Highway Code revisions: Consultation open until 27 October 2020

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mjr
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby mjr » 29 Jul 2020, 11:52am

[XAP]Bob wrote:
Cake Man wrote:I apreciate that in general (at least where i live) cycle tracks are very poorly maintained, but where there are good ones they should really be used or what's the point in having them?


One issue is that as a non local I wouldn't trust that it wouldn't randomly dump me into the middle of a motorway junction.

Yep. They need to be clearly signed. End point and next intermediate destination if different. Or there needs to be consistency about having a carriageway access at every junction and before it diverges (if it does).

I'll often take a chance but I've ended up carrying the bike over an unmowed verge more than a few times to avoid following cycleways that abruptly leave the highway and head off along the back fences of some housing towards a mystery destination, so I can understand why people ignore them.

And choosing a cycleway really shouldn't be taking a chance!
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The utility cyclist
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby The utility cyclist » 29 Jul 2020, 1:44pm

al_yrpal wrote:Ironic that passing distance is highlighted, a thing that Cycling UKs higherachy steadfastly refused to campaign for and the principal reason I jacked in my membership. Close passing is a major source of why the General Public resist taking up cycling.

Al

A passing distance regulation/law is utterly meaningless, we already have laws for unsafe driving, adding another rule that won't be enforced just like the current laws and means having devices to record accurately is just a joke and wates time and focus on the actual problems!

Australia passed a close passing law, it doesn't work, Spain did as well, that's done squat for cycling safety, we absolutely need for police, CPS and judges to enforce the law, we also need a system that takes out the bias in juries, such that the CPS themselves came up with death by careless on the back of other motorists not convicting killer drivers!.

thirdcrank
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby thirdcrank » 29 Jul 2020, 2:00pm

As I keep saying, prolonged campaigning changed attitudes over personal violence etc. and in this context, particularly among the police, CPS and legal system. When Steer Calmer was DPP and with that the head of the CPS he burnished his credentials as a would-be MP with photo opportunities with the victims of violence. I suggested at the time that cUk should arrange for him to meet some victims of crashes or their bereaved families. Suggestion dismissed.

Anyway, attitudes to personal violence were changed by things like lobbying politicians. (Bit my lip at this point.)

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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby Cyril Haearn » 29 Jul 2020, 2:48pm

Please make the suggestion again, might be accepted on a second try

There are other matters where attitudes have changed, acceptance of homosexuality for example
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thirdcrank
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby thirdcrank » 29 Jul 2020, 3:16pm

It has occurred to me that this consultation draft does not seem to offer a changed introduction to the HC. At first glance, the Introduction is incidental but it's the statutory basis of the HC and the reason the authorities MUST pay attention to it. (See what I did there?)

Many of the rules in the Code are legal requirements, and if you disobey these rules you are committing a criminal offence. You may be fined, given penalty points on your licence or be disqualified from driving. In the most serious cases you may be sent to prison. Such rules are identified by the use of the words ‘MUST/MUST NOT’. In addition, the rule includes an abbreviated reference to the legislation which creates the offence. See an explanation of the abbreviations.

Although failure to comply with the other rules of the Code will not, in itself, cause a person to be prosecuted, The Highway Code may be used in evidence in any court proceedings under the Traffic Acts (see The road user and the law) to establish liability. This includes rules which use advisory wording such as ‘should/should not’ or ‘do/do not’.
(My emphasis.)


Apart from the obvious collapse in enforcement of traffic law, a huge problem is that the bad driving offences (dangerous, careless and inconsiderate driving) are defined in terms of "what would be expected of a competent and careful driver."

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/19 ... ection/3ZA

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/52/section/2A

The standards expected of a competent driver are falling in a self-fulfilling spiral.

It's probably too late now, but it seems to me that the forward should be amended to include something like The Highway Code sets out what is expected of a competent and careful driver.

It might be argued that it's implied by the present wording but that hasn't been enough: it needs to be specified.

ratherbeintobago
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby ratherbeintobago » 29 Jul 2020, 4:58pm

@thirdcrank There’s still time to put that in the consultation

thirdcrank
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby thirdcrank » 29 Jul 2020, 5:08pm

Except that at this stage, they are only looking for comments on their proposals ie the bits highlighted in yellow. The only other thing would be something to make them sit up and take notice, like stacks of comments.

My plan is to read it all carefully to see if there's anything else then I'll probably write, continuing to breathe normally.

AlaninWales
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby AlaninWales » 29 Jul 2020, 5:53pm

A couple of issues with the new wording, which in some cases, the consultation doesn't seem to give opportunity to challenge:

    >Rule 66 update recognises that "When riding in larger groups on narrow lanes, it is sometimes safer to ride two abreast", but does not recognise that on ordinary roads this can be safer due to the reduced length of the group to be overtaken.

    >Rule 67 update suggests "watch out for obstructions in the road, such as drains, service covers and pot-holes, positioning yourself so you can move to the left (as well as to the right) to avoid them safely" which is good practice. But Rule 72 changes say to ride on busy roads " keeping at least 0.5m (metres) away from the kerb" (the centre lane position apparently being for quiet roads). 0.5m is insufficient room to move left to avoid obstructions and not in the driver's line of sight; both of which are good reasons to be centre lane on busy roads! This can in fact be fed back on in the question about Rule 72.

    >Rule 67 update also says "take care when passing parked vehicles, leaving enough room (a door’s width or 0.5m) to avoid being hit if a door opens unexpectedly". Again 0.5m is entirely inadequate room to leave when passing parked cars. My car doors exceed 1m by a fair margin and to ensure clearance passing a door that wide (for handlebars etc) 1.5m is what is needed.

    >Rule 72 new wording suggests moving to the left to allow overtaking - at junctions where it is unsafe for drivers to overtake! This is clearly poor advice.


Cake Man
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby Cake Man » 29 Jul 2020, 8:42pm

The utility cyclist wrote:Please highlight the 'track' you re talking about, long train, define what you mean by that?
One bit of tarmac might be fine for one person but not for another or group, maybe the motorists should be using the MOTORway to get to their destination, afterall we pay billions for them to be built and maintained so they should really be using them or what's the point in having them :roll:

I'm from Hull originally and pretty much none of the so called cycle lanes/tracks around the city are remotely suitable for most people to easily and safely to get about, this is why cycling has dropped to ridiculously low levels for a city that is very concentrated and flat as a pancake and had very high levels of cycling for transport even by the mid 80s.
Cycle lanes are crap, I've not seen a single one across the country that I would deem adequate as a 'way that allows safe, connected, easy use that caters for the masses/cyclists of all types, abilities and speeds to use at the same time.
Taking back the highway away from motorists is the best solution by a country mile, inexpensive, immediate, connected/direct from all locations, wide.


Sure, the track is the link between Leven and Tickton, 3 miles of virtually new (2015 i believe) cycle path, by long train i mean at least a dozen vehicles, it's a busy stretch of road and crossing it is hard enough nevermind overtaking.
I get that non locals wouldn't know about it, but it's a stretch of road that i wouldn't even contemplate cycling on knowing that the track is there.

I totally understand where you are coming from, high quality cycle tracks seem to be few and far between and there are plenty that i would happily avoid and cycle on the road.
The point i was trying to make was that there is little incentive for councils to build these tracks and maintain them if there's a good chance that they won't even be used.
As cyclists it should be a case of 'if you build them we will come' not 'if you build them we'll think about maybe using them but not if it drops our average speed down'
I am more of a leisure cyclist than a speedster, sometimes i get my head down, so would happily use them, but yes they need to be well maintained.
Rather than taking back the roads, i'd rather have all new and fully resurfaced roads to have dedicated segregated tracks, all the A roads around me (Bridlington) have the space for this.

Pete Owens
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby Pete Owens » 29 Jul 2020, 9:05pm

thirdcrank wrote:I've only had a skim read of this consultation document - and remember, it's only consultation at this stage - but at the broad brush level this seems good. Somebody has read Cyclecraft. At the detailed level, it's probably natural to look at your own niggles.

If you read it in more detail (particularly the bit on road positioning) it reads as though there was a committee consisting of 1 cycle trainer and 10 driving instructors. The cycle trainer has explained good cycling practice - the driving instructors have not quite understood (or perhaps wilfully misunderstood) and the result is a mangled version which has all the right terms, but is still written from the perspective of drivers expecting cyclists to keep out of their way.
At the time of the 2008 consultation, I pointed out that the advice to cyclists passing parked vehicles to avoid being doored was not included in the advice to drivers overtaking cyclists. I was ignored: I applied for a copy of the consultation document and it was quickly followed by a letter of thanks for my contribution before I had submitted it. A much expanded Rule 213 - addressed to drivers now includes this:-

... Cyclists are also advised to ride at least a door’s width or 0.5m from parked cars for their own safety. ...


While it is good advice they need to go out with a tape measure and measure just how wide car doors are.
The same mistake applies with the new design standard for door-zone cycle lanes.
Back to the attitude of the courts, I think that if this draft is adopted, things will take a big step closer to presumed liability (or whatever you like to call it) in that the duty of care oved by drivers to vulnerable road users seems to be significantly increased. Somebody like Martin Porter QC is better qualified to speak on this than l'il ole me.


That is good - It should help avoid (or at least reduce) those cases where insurance companies try to reduce compensation due to contributory negligence.

Pete Owens
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby Pete Owens » 29 Jul 2020, 9:55pm

AlaninWales wrote:A couple of issues with the new wording, which in some cases, the consultation doesn't seem to give opportunity to challenge:

    >Rule 66 update recognises that "When riding in larger groups on narrow lanes, it is sometimes safer to ride two abreast", but does not recognise that on ordinary roads this can be safer due to the reduced length of the group to be overtaken.

