Highway Code revisions: Consultation open until 27 October 2020

thirdcrank
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby thirdcrank » 30 Jul 2020, 6:56am

Pete Owens wrote:
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.


To make clear what I'm trying to say.

The advice to cyclists up till now has been to avoid being doored. (My words.) This was not reflected in the advice to drivers overtaking cyclists. ie Although it might be obvious, I thought it needed spelling out. The new draft does that.

===================================================================================================

" ... it reads as though there was a committee consisting of 1 cycle trainer and 10 driving instructors. ..."

Whatever, I think it's important to remember that official bodies prefer "... take me to your leader" consultation. In this case our leader is the cyclists' self-styled champion. I'll predict with some confidence that any responses from cyclists criticising the draft will be met with a response making the point that this is the preferred version agreed with cUK and for all I know the BCF. The only thing that's likely to change the eventual published version is what the other "community" leaders such as RAC, AA, BHS, Living Streets have to say. That's why cUK want people to respond to the consultation using their pro forma response here:-

https://action.cyclinguk.org/page/64572 ... ing.id=web
Last edited by thirdcrank on 30 Jul 2020, 9:47am, edited 1 time in total.

thidwick
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby thidwick » 30 Jul 2020, 9:46am

I read the consultation document last night. Then read it again, and responded via the consultation website. I’ve logged in here this morning (first time in ages, I admit) to view the commentary.
I recognise the points made in this topic so far. I agree with most.
There’s been a significant increase in cycling as a result of Covid19. We should welcome this. The government are recognising the benefits of a healthier, fitter, population and are also starting to recognise the other benefits of increasing cycle miles. There are moves (money for cycle infrastructure, £50 repair vouchers) to support cycling as a viable alternative to driving which we should also welcome. The proposed changes to the Highway Code are aiming to be a big step towards “normalising” cycling for the UK population. Again, we should welcome this.

I think the proposed Highway Code changes are much better, and more significant, than I expected. One key thing for me is that cyclists are not told they must use cycle tracks or cycle lanes. There are also good words on road positioning, including at junctions. Cyclists are thereby being credited with the intelligence which seemed to be lacking in previous versions.

A key fault (for me) in the proposals is the 0.5m clearance when passing parked cars. This should be at least 1 metre, and 1.5m is better where possible.

As I’ve said, we should welcome these proposed changes. We should welcome the increase in cycling, and the increase in support for cycling. We should welcome all the “all the gear, no idea” brigade that will clutter the routes and tea-stops, and welcome the beginning of a shift from cars. Above all, we shouldn’t be elitist.

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

Postby Cake Man » 30 Jul 2020, 10:58am

Pete Owens wrote:
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.



I agree that we shouldn't have to use them, my point was that by putting it in can adversly affect investment, don't you see this?

http://www.hu17.net/2013/09/23/good-new ... ne-begins/

Yes that's the path, without it it's likely that i would never cycle to Beverley and neither would the others in my group.
So your piece of C*** is my gateway to other places. i would rather get there a bit slower and feel safe thanks.

And that's one of the issues we face, we seem to be fighting over the roads, yes there are many roads that we simply need to share, but me personally feeling safe whilst doing something i enjoy is pretty important.

There is a section near me which is part of the 'way of the roses' which we at times actively avoid, there is a terrible surface, it's narrow and drivers frequently just don't care. Maybe it has scarred me a bit. I love cycling on country roads, but forgive me for wanting segregated lanes on busy stretches.

We can't all agree, we never will, the world would be boring if we did.

Jdsk
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby Jdsk » 30 Jul 2020, 12:08pm

thidwick wrote:I read the consultation document last night. Then read it again, and responded via the consultation website. I’ve logged in here this morning (first time in ages, I admit) to view the commentary.
I recognise the points made in this topic so far. I agree with most.
There’s been a significant increase in cycling as a result of Covid19. We should welcome this. The government are recognising the benefits of a healthier, fitter, population and are also starting to recognise the other benefits of increasing cycle miles. There are moves (money for cycle infrastructure, £50 repair vouchers) to support cycling as a viable alternative to driving which we should also welcome. The proposed changes to the Highway Code are aiming to be a big step towards “normalising” cycling for the UK population. Again, we should welcome this.

