The government here in the UK is revising the Highway Code. The Highway Code, for those who don’t know, is the booklet which tells you how to behave on the roads in the UK. It always used to look a bit like the famous evangelistic booklet ‘Journey into Life’, but was more expensive. There is a test on the Highway Code when you take your driving test in the UK (Many Evangelical Churches conduct a test on ‘Journey into Life’ before you are allowed to join the coffee rota, but I digress).
Anyway, the serious bit. The plans for the new Highway Code will be very bad for cyclists. Among the problems with the proposed changes is the fact that cyclists will be forced to stick to the cycle lanes and paths rather than the road. This is a bad thing for all sorts of reasons – the CTC, the Times and the Guardian explain it better than I can do here. This really is going to happen – the new Highway Code will ‘become law’ within the next 40 days if I understand things correctly.
There is something you can do if you act quickly. The Cambridge Cycling Campaign has encouraged their MP to present a petition to parliament which anyone can sign. See Actions every cyclist must take to safeguard their right to use the road. You can print off the petition from this page – it does need to be printed and posted, and it does need to be done straight away as the deadline is Thursday. The petition is as follows:
The Presenting Member: David Howarth MP
PETITION FROM Cllr Ian Nimmo-Smith and others
To the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled.
The Humble Petition of Cllr Ian Nimmo-Smith and others of like disposition
That there is significant concern that the proposed changes to the Highway Code will force cyclists to use sometimes inadequate cycle facilities and that the proposal to require cyclists to ride on the left-hand lane on roundabouts will place cyclists in greater danger.
Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your honourable House shall urge the Department of Transport to reconsider the proposed revisions to the Highway Code so that cyclists are not required to use cycle facilities ‘wherever possible’.
And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c
Just for into, the e-mail I received about it:
> Cambridge MP David Howarth has an opportunity at very short
> notice to present a petition in the House of Commons opposing the
> changes detrimental to cycling in the new Highway Code which is now
> before parliament.
> Anyone can sign the petition: it is not specific to Cambridge
> constituency voters.
> Unfortunately though it has to be physically signed with an
> original signature on the correct form. Therefore, please can
> we ask you to print the form which you can find at
> (make sure you have the whole link including the .html that might be
> truncated in this email)
> fill it in and send it by post *to ARRIVE by this THURSDAY morning*
> at the absolute latest (Wednesday if possible) to
> David Howarth MP
> David House, Room 4/11
> Norman Shaw North
> House of Commons
> London SW1A 0AA
> (n.b. not just to the usual House of Commons address, please, as
> that mail would then end up back in Cambridge)
> Please ask friends and colleagues who you can contact to fill in the
> form as well. Please feel free to circulate this as widely as you can.
> Further details about the highway code issue can be found at
Please pass this on, blog it etc. Thanks to Paul Roberts for telling me about it.
[An unrelated petition is this one: "We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Listen to cyclists and not approve the revised highway code", but the petition above is, I think, far more important.]
Unrelated diagram for reference purposes: