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Highway Code Changes - Cyclists Take Care

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On the 29th January 2022 changes were made to the Highway Code that affect the rules relating to cyclists. With over 3 million bikes sold in Britain in 2020, in large part due to the pandemic, it is important that cyclists, new and old, familiarise themselves with what is expected of them when they go cycling out on the roads.

Below are a few of the important changes that cyclists and drivers should be aware of:

Hierarchy of road users

The updated rules have created a new ‘hierarchy’ of road users. This places those who are at most risk of a collision (e.g. pedestrians and cyclists) at the top of the hierarchy and those least at risk (drivers) nearer the bottom. In simple terms, road users who can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to other road users. So cyclists will have priority above motorists under the new changes.

Positioning in the road when cycling

Cyclists are encouraged to ride in the centre of their lane when on quiet roads, in slower-moving traffic and at the approach to junctions. The thinking behind this is to make yourself as visible as possible to other road users, especially drivers, which, in turn, should make it safer for cyclists.

If you are riding in groups you can ride 2 abreast (side by side). This, again, is to increase the safety of cyclists, especially if you are accompanied by a novice cyclist or a child. However, you should still be aware of people driving behind you and allow them to pass when it is safe to do so.

Cyclists are encouraged to give around 1m room when passing parked vehicles to avoid being hit by an opening car door.

Overtaking when cycling

Cyclists may pass slower-moving or stationary traffic on their right or left. When doing this, please proceed with caution as the drivers you are passing may not be able to see you, especially if they are driving large vehicles such as busses or lorries.


The updated code clarifies that people driving or riding a motorcycle should give priority to people cycling on roundabouts and not cut across their lane. People driving should not attempt to overtake people cycling within that person’s lane and they should also allow cyclists to move across their path as they travel around the roundabout.

These changes have come into effect in order to make all road users safer on a daily basis and reduce accidents. However, a recent AA survey found that 33% of people they asked were unaware of the changes. Regardless of any existing or updated rules, cyclists should always take extra caution when riding out on the roads.

If you have suffered an accident on the road which has resulted in an injury that impacts your everyday life, get in touch with our Injury Services team on 03333 209244 or email