Yes that is one of the more retrograde steps.

It has gone from "never ride more than two abreast ..."
to "ride in single file ..."

OK two abreast not actually prohibited, but it makes it clear that in single file is what is expected of us except in tightly limited circumstances, whereas 2 abreast was the norm before - apart from some circumstances (even though those circumstances didn't really make sense).

Some seem to have interpreted this as letting us ride 3 or 4 abreast (since no specific limit is mentioned). Apart from being a bad idea to do so, but it is clearly intended as an instruction to ride single file.

>Rule 67 update suggests "watch out for obstructions in the road, such as drains, service covers and pot-holes, positioning yourself so you can move to the left (as well as to the right) to avoid them safely" which is good practice. But Rule 72 changes say to ride on busy roads " keeping at least 0.5m (metres) away from the kerb" (the centre lane position apparently being for quiet roads). 0.5m is insufficient room to move left to avoid obstructions and not in the driver's line of sight; both of which are good reasons to be centre lane on busy roads! This can in fact be fed back on in the question about Rule 72.

>Rule 67 update also says "take care when passing parked vehicles, leaving enough room (a door’s width or 0.5m) to avoid being hit if a door opens unexpectedly". Again 0.5m is entirely inadequate room to leave when passing parked cars. My car doors exceed 1m by a fair margin and to ensure clearance passing a door that wide (for handlebars etc) 1.5m is what is needed.

>Rule 72 new wording suggests moving to the left to allow overtaking - at junctions where it is unsafe for drivers to overtake! This is clearly poor advice.


Absolutely.

The common thread running through this is that they seem to have some comprehension of safe cycling practice - but realised that this will on occasion cause drivers a few seconds delay. In all cases they describe how to ride safely and tag on ... "unless a motorist wishes to overtake, in which case get into the gutter pronto"

Pete Owens
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby Pete Owens » 30 Jul 2020, 12:07am

[XAP]Bob wrote:One issue is that as a non local I wouldn't trust that it wouldn't randomly dump me into the middle of a motorway junction.


... or into a tree, or though a bus shelter, or up steps, or into a bin, or into a lamp post, or into the wrong side of a dual carriageway, or into axle deep mud, or across a field, or into a fence, or into a bollard, or become narrower than a bicycle, or to somewhere where cycling is prohibited, or into a thicket, or over a kerb, or across the path of turning traffic, or across wheel grabbing corduroy paving. In the weird and wacky world of cycle lanes there really is no knowing where you might end up, yet the highway code proclaims this is all intended for our safety.

Pete Owens
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby Pete Owens » 30 Jul 2020, 12:40am

Cake Man wrote:vii.Rule 140 –Cycle lanes and cycle tracks

The new rule would advise drivers that cyclists don’t have to use cycle lanes or cycle tracks(a common misconception)

Yes, that is much needed - I was really worried that there would be another attempt to force us to use cycle lanes which they attempted at the previous revision.

I think rule 61 is also marginally improved.
Where it used to tell us to use them unless it was was unsafe to use them (implying that we need to justify our presence on the road at any specific point) it now says to use them only if they make our journeys safer and easier - it is unambiguously a matter of choice for us.

Pete Owens
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby Pete Owens » 30 Jul 2020, 1:05am

Cake Man wrote:...
i have seen cyclists on the road along side it, with a long train of cars behind.
...
what's the point in having them?


As you so perceptively point out the point of having them is to clear us off the road to prevent us delaying the all important motorised traffic, which is why it is so critical that use continues to be optional. If that cycle lane was safer and more convenient than the road then everyone would use it through choice and you wouldn't see cyclists on the road.

Pete Owens
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby Pete Owens » 30 Jul 2020, 1:22am

Cake Man wrote:Sure, the track is the link between Leven and Tickton, 3 miles of virtually new (2015 i believe) cycle path, by long train i mean at least a dozen vehicles, it's a busy stretch of road and crossing it is hard enough nevermind overtaking.


You surely don't mean this bit of narrow shared use c**p?
https://www.google.com/maps/@53.8732423,-0.3375277,3a,75y,338.99h,92.21t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sBGQ8VcoNnDfjwKY7VGkezg!2e0!5s20190501T000000!7i13312!8i6656
https://www.google.com/maps/@53.8753158,-0.3326627,3a,15.4y,277.24h,89.13t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1s16ZBeks77qiaQQrPL9TkaA!2e0!5s20190501T000000!7i13312!8i6656
https://www.google.com/maps/@53.8777428,-0.318812,3a,15.7y,56.8h,84.12t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1stSWPVjw-ceLXekamRSOLaw!2e0!5s20190501T000000!7i13312!8i6656

This is exactly tho sort of thing that gives cycle paths a bad name - and what the latest announcement claims they won't be building (though I'm not holding my breath).