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Proposed amends to UK’s Highways Code divides opinion

Proposed amends to UK’s Highways Code divides opinion

The UK government is making plans to amend the Highway Code, the rules that govern British roads. Some of the changes include rules that prioritise cyclists and pedestrians over motorists.

While some motoring organisations have welcomed this news, others have been more critical.

President of the AA, Edmund King said: “As a third of drivers said they would cycle, walk or run more after lockdown, these proposals should be broadly welcomed to improve safety for all road users.”

However, Nicholas Lyes, head of roads policy at the RAC was more sceptical, stating: “We need to consider just how practical, and indeed safe it is to advise drivers to give way to pedestrians waiting to cross a road at a junction when traffic from another direction may be approaching.”

Under the proposed rule changes, pedestrians would sit at the top of the so-called ‘Hierarchy of Road Users’. Cyclists, horse riders and motorcyclists would follow, with motorists sitting below them.

A statement from the Department of Transport stressed that the aim was not to give priority to pedestrians and cyclists in every situation, but to create a “mutually respectful and considerate culture of safe and effective road use that benefits all users.”

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