Boardman leads cycling groups in call for junction rule change

British Cycling has joined forces with the AA and pedestrian groups to lobby for simpler, safer road junctions.

The suggestion is that both drivers and cyclists would be obliged, when turning, to give way to those going straight ahead.

The organisations have proposed consolidating and strengthening existing rules in the Highway Code to create clearer guidelines for vehicles about turning at junctions.

The Highway Code has not received a full review in nine years and contains over 14 rules on junction safety, often with different emphases on various elements of road safety.

The lobbying groups believe that in not reviewing the content, the code has overlooked certain key elements of road safety and therefore needs reviewing to take into account the growing number of cyclists on Britain’s roads.

The new proposal follows research conducted on behalf of British Cycling in a bid to make junctions safer and more functional for all road users. The study was based on existing models that contribute to the successful road infrastructure in places such as Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden.

The research suggests that implementing the new legislation could create an estimated 15 to 40 per cent increase in signalised junction efficiency, whilst reducing congestion and improving air quality. It also has the potential to reduce the number of fatalities and improve overall safety levels by as much as 34 per cent.

British Cycling’s policy adviser Chris Boardman said: “Whether driving, cycling or walking, negotiating a junction is the most hazardous manoeuvre you can make on the road; this is evidenced by the fact that nearly two-thirds of motor vehicle collisions take place at junctions.

“There are at least 14 different rules in the Highway Code which relate to people walking and cycling at junctions; it can be difficult for anyone to interpret what is the correct behaviour. A change needs to be made – the rules need to be simple and unambiguous.

“The proposals put forward by British Cycling and partner organisations would eliminate confusion, improve efficiency and reduce congestion, while giving cyclists and pedestrians greater protection – therefore encouraging more people to take up greener transport options and making our streets healthier.”

British Cycling has today launched a petition to allow members of the public to add their support to the new proposal. Among those to have already signed the petition are Chris Boardman, Joanna Rowsell Shand, Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker and Sarah Storey.

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