Walking and biking prioritised in new Highway Code

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
49,354
27,051
Good, about time. It's what I've long practiced when driving, and putting some weight behind it may stop those who honk me when I give way to vulnerable pedestrians. Such as those stranded on a tiny road island half way across a busy road with rapid traffic on both sides, or those who have clearly waited far too long to get across a busy road.

It's usually not intentional, but motor vehicle drivers are inadvertantly bullies, making pedestrians very much second class citizens who almost always have to give way. Most don't want to be bullies, but they lack the courage to bring a stream of traffic to a halt when the need obviously arises. I do it anyway when it's necessary, hoping to set an example at the same time, and that does seem to be working since I've seen clear increases in respect for pedestrians and cyclists on my regular routes in recent years.
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Gubbins

Esteemed Pedelecer
Good, about time. It's what I've long practiced when driving, and putting some weight behind it may stop those who honk me when I give way to vulnerable pedestrians. Such as those stranded on a tiny road island half way across a busy road with rapid traffic on both sides, or those who have clearly waited far too long to get across a busy road.

It's usually not intentional, but motor vehicle drivers are inadvertantly bullies, making pedestrians very much second class citizens who almost always have to give way. Most don't want to be bullies, but they lack the courage to bring a stream of traffic to a halt when the need obviously arises. I do it anyway when it's necessary, hoping to set an example at the same time, and that does seem to be working since I've seen clear increases in respect for pedestrians and cyclists on my regular routes in recent years.
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As an aging pedestrian I often find myself on the receiving end of actions from people like you Flec and I must say it is definitely on the up and is appreciated.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
49,354
27,051
As an aging pedestrian I often find myself on the receiving end of actions from people like you Flec and I must say it is definitely on the up and is appreciated.
Thank you, it's good to learn that this is getting better in other areas too.

I extend the giving way courtesy to bus drivers too, firstly since they are serving the whole community rather than the car driver serving themselves, but also since the bus passengers will often not be car owners so remain pedestrians in status even when riding on public transport.
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Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
14,632
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We all hope it is a step forward in the right direction, but there will be a lot who will not understand the new rules or want to abide by them.
The benefit should be good for all vulnerable road users not in a motor vehicle, lets hope the Govt have awareness TV ads for all to see, then no excuse for peeps to say I didn't know.
The passing rule will be good not sure of the distance but if it is 1.5m as expected cyclists, mopeds , motor cycles and horse riders should all benefit and feel safer, though in the real world we know that it may not change.
 

Gubbins

Esteemed Pedelecer
What I really find both interesting and amusing are the amount of drivers who complain that bikes don't pay road tax and should be made to pay like other road users, not realising bikes would be exempt the same as zero omission cars.
On one occasion I was being overtaken by a white van (obviously a professional driver) who opened both windows and shouted across " get some road tax you two wheeled b'stard"
 

Scorpio

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 13, 2020
293
120
Portugal Algarve (temporary)
Educational link, thanks for the update.
I find it interesting to compare road manners in different countries I'm familar with :

Denmark - cyclist have right of way at junctions (it sounds great but the reality is cyclist don't bother to look or indicate knowing the car driver will be found guilty after crash regardless of who caused the accident.)

Portugal - a very couteous nation, cars on the road stop if a pedestrian on the footpath is approaching a crossing (unlike UK where pedestians have to have 1 foot on the crossing before motorists notice them). Driving standards aren't great but everyone tries to work with the other road users rather than confront them. It's proof that cars, commercials, and cyclist/pedestrians can exist in harmony.

I'd like to hope the UK changes will improve things, time will tell ...
 
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StuartsProjects

Pedelecer
May 9, 2021
234
121
What I really find both interesting and amusing are the amount of drivers who complain that bikes don't pay road tax and should be made to pay like other road users
Yeah, yeah, most cyclists get that.

There is an easy reply to such an complaint. As a car owner I do pay vehicle tax on my car. So logically when I choose to journey by cycle, I ought to get a discount on the car vehicle tax since the wear and tear on the roads is much reduced with a cycle. Say 20p per mile discount ?
 

GSV3MiaC

Pedelecer
Jun 6, 2020
188
118
It's one area where we could do with some more ' big brother is watching you', since quite often when I give way to pedestrians, or let people out of side roads, I get honked at by some 'can't wait to get to my next accident' idiot behind. And this is out in the sticks, not urban mayhem land.

They obviously don't read the highway code since they don't know what a car horn isn't for.
 
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StuartsProjects

Pedelecer
May 9, 2021
234
121
I would suggest that minor adjustments to the highway code will change little, in particular as far as pedestrians are concerned.

Very little thought is given to pedestrians, who should really have priority over cars when it comes to crossing the road.

Those crossings which have buttons to press to cross are mostly a scam to stop and make you wait. There are several around by me that have no affect whatsover. At one local junction, where the local shops are, you cain wait for ages and ages and ages to get 'permission' to cross the road, and dont waste the effort in pressing the button.

