Walkers prioritised in new Highway Code

The Highway Code has been updated, with changes coming into force on 29 January 2022. The new version of the Highway Code puts walkers at the top of a hierarchy of road users, giving drivers and cyclists more responsibility to reduce the danger they may pose.

The biggest changes for walkers are:

  • The introduction of a hierarchy of road users, with 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. Up until now, the Highway Code has treated all road users as if they have equal responsibility for their own and other’s safety.
  • A strengthened priority for walkers on pavements waiting to cross the road. The new code introduces a responsibility for drivers and cyclists to give way to walkers who are waiting to cross a side road or a junction. Walkers will also have priority when waiting to cross a zebra crossing, as opposed to the current rule that only gives priority once you are on the crossing.

We’re pleased that the UK government has listened to over 2,000 Ramblers supporters who responded to the consultation, and all those who spoke up for walkers and road safety. The changes to the code are great news for walkers, whether we walk for fun or to get to school, the park, the local shop or to work.

You can read more about the highway code on our advice pages.