Do cyclists have the right of way at crossroads? [New UK Rules Explained]

Changes to the road code in the UK that will affect cyclists and pedestrians will arrive on January 29, 2022.

The government launched an interim review in October 2018 focusing on vulnerable groups as part of future transport and how society is changing existing views on their travel.

The result is an introduction of a hierarchy of road users. The aim is to force users who are capable of causing the greatest harm to reduce the threat or danger posed by their use.

Useful for the government and hopefully for anyone traveling, almost four out of five people surveyed agreed with the introduction.

Hierarchy of road users

The new Hierarchy of Road Users in the Highway Code classifies road users from the most vulnerable to the least vulnerable. Essentially, this puts pedestrians on top, followed by cyclists, cars and then larger vehicles such as buses and trucks.

The purpose of the Hierarchy, as part of the new H1 rule, is to ensure that “Road users who can do the most harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may present to other road users.. ”

One result is the clarification of existing rules on the priorities of pedestrians on sidewalks, and drivers should give priority to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross the road.

While these rules are almost universally adopted in zebra crossings as a cultural norm, the new rules make it one of the biggest steps that some may consider necessary in cultural change in the acceptance of cycling and walking as fashions. alternative transport.

Do cyclists now have priority at intersections?

Yes. Under the new H3 rule, drivers must give priority to cyclists when entering or exiting a junction. This means that drivers cannot cross cyclists when entering or exiting a junction, or when changing lanes or directions.

Specifically, the guide says, “You should not cross overtaking cyclists when entering or exiting a junction or change direction or lane, just as you should not turn in the path of another motor vehicle. This applies whether cyclists are using a bike lane, a bike lane or driving on the road and you should give way.

New rules of the traffic code for cyclists in 2021

The most important change is that priority should be given to the most vulnerable road users waiting to cross the road before entering or exiting intersections. Suppose this includes T-junctions, junctions and left and right turns inside and side road exits.

The Dutch philosophy towards cycling infrastructure is essentially about fifty years old, so it had the great benefit of being at stake along with the growth of motor vehicle use after the oil crisis of the 1970s.

Major cities in the UK and elsewhere are adapting their physical infrastructure to support the safety and movement of cyclists and pedestrians, but this change in the Highway Code will generate criticism and inevitable uncertainty about who is considered to have the right of way.

In addition to increasing each user’s perception of risk if they believe the Code supports them, there is the inevitable reflection on how this affects guilt and liability in the event of a collision.

Daily commuting should become a safer and more enjoyable activity. It is important to note that cyclists will need to recognize that changes to the Code will make them responsible to pedestrians, and we are a long way from making bike lanes the norm around the world.

Cyclists will also be aware that they now have a place in the hierarchy. If this means reduced speeds at intersections, crossings and more stops at red lights, it will also improve the perception of cyclists as travelers.

Perception is crucial to the advancement of travel within our societies, as we all love (or struggle to own) our asphalt space. Distractions surround us, but now there are coded users who are more vulnerable.


Kevin Glenton
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