The most significant change to the Code is to old Rule 47, new Rule 58. Cyclists were previously told to â€œUse cycle routes when practicable. They can make your journey saferâ€. 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 â€œUse cycle routes when practicalâ€ (on the one hand) and ‘[Use] cycle facilitiesâ€¦ 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.
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BBC news report
Weird Cycle Lanes on the BBC
CTC’s position on helmets
Cyclists’ Defence Fund
Weird Cycle Lanes