Pedestrians given greater priority in new Highway Code changes

A couple of months ago, we previewed some of the potential changes to the Highway Code, part of which was being based on a survey and public consultation. The government recently announced that both pedestrians and cyclists will have greater priority in certain situations when the updated Code is published in the autumn.

What will change for pedestrians?

Surveys show that people have increased their walking and cycling activities during the pandemic, and the government wants to encourage more of this activity as part of its targets to reduce road traffic. In fact, there is a commitment of £338 million pound fund to support these targets. So, cyclists and walkers are now going to get more priority over cars at junctions and crossings, according to a report by the RAC.

At the moment, vehicles only have to stop for pedestrians when someone steps onto a crossing, and pedestrians are advised not to step out into the road at a crossing until vehicles have stopped – this seemingly contradictory advice is likely to remove that guidance, so that cars will need to stop at a crossing if a pedestrian is waiting to cross.

Cyclists will also have priority at junctions when travelling straight across, and there will now be clear guidance in the Code about safe passing distances and speeds. It is hoped that this will reduce the number of accidents involving cyclists and vehicles that pass to quickly or too close by.

The funding for walking and cycling will be used to upgrade infrastructure across the country, including walking schemes and hundreds of miles of safe, high quality cycling lanes.

The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps has said: “Millions of us have found over the past year how cycling and walking are great ways to stay fit, ease congestion on the roads and do your bit for the environment.

“As we build back greener from the pandemic, we’re determined to keep that trend going by making active travel easier and safer for everyone.”

Traffic and pedestrian surveys from Road Data Services

If you are interested in making your development or road network plan safer for pedestrians and cyclists, contact us today. We carry out bespoke surveys, including pedestrian surveys and parking surveys to help you see where the points of greatest danger may be. Our precise data helps developers and local authorities to plan for the best future for our roads.

Classified Counts | Speed Surveys | Video Surveys | Parking Surveys | Public Transport Surveys