“10 key changes to Highway Code will make cycling safer,” says Cycling UK

In response to the government’s new consultation on the Highway Code launched on Tuesday (28 July), Cycling UK is calling on Britain’s cyclists to support 10 key changes to the code to make cycling safer.
  • Key changes in Highway Code consultation include clarification on overtaking cyclists, car dooring, junction priority and group cycling
  • Cycling UK launches campaign and short film to support proposed changes
  • Film available at: https://youtu.be/nCU-cDOcRIE
  • Campaign available at: www.cyclinguk.org/highwaycode

The 10 key changes to the Highway Code, including clearer guidance on overtaking cyclists (Rule 163), advice on the use of the Dutch Reach to prevent car-dooring, and clarification that groups of cyclists can cycle two abreast (Rule 66), will make cycling safer for everyone says Cycling UK.

Other proposals include improving safety at junctions by making it clearer who has right of way, and introducing a hierarchy of responsibility for different road users.

Cycling UK has produced a short film which shows why a simple rule change on priority at junctions is needed, bringing Britain in line with rules common across Europe. Whether you're cycling, driving or walking - whoever is going straight ahead has right of way.

The new hierarchy would mean that people in charge of the largest vehicles, with the potential to cause the most harm in a collision, would bear the greatest responsibility to take care and reduce the danger they pose to others. This means a lorry driver would have a greater responsibility to those driving a car or motorcycle, and likewise people cycling would have a greater responsibility than pedestrians.

The cycling charity, along with Living Streets and transport expert Phil Jones, has worked to influence the changes in the Department for Transport’s new consultation for over a year, and believes the changes proposed are vital and long overdue.

Duncan Dollimore Cycling UK’s head of campaigns said: “We’ve been waiting for more than a decade for revisions to the Highway Code giving greater consideration to people cycling, and these 10 key changes to Highway Code will make cycling safer.

“This hasn’t happened overnight. Back in 2018 more than ten thousand of Cycling UK’s members and supporters backed our call for these Highway Code changes in response to the government’s cycle safety consultation.

“That support got us a seat at the discussion table – and together with our partners we’ve made sure we have draft proposals which will improve cycle safety.

“The struggle to make the roads safer for everyone is not done – we need these proposed changes to be approved and make it into the new Highway Code. Cycling UK would call on everyone who supports safer roads for cycling to support the changes by heading to www.cyclinguk.org/highwaycode.”

The full list of 10 key changes is outlined below:

  1. Hierarchy of responsibility
  2. Junction priority
  3. Overtaking rules
  4. Opening car doors
  5. Rule 66 – group riding
  6. Rules 67,72, 213 – Road positioning.
  7. Rule 140 – priority at cycle tracks, and that cyclists don’t have to use them.
  8. Rule 151 – allowing pedestrians and cyclists to cross in front of you in slow moving traffic.
  9. Rule 178 on Advanced Stop Lines
  10. Rule 186 – drivers to give priority to cyclists at roundabouts. 


Notes to editors

  1. Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone. www.cyclinguk.org
  2. For more information on Cycling UK’s Highway Code campaign, visit: www.cyclinguk.org/highwaycodecampaign
  3. For a link to the online action supporting the 10 key changes visit: www.cyclinguk.org/highwaycode
  4. For a breakdown on the 10 key changes and what they mean see: https://www.cyclinguk.org/sites/default/files/document/2020/07/highway_code_10_key_changes.pdf
  5. To watch Cycling UK’s short film explaining the needed changes on junction priority visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCU-cDOcRIE
  6. For more information including a short film on Cycling UK’s campaigning on close passes visit: https://www.cyclinguk.org/campaign/toocloseforcomfort
  7. For more information including a short film on Cycling UK’s campaigning on car dooring visit: https://www.cyclinguk.org/dutchreach

Press contact information

For more information, please contact the national Cycling UK press office. Due to the restrictions caused by the coronavirus outbreak, currently the main press office number (01483 238 315) is not being monitored. If you would like to speak to a member of the press office during working hours (0900 - 1700) please email publicity@cyclinguk.org or call 07786 320 713.