I think the proposed Highway Code changes are much better, and more significant, than I expected. One key thing for me is that cyclists are not told they must use cycle tracks or cycle lanes. There are also good words on road positioning, including at junctions. Cyclists are thereby being credited with the intelligence which seemed to be lacking in previous versions.

A key fault (for me) in the proposals is the 0.5m clearance when passing parked cars. This should be at least 1 metre, and 1.5m is better where possible.

As I’ve said, we should welcome these proposed changes. We should welcome the increase in cycling, and the increase in support for cycling. We should welcome all the “all the gear, no idea” brigade that will clutter the routes and tea-stops, and welcome the beginning of a shift from cars. Above all, we shouldn’t be elitist.

Well said.

Jonathan

Adnepos
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby Adnepos » 30 Jul 2020, 1:31pm

I think the hierarchy of users is explained well in the proposed revision.

You may think I'm being trivial ...lawyers (not me!) turn on the meaning of words... but I feel strongly that ‘should/should not’ NOT be used anywhere in any guidance. There is no proposed change to its use, being 'advisory wording'. However, there is a wide divergence in understanding the meaning of 'should' across the UK, never mind other English speaking countries. As for people for whom English is a second/third language, this modal verb completely bamboozles them. I have had many interesting conversations about the meaning, especially with Germans. In my line of business, there is even an instruction that 'shall/shall not' NOT be used in any guidance document.

It's easy to avoid using 'should'.

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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby Cyril Haearn » 30 Jul 2020, 6:15pm

'Must' or 'must not' should be used
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Pete Owens
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby Pete Owens » 31 Jul 2020, 12:56am

Cake Man wrote:
Pete Owens wrote:
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.



I agree that we shouldn't have to use them, my point was that by putting it in can adversly affect investment, don't you see this?

http://www.hu17.net/2013/09/23/good-new ... ne-begins/

And hopefully, at least in theory, the latest government announcement on infrastructure will put a stop to all that c**p.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-kickstarts-2bn-cycling-and-walking-revolution
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps wrote:New, higher standards for cycling infrastructure have also been published in updated guidance today, in order to make sure that schemes are better designed around cyclists’ needs and to make sure they can support a larger number of cyclists in the future. These higher standards will make clear that schemes which consist mainly of paint, which make pedestrians and cyclists share the same space, or which do not make meaningful change to the status quo on the road, will not be funded. These standards will be overseen by a new inspectorate, Active Travel England, which will be responsible for the cycling budget and help make sure schemes are compliant with the new standards.


In future he sequence of event should be as follows:
1. East Riding Councillor Chris Matthews applies to Department of Transport for £868000 of public funds to construct a high quality cycle route.
2. Councillor Matthews awards the contract to PBS construction to construct a narrow footway and throw in a few blue signs in give-way markings to pretend there is a cycle route.
3. Councillor Matthews arranges a photo-op in front of bulldozers. (your link)
4. PBS construction builds the pavement puts up the blue signs and pants the cyclists give way markings
5. PBS construction sends an invoice for £860000 to East Riding Council
6. East Riding Council passes on the invoice to DfT
7. DfT sends Active Travel England inspector
8. DfT reminds the council that schemes which make pedestrians and cyclists share the same space are not to be funded
9. East Riding council surcharges Councillor Matthews personally for the misuse of public funds and he is forced to sell his house to repay the £860000.

Well we can live in hope.
Last edited by Pete Owens on 31 Jul 2020, 1:23am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Pete Owens » 31 Jul 2020, 1:15am

OMG they are advocating using the left hand lane to turn right at a roundabout:
Rule 79 wrote:If you are turning right you can ride in the
left or right-hand lanes and move left when
approaching your exit. Position yourself in
the centre of your lane if it is safe to do so
(see Rule 72) and signal right to indicate
that you are not leaving the roundabout.

