03 May 2007

The new highway code

Letter to my MP:

Dear Mr Chaytor,

I understand that a new Highway Code is about to be approved, containing changes that undermine the standing of cyclists on the road and therefore compromise our safety. I am refering particularly to Rule 63 (http://www.dsa.gov.uk/Documents/consult/Responses/Highway_Code_Draft.pdf) which states that cyclists should use cycle lanes 'wherever possible'. Many such facilities are of poor standard, badly designed or just plain dangerous. Cyclists should not be forced to use such facilities against their better judgment. In short, cyclists should be allowed to use the road. A similar situation applies to the use of roundabouts.
This was debated a year ago (Handsard: 9 May 2006 : Column 24WH), when your colleague Mark Lazarowicz said that "It is important not effectively to encourage the idea that cyclists should be corralled into a small, often badly-maintained section at the edge of the road, and that they should not be entitled to use the rest of the road, like other road users, if they consider it appropriate to do so".

Surely there are many reasons - public health, the environment - why cycling should be promoted, rather than undermined?

Yours sincerely, etc

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