Ramblers are celebrating today as the Government have announced changes to the Highway Code that will make the roads safer for walkers. The news was announced as part of a Department for Transport announcement that a further £338m has been allocated to boost cycling and walking across the country.
The biggest change is that there will be the introduction of a hierarchy of road users putting walkers at the top. This new rule will ensure that road users who can do the most harm – drivers of motor vehicles – have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger they pose to other road users.
A new version of The Highway Code will be published in the autumn and will include the following changes:
- A hierarchy of road users that ensures road users who can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger they may pose to others
- Strengthened pedestrian priority on pavements and when crossing or waiting to cross the road
- Guidance on safe passing distances and speeds and ensuring that cyclists have priority at junctions when travelling straight ahead
Ramblers’ supporters played a leading role in advocating for the Highway Code to put walkers first with over 2000 campaigners responding to the Government’s consultation last autumn.
Gemma Cantelo, Ramblers Head of Policy and Advocacy, said: “The changes to the Highway Code are good news for all of us, whether we walk for fun or to get to school, the park, the local shop or to work. For too long, the Highway Code has treated all road users as if they have equal responsibility for their own and other’s safety. The new hierarchy of road users is common sense: those who have the greatest potential to do harm, have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger they pose.
“We’re pleased that government has listened to the Ramblers, our supporters and all those who spoke up for walkers and road safety.”