I suppose it could be worse - they might have advocated riding anti-clockwise!

thidwick
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby thidwick » 31 Jul 2020, 8:30am

Pete Owens wrote:OMG they are advocating using the left hand lane to turn right at a roundabout:
Rule 79 wrote:If you are turning right you can ride in the
left or right-hand lanes and move left when
approaching your exit. Position yourself in
the centre of your lane if it is safe to do so
(see Rule 72) and signal right to indicate
that you are not leaving the roundabout.

I suppose it could be worse - they might have advocated riding anti-clockwise!


Well I thought about this too. Roundabouts vary a lot - from small diameter urban mini, up to four lane dual-carriageway junctions. Cyclists vary too - in the speed and confidence with which they would cross a roundabout. So I think the proposed words are ok. The words (again) credit the cyclist with intelligence in deciding how to tackle the roundabout, and lay the groundwork for not allowing the “he was in the wrong lane” defence when a slow cyclist is taken out by the fast car going straight on. It puts the onus on the vehicle driver (that hierarchy again) looking out for cyclists.
I think the proposal here is fine.

FatBat
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby FatBat » 31 Jul 2020, 9:02am

Pete Owens wrote:
In future he sequence of event should be as follows:
1. East Riding Councillor Chris Matthews applies to Department of Transport for £868000 of public funds to construct a high quality cycle route.
2. Councillor Matthews awards the contract to PBS construction to construct a narrow footway and throw in a few blue signs in give-way markings to pretend there is a cycle route.
3. Councillor Matthews arranges a photo-op in front of bulldozers. (your link)
4. PBS construction builds the pavement puts up the blue signs and pants the cyclists give way markings
5. PBS construction sends an invoice for £860000 to East Riding Council
6. East Riding Council passes on the invoice to DfT
7. DfT sends Active Travel England inspector
8. DfT reminds the council that schemes which make pedestrians and cyclists share the same space are not to be funded
9. East Riding council surcharges Councillor Matthews personally for the misuse of public funds and he is forced to sell his house to repay the £860000.

Well we can live in hope.


Indeed. I've had a good look at the scheme in question on Google Maps and, ... £868,000 for that?!?!?!?! I'd like to see the Cost-Benefit Analysis. It looks to me like the "cycle path" was formed out of existing footways and lay-bys formed when the geometry of the road was changed to smooth out some of the tighter bends - so where did the £868,000 go?

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mjr
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby mjr » 31 Jul 2020, 9:30am

Pete Owens wrote:And hopefully, at least in theory, the latest government announcement on infrastructure will put a stop to all that c**p.

Come on! You're not that gullible, are you? It only says that the government's reannounced £2bn won't pay for it. That's £2bn over 5 years, or £400m a year, or about £2.5m a year for each of the 150ish local highways authorities if it was shared evenly and Highways England and National Parks weren't getting any, which I think they will. It's less than a 70th of the motorway-building budget. Is that enough to make the old men in limos running some councils order their car-crazy highways departments to rewrite their design handbooks (or adopt someone else's) and possibly retrain a few crap designers?

I suspect that unless national government starts putting motorway-like sums into cycling infrastructure, most of it will continue to be funded by builders and this announcement does not appear to require councils to spend builders' funding only on standards-compliant stuff. What we really need is full compliance with LTN 1/20 adding to the binding planning policies, so councils must neither approve planning applications or discharge planning conditions if the cycleways are crap. Ironically, we'd probably see a reduction in urban off-road "dual network failure pattern" cycleways and more 20mph zones with shared spaces, vaguely Dutch-looking home zones and bicycle streets, but we'd also see some good stuff alongside high-speed bypasses and high-volume estate access roads.
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mjr
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby mjr » 31 Jul 2020, 9:43am

thidwick wrote:
Pete Owens wrote:OMG they are advocating using the left hand lane to turn right at a roundabout:
Rule 79 wrote:If you are turning right you can ride in the
left or right-hand lanes and move left when
approaching your exit. Position yourself in
the centre of your lane if it is safe to do so
(see Rule 72) and signal right to indicate
that you are not leaving the roundabout.

I suppose it could be worse - they might have advocated riding anti-clockwise!


