After a significant overhaul of the Highway Code, drivers are already expressing their anger at cyclists. 

According to the revised rules, cyclists should ride on the center of quieter roads in slow-moving traffic and make themselves visible when approaching intersections. 

These new protections are meant to increase pedestrian and cyclist safety, despite the fact that many drivers may not be aware of them.

After the new rules were implemented, motorists complained that cyclists had been deliberately blocking the center of the road and causing traffic jams behind them. 

Steve Bulley, the vice president of the Dorchester Chamber of Business, said a group of cyclists stayed in the centre of the road for eight miles.

He said, “The day biker took over the roads.” The lots were so angry that they refused to allow cars through for 8 miles. #cycling #HighwayCode #selfish.’  

Steve Bulley, the vice president of the Dorchester Chamber of Business, vented his fury at a group of cyclists who he says refused to let cars pass for eight miles

Steve Bulley was the vice president of Dorchester Chamber of Business and vented his anger at cyclists who, he claims, refused to allow cars on the road for eight miles

Cyclists are already asserting their new powers as they took to the middle of the road legally for the first time today after a major revamp of the Highway Code

As a result of a massive overhaul to the Highway Code, Cyclists now have legal access to the middle road.

Motorists and cyclists are already reacting to today's rule changes with a mixture of emotions after cyclists were given more freedom on the road

After cyclists received more road freedom, motorcyclists as well as cyclists have already begun to react with mixed emotions.

A cyclist in Richmond takes to the streets after the new measures were introduced to boost protection for cyclists and pedestrians

A cyclist in Richmond takes to the streets after the new measures were introduced to boost protection for cyclists and pedestrians

In London, cyclists were taking advantage of the new Highway Code rules which encourage them to travel in the middle of the road

London cyclists took advantage of new Highway Code rules that encourage them to ride in the middle.

Cyclists are now advised to ride in the centre of lanes on quieter roads, in slower-moving traffic, and when approaching junctions, to make themselves as visible as possible

Now, cyclists should ride on the center of lanes, using slower traffic and being as visible as possible when approaching intersections.

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes warned that the 'substantial' changes carry a risk of sparking 'angry clashes and, worse still, unnecessary collisions'

Nicholas Lyes (RAC Head of Road Policy) warned that’substantial’ adjustments could cause ‘angry clashes or worse yet, unnecessary collisions.

This new guideline requires that pedestrians waiting or crossing at intersections must yield to traffic.

The introduction of a hierarchy of road users means that someone driving has more responsibility for watching out for others who are riding, cycling or walking on roads. Bicyclists have greater responsibility for pedestrians.  

The AA conducted a survey with more than 13700 drivers earlier in the month, and found that 33% of them were not aware of the changes. 4% had no intention of reviewing the details.

Nicholas Lyes (RAC Head of Roads Policy) warned that’substantial’ road changes could spark ‘angrily clashes or worse yet, unnecessary collisions’ unless everyone is aware.

A hierarchy of road users is also being introduced, meaning someone driving will have more responsibility to watch out for people cycling

An organizational hierarchy of road users has been introduced. This means someone who is driving will need to be more vigilant for those cycling.

A survey by AA of over 13,700 drivers was conducted earlier in the month. It revealed that 33% of respondents were not aware of these changes. 4% had no intention of reviewing the details.

He stated that despite being on the correct side of Highway Code modifications, no one wants to be in an ambulance due to confusion caused by drivers or road users.

Think!, the Department for Transport’s road safety branch, will start a communication drive. In mid-February after the new rules were implemented, Think! will launch a communications drive. Further activity is planned for later this summer.

Baroness Vere (roads minister) said that this week’s updated Highway Code will improve safety on Britain’s roads and make it easier for people to respect others.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, stated that the new road rules will “help us make London the most beautiful place in the world for walking and cycling”.

Charity Cycling UK stated that the change must be communicated with clear, concise and memorable messages.  

The Government is to fund a new £500,000 Think! Radio and social media campaigns will be used to spread awareness about the new rules. However, it will not start until February but almost one month after their introduction.  

