Highway Code changes26 Jan 2022

New rules come into force on 29 January 2022

This weekend sees significant changes to the Highway Code including the creation of a ‘hierarchy of road users’ which places those most vulnerable in the event of a collision at the top.

The new code “will clarify that when people cycling are going straight ahead at a junction, they have priority over traffic waiting to turn into or out of a side road, unless road signs or markings indicate otherwise.”

Additionally, the updated code will “confirm that people cycling may pass slower-moving or stationary traffic on their right or left.”

There will also be guidance for cyclists to “ride in the centre of the lane on quieter roads, in slower-moving traffic and at the approach to junctions”.

Cyclists will also be advised to keep 0.5 meters away from the kerb on busier roads.

Other measures include:

  • An explanation that cyclists can ride two abreast – and it can be safer to do so in large groups or with children – but must be aware of drivers behind them and allow them to overtake when safe to do so
  • Clarification of existing rules that drivers and motorcyclists should give priority to cyclists on roundabouts
  • The introduction of a new technique known as the ‘Dutch Reach’. If a motorist is opening the right-hand door of their car, they should open it with their left hand (and vice-versa). This makes them turn their head to look over their shoulder, meaning they’re less likely to injure passing cyclists and pedestrians

The changes follow a consultation which ran for 12 weeks and closed at the end of October 2021.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

“I have long thought that the vast majority of the Highway Code’s content could be wrapped up in one simple piece of advice that all road users would do well to remember: ‘Do as you would be done by.'”



Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation

07711 776448 | [email protected]

Notes to Editors:

The RAC Foundation is a transport policy and research organisation that explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users.

The Foundation publishes independent and authoritative research with which it promotes informed debate and advocates policy in the interest of the responsible motorist. All the Foundation’s work is available at: www.racfoundation.org