Government announces active travel boost - reaction
Commenting on the government announcements to promote active travel, including proposed changes to the Highway Code that are now out for consultation, RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said:
“We are wholly supportive of the package of measures announced today to boost walking and cycling. We particularly welcome measures to increase the number of segregated cycle ways to encourage more people on to two wheels while at the same time protecting them as some of the most vulnerable road users. We hope these improvements will make a positive difference in terms of cutting congestion and improving air quality.
“We are also broadly supportive of the proposed Highway Code changes, but we do have some questions over the practicalities of the right-of-way advisory changes – but this is purely from the perspective of ensuring the safety of all road users – cyclists and pedestrians included, and not just drivers.
"Overall the ambition behind the proposed Highway Code changes is to make the roads safer for everyone. A part of that is making it crystal clear we all have a shared responsibility to ensure one another’s safety on the road – after all, whether you are travelling on foot, on a bicycle or in a motor vehicle, everybody simply wants to get to their destination as safely as possible. Many other changes made to the Code, such as recommending the ‘Dutch reach’ when exiting a vehicle to check for cyclists and taking care when charging electric vehicles, are also very sound.
“We also welcome the new guidance contained in the Code on the safe passing of roadside workers. Every day, our patrols and recovery workers put themselves at risk to help others and the more that can be done to protect them, the safer that job becomes.
“It’s vital now that every final change made to the Code is well communicated. While drivers should keep up with changes to the Highway Code, our research suggests only half (49%) have consulted it at any time in the last 10 years.”