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Huge Highway Code changes coming next week affecting all drivers and cyclists

Mirror logo Mirror 17/01/2022 Emma Munbodh

A major shake-up of the Highway Code will give greater protection to cyclists and pedestrians when it comes into force next week.

On January 29, the Department for Transport will publish a new a "hierarchy of road users" – with tougher £200 fines and six points for motorists who do not follow it.

Drivers will be told to give more priority to cyclists and pedestrians and everyone will have to give way to pedestrians that are waiting to cross a road they are turning into, under the new system.

Pedestrians will have priority when on a zebra crossing, on a parallel crossing or at light controlled crossings when they have a green signal.

Cars indicating to turn left or right will also have to give way to cyclists coming from behind and going straight on, under the new rules.

Finally, cyclists will be advised to ride in the middle of the road when approaching junctions and on quiet roads - currently, those on bikes typically ride on the left-hand side. © Getty Finally, cyclists will be advised to ride in the middle of the road when approaching junctions and on quiet roads - currently, those on bikes typically ride on the left-hand side.

Drivers should also leave at least 1.5 metres when overtaking cyclists at speeds of up to 30mph - and give them even more space when overtaking at higher speeds.

Finally, cyclists will be advised to ride in the middle of the road when approaching junctions and on quiet roads - currently, those on bikes typically ride on the left-hand side.


Gallery: Manhart MH8 800 Limited 01/10 (motor1.com)

Pedestrians will be at the top of the new structure, as they'll be classed as those who can cause the least harm.

Cyclists, horse riders, motorcyclists and cars will then follow, with vans, HGVs and buses at the bottom of the list.

The idea is that someone cycling will have greater responsibility to look out for people walking, while someone driving will have to be more aware of people cycling, walking or riding a horse.

Under current road rules, pedestrians only have right of way at a junction if they are already on the road.

A Department for Transport spokesperson told The Mirror: "The Department has established a working group of key organisations to ensure that messages about the changes are as widespread as possible and our well-established THINK! campaign will continue to ensure all road users are aware both when these changes come into effect and beyond."

The changes come as part of a £338million package announced by the government to boost cycling and walking across the country.

It will be followed by a clampdown on drivers who use mobile phones at the wheel later this year – with the government closing a loophole that allows motorists to use devices while driving.

We’ve rounded up all of the big driving changes coming this year, here.

Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “With such fundamental changes to the Highway Code taking place to make our roads safer, we need to ensure road users understand the new rules ahead of time.

“Getting the message out now would help avoid dangerous situations and remove any confusion on the roads before the new rules are adopted.”

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