No wonder peaople use their cars, they get priority.
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
49,354
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On one occasion I was being overtaken by a white van (obviously a professional driver) who opened both windows and shouted across " get some road tax you two wheeled b'stard"
He clearly didn't know that Road Tax was abolished in 1937, long before he was born.
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
49,354
27,051
As a car owner I do pay vehicle tax on my car. So logically when I choose to journey by cycle, I ought to get a discount on the car vehicle tax since the wear and tear on the roads is much reduced with a cycle. Say 20p per mile discount ?
I'm afraid not, as I remarked just above, road tax paying for the roads was abolished very long ago. The VED you pay is an Excise duty which is an indirect tax applied to the sale or use of goods. Ergo it isn't intended for any purpose, it's simply a treasury income into the general pool.
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Ocsid

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 2, 2017
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Compliance with what we have, seems to be the better target than a rewrite of rules that similarly will not be complied with and as likely bring no "real" penalty or incentive.
 
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StuartsProjects

Pedelecer
May 9, 2021
234
121
The VED you pay is an Excise duty which is an indirect tax applied to the sale or use of goods. Ergo it isn't intended for any purpose, it's simply a treasury income into the general pool.
I am aware of that, especially as I used to work at tha DVLA.

However, the great British public do commonly refer to it as a 'road' tax, which is completly understandable since VED is payable when vehicles are used or kept on the 'road'.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
49,354
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I am aware of that, especially as I used to work at tha DVLA.

However, the great British public do commonly refer to it as a 'road' tax, which is completly understandable since VED is payable when vehicles are used or kept on the 'road'.
Agreed, but no refund of VED is justified for wearing the roads less.
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Scorpio

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 13, 2020
293
120
Portugal Algarve (temporary)
I would suggest that minor adjustments to the highway code will change little, in particular as far as pedestrians are concerned.

Very little thought is given to pedestrians, who should really have priority over cars when it comes to crossing the road.

Those crossings which have buttons to press to cross are mostly a scam to stop and make you wait. There are several around by me that have no affect whatsover. At one local junction, where the local shops are, you cain wait for ages and ages and ages to get 'permission' to cross the road, and dont waste the effort in pressing the button...
I'd agree changing the rules won't have much effect, better enforcement of existing laws and a major change in attitude by most road users would give a much better result but I don't see a way to achieve it. The problem isn't caused by a single group; we have impatient and poorly trained motorists, "jaywalking" & phone-zombie pedestians, children treating all roads as playgrounds, reckless cyclists & scooterists.

Pedestrians also need educating. I used to live in a residential area with a main road running through it, a good friend *always" walked up to the pedestrian crossing, pressed the button, then looked at the traffic and walked across if the road was empty. 2 minutes later several cars had to stop at the red light that had no pedestrians near it.
Same problem for people who get to a crossing just after the lights turn back to green for motorists - many instincively press the button. The lights are timed so won't change again for a few minutes, before then there's often a gap in traffic so they walk across - lights change a while later and serve no purpose other than to frustrate motorists.

Giving pedestrians absolute priority is also a bad idea. A busy local "T" junction widened to 2 lanes just before the wide give-way line so you had 2 ques's of cars, one turning left one right. Traffic management changed the layout and narrowed the road to make it easier for pedestrians crossing, it cause massive conjestion in the village as a single car waiting to turn right could block the junction for several minutes. A few years later the changes were reversed and the give-way returned to 2 cars wide.
I'm also against "keep left" traffic islands next to bus stops on quiet residential roads, drivers are stuck when a bus stops even if there are no pedestrians and no oncoming traffic. Very frustrating and a waste of time (and it creates additional harmful emissions - the last thing you need in a residential area).

Mini-rant over, many groups in the UK have poor attitudes and I don't see a solution.
 

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
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The main issue is we don't have the police manpower & enforcement like other countries, France , Spain and Germany come to mind.

Today I passed a group of cyclists slow and wide after waiting for a suitable gap from oncoming traffic, yet the typical impatient BMW behind wasn't waiting he accelerated hard and not wide to squeeze in behind me and the oncoming vehicle that appeared. I just don't see the point in some of this total stupidity because he was then stuck behind me as a 30 zone was just ahead so I stayed below 30.
 
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sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
2,737
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Those crossings which have buttons to press to cross are mostly a scam to stop and make you wait. There are several around by me that have no affect whatsover.
I think any press button crossing should be arranged to change traffic lights immediately in pedestrians favour; unless a pedestrian has crossed within the last minute in which case the change will be one minute after the previous pedestrian cycle.
 

StuartsProjects

Pedelecer
May 9, 2021
234
121
I think any press button crossing should be arranged to change traffic lights immediately in pedestrians favour; unless a pedestrian has crossed within the last minute in which case the change will be one minute after the previous pedestrian cycle.
Exactly, especially around by me.

I do drive my car in my area, I would be quite prepared to suffer a little to make life easier for pedestrians.
 
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Benjahmin

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 10, 2014
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As far as I can see, the only reason for push button controlled crossings is because drivers, in their self important schedules, are far too busy and don't stop for pedestrians. Thus drivers are further educated that they don't have to stop unless enforced, by red light, to do so. Hence, we all have to suffer the infuriating time delays inflicted by dumb machine programming.
Common sense and courtesy would work far more efficiently.