists and pedestrians at the very top, and motorists  at the very bottom.


What are your thoughts?

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Northern Group of Motoring Writers NGMW

Northern Group Of Motoring Writers

Annabelle Quirk Vice Chairwoman
Ben D T Quirk Member