Driving Cyclists Off the Road

The CTC are currently running a campaign to have the proposed re-wording of the Highway code regarding cyclist changed.

The most significant change to the Code is to old Rule 47, new Rule 58. Cyclists were previously told to “Use cycle routes when practicable. They can make your journey safer”. In this form, the wording presented no real problems. By contrast, the proposed new wording says: “Use cycle routes when practicable and cycle facilities such as advanced stop lines, cycle boxes, and toucan crossings where they are provided, as they can make your journeys safer”. The distinction between the wording of “Use cycle routes when practical” (on the one hand) and ‘[Use] cycle facilities… where provided’ (on the other) means that the use of cycle facilities will no longer be discretionary for any cyclist who wants to protect him/herself from the threat of adverse legal action.

The proposed ‘compulsion’ to get cyclists to use facilities where they exist also ignores the fact that in many instances the facilities themselves are dangerous, either through bad design and implementation or through miss-use by vehicle drivers. Taking cyclists off our roads is not the answer, reducing the number of cars is. Allowing cyclists to make informed choices of which route they take whilst taking account of all factors is extremly important.
If you want to support the CTC campaign you can sign up here.
Further Reading:
BBC news report
Weird Cycle Lanes on the BBC
www.dsa.gov.uk/highwaycode
CTC’s position on helmets

www.cyclehelmets.org

Cyclists’ Defence Fund
Weird Cycle Lanes

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