Some drivers might find it overwhelming to go through such a large overhaul of guidance. So we have broken down the main changes and simplified them for you.

Charity Cycling UK said the changes must be 'communicated with simple, accurate and memorable messaging'

Charity Cycling UK stated the need to communicate with people using simple, precise and memorable messages in order for them to make positive changes.

The Highway Code says cyclists can ride in the centre of their lane on quieter roads, in slower-moving traffic and at the approach to junctions or road narrowings

Highway Code states that cyclists may ride in their own lane in quieter roads and slower traffic, at junctions or narrowings.

When travelling along more congested roads with faster moving vehicles, cyclists should keep at least half a metre (just over 1.5 feet) away from the kerb edge

Cycling on roads that are more congested with fast moving cars should be avoided. Bicyclists must keep at least half of a metre (1,5 m) to the curb edge.

1. A new hierarchy of road users has emerged

Unpopular changes made to the Highway Code include the addition of a new hierarchy of road users. This pyramid-style protection scheme is intended to protect the most vulnerable.

Drivers of cars that cause harm the most are responsible to ensure the safety of all others.

The bottom line is that the larger and more heavy the vehicle, the greater your responsibility to lower risk.

A pyramid scheme of protection is used to protect the most vulnerable road users. It’s called the hierarchy of Road Users.

This means that HGV and truck drivers, as well as bus and truck drivers, have the greatest responsibility. Next are drivers of minibuses and vans, cars, taxis, and motorbike riders. The responsibility of cyclists and horse-riders is higher than that of pedestrians. 

However, the rule does not mean pedestrians cannot walk on the streets believing that they are protected from the elements. 

Highway Code updates include the following line: “The hierarchy does NOT remove the necessity for everyone to behave responsibly.” 

This Graphic shows how the Highway Code will change in relation to drivers and cyclists taking effect from today, including new right of way for pedestrians at junctions

The following graphic shows the Highway Code’s changes in regard to cyclists and drivers, starting today. It also includes new rights of way for pedestrians at intersections.

2. More rights of way for pedestrians at intersections

Although pedestrians always have the right to use the roads if they are already on them, the Highway Code updates gives them more rights at intersections.

Other traffic must yield if a pedestrian is waiting or crossing at a crossroads. If traffic turns into the pedestrian’s path, it is best to wait for them to cross.

A clarification was also made by rule-makers about right of way for parallel and zebra crossings. The former is the same as the zebra crossing, but the cycle route crosses the road. This now says that every road user, motorcyclists included, has the right to use it. You must Anyone who is walking, or riding across such crossings should be allowed to pass.

Cyclists are encouraged to ride in the middle of the road in some circumstances and, even if there is a cycle lane, they will not be obliged to use it

While cyclists may be encouraged to ride on the roads in certain situations, it is not a requirement that they use the cycle lane. 

3. Even if the cycle lane is available, cyclists may be in the middle a road lane.

The updated guidance gives cyclists more options to be more visible on the roads.

Highway Code states that cyclists may ride in their own lane on calmer roads and in slower traffic. 

Cycling on roads that are more congested with vehicles moving faster should be avoided. Bicyclists can travel up to 1.5m (just under a metre) from the kerb edge. 

If there is a bicycle lane on the road, all of these rules will apply. However, cyclists don’t have to use it. 

The Highway Code is not applicable to drivers living in towns or cities. There are often good reasons why cyclists don’t ride right up to the curb. The roads are often paved with potholes, drain covers, and other defects that could make biking close to the kerb unsafe. There is no room for error when cars squeeze in on the other side.

Cyclists are within their right to cycle two-abreast in a single lane, and this is encouraged for large groups such as the one pictured

It is legal for cyclists to ride two-abreast on a single lane. Large groups, such as this one, are encouraged.

4. Encourage groups of cyclists to cycle two-abreast

Further advice for cyclists who ride in groups is available.Be mindful of the other road users and make it clear that they are allowed to ride in tandem. 

The new formulation encourages it in certain situations, like larger groups or when Children and less-experienced riders can be accompanied.