Well I thought about this too. Roundabouts vary a lot - from small diameter urban mini, up to four lane dual-carriageway junctions. Cyclists vary too - in the speed and confidence with which they would cross a roundabout. So I think the proposed words are ok. The words (again) credit the cyclist with intelligence in deciding how to tackle the roundabout, and lay the groundwork for not allowing the “he was in the wrong lane” defence when a slow cyclist is taken out by the fast car going straight on. It puts the onus on the vehicle driver (that hierarchy again) looking out for cyclists.
I think the proposal here is fine.

I don't. Turning right from a left lane without right-turn markings is dangerously bad advice and the "he was in the wrong lane" excuse should be tackled another way (which it arguably is by the hierarchy rules). It's a hangover from 1970s/80s "Cycling Proficiency" that has never quite been excised from the Highway Code - it is long past time for it to go away!

Similarly, the 0.5m from the kerb advice (cut from about 1m in Bikeability and 0.75m on the CUK Close Pass mats) is back to the old two feet edge-of-the-gutter Cycling Deficiently riding position. That needs bringing into line with better advice, too.

And there's similar bad advice about waiting on the left to turn right into side roads which should also be removed, but there's no mention that you can do it at most signal-controlled crossroads and not only where there are signs.

The clothing stuff needs to go away too. The doubling-down on cherry-picking helmet evidence is a disgrace. There's still not enough detail on lights to be legal from reading the Code alone. There's some incorrect and outdated rules which are being left unchanged and unfixed.

There's some very good stuff too, such as the passing distances and priority straight across side roads no matter your position, but there are some open goals being missed.
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pjclinch
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby pjclinch » 31 Jul 2020, 11:30am

I'm cooking up a response. Knowing I've got a while to do it I'm not in a hurry and will be back to make quite a few edits yet.

I think the H-rules are pretty good as they stand. Not perfect and it would be nice if they had some legal clout, but it does pave the way for a presumed-liability insurance rollout in the UK, and given the need to be concise I'd say it's a pretty fair stab.

I think the pedestrian crossing a side road having priority should be a MUST rather than a Should, but of course that would mean drafting extra law as well. What's there is better than it not being there.

No comment on the horsey stuff, I'll leave that to those familiar (though a meta-comment, the revised Scottish cycle training resources have got loads of references to horses in, so someone in the equestrian world seems to be very good at getting their issues on to the table: good for them!)

My take on the Primary Position stuff is it's welcome and something should be in there, but the existing wording needs tuning. For example the "in slower moving traffic" is a rather vague term meaning different things to different people, and it would be much better to specify where a rider is able to keep pace with the vehicle in front of them (i.e., to remain part of the general flow of traffic). I'm not sure why you'd want to advise a general default of Primary on quiet roads, mainly seems like a recipe for causing rants from the Usual Suspects with little to gain.

The rule 73 text of "it is recommended that you proceed as if you were driving a motor vehicle" will perhaps not be the most useful thing you could tell a 12 year old doing Bikeability 3. I am raising the use of overly motor-centric assumption accordingly.

Changes to 76 are good in principle but I think need the wording edited to do a better job. Telling someone to be "particularly careful alongside lorries" strikes me as a case of too little, and quite possibly too late.

I have, as one might have guessed, rather Gone Off On One regarding Rule 59.

Rule 66 doesn't account for occasions when a shorter linear footprint of 2 risers abreast makes overtaking easier, quicker and safer than if they're in line.

Rule 67's 0.5m assumption of a door zone is too narrow.

That's as far as I've got for now.


Executive summary is the general direction is good, some work is still needed.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

Jdsk
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby Jdsk » 31 Jul 2020, 11:37am

pjclinch wrote:What's there is better than it not being there.

Agreed.

Jonathan

thirdcrank
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Re: Highway Code revision - hierarchy of road users

Postby thirdcrank » 31 Jul 2020, 12:18pm

pjclinch wrote: ... I think the H-rules are pretty good as they stand. Not perfect and it would be nice if they had some legal clout, ...


The Highway Code has huge legal clout, but nowadays that's only really felt on the civil side (compo.) It's hardly the fault of the HC that enforcement of offences of dangerous and careless driving have collapsed. If only the so-called Fatal Four offences are treated as priorities, then most of the HC is a waste of space in the criminal courts.