Even so, cyclists in groups are reminded that they must let drivers pass when approaching them from behind. This could be done by changing to single-file or stopping.

How much space do you need to give? Driver will need to leave 2 metres (or 6.5 feet) between their vehicle and people riding horses at speeds under 10mph

What amount of space are you allowed to leave? A driver must leave 2m (or 6.5ft) space between his vehicle and riders riding horses under 10 mph.

5. When passing cyclists, horses and ramblers, drivers should maintain these distances

Today’s Highway Code Update has many scenarios that motorists will need to be aware of.

First of all, drivers can overtake cyclists or horses riding at 10mph and less.

A motorist should allow at least 1.5m (5ft) space for cyclists when passing them at 30mph. 

If a driver passes someone riding horses or driving horse-drawn cars at less than 10 mph, he will have to add another half-metre, which would make it 2 meters or 6.5 feet. This is also the case when someone walks on the street, as when they come across ramblers who live in areas without pavement. 

Highway Code says that drivers should follow the road users, and then not pass them until they are able to do so. 

6. When you are stuck in traffic, cyclists may pass you to the left and right.

Highway Code Updates now state that cyclists are allowed to pass motor vehicles on congestion routes.

It is important to exercise caution when cycling, especially on the left side of drivers’ eyes, approaches junctions. Also be cautious when passing large or unfamiliar vehicles. 

In slow-moving traffic, cyclists are permitted to pass vehicles on the left or the right, whichever they choose. This means motorists need to be more aware of their positioning

Cyclists may pass other vehicles in slow-moving traffic, but they are not allowed to do so on their left or right. Drivers should be much more mindful of where they’re positioned.

7. For cyclists, it is a priority to go straight ahead at junctions. 

The new rule set up to provide priority and protection for cyclists and pedestrians means drivers must be more vigilant.

According to the code, cyclists should behave as any other vehicle in dealing with intersections that do not have specific cycling facilities. 

They should position themselves so that they can safely move in their chosen lane. They will be more easily visible to other drivers, and it will prevent them from being overtaken by traffic when trying to turn.  

According to the code, cyclists who are following straight at a junction have priority over motorists waiting to enter or leave a sideroad, except that road markings or signs indicate otherwise.

Cyclists should be alert for drivers who intend to cross their paths. 

8. A new update on roundabout rules 

Now, the Highway Code clarifies that any person riding or driving a motorcycle must give preference to cyclists on roundabouts. This means they shouldn’t try to pass them in their lane and allow bicycles to travel across their paths as they go around.

While cyclists and horses were allowed to use the roundabout’s left-hand lane regardless of which exit they took, new guidance states that motorists must take extra care when turning into a roundabout so they don’t cut through other road users. 

The introduction of the Dutch Reach technique should help prevent scenarios like this one where a vehicle occupant opens the door on a passing cyclist

Dutch Reach should prevent situations like these where an occupant of a vehicle opens their door to a cyclist passing by.

9. Dutch

Now, the code recommends that motorists use a technique known as the “Dutch Reach” to exit their cars.

Drivers and passengers of a vehicle should be able to open doors using the hand that is on the other side. To open the door from their right side, they can use their left hand.

They will be forced to do this to see what is happening behind their back, and they may spot someone who’s about to pass their house.

It also states that cyclists need to leave one-metre of the width of a vehicle when they pass it. This is in order to prevent being struck by passengers or drivers who open doors.   

If drivers are concerned a charging cable could be a trip hazard for pedestrians, they should put out a warning sign

A warning sign should be posted if drivers feel that charging cables could pose dangers to pedestrians. 

10. Electric car owners need to be careful not to trip pedestrians using their charging cables

New instructions have been added to the Highway Code for electric vehicle drivers. One of the new instructions is focused on how to use a charging station.

To ensure that the charging cable is not a danger to pedestrians, drivers should keep their cars as close as possible to the device.

If they’re concerned that someone could fall on the cable they can put up a sign next to their car.

They are also required to return all charging cables within the device in a neat and orderly manner so that pedestrians don’t become ill.