The Highway Code – changes coming into force in January 2022

The Highway Code

As of 29 January 2022, new regulations will come into force aimed to improve road safety for vulnerable road users.

The Highway Code’s introduction will be updated to include a ‘Hierarchy of Road Users’ and new Rule H1. This is to ensure that 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.
The objective of the hierarchy is not to give priority to pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders in every situation, but rather to ensure a more mutually respectful and considerate culture of safe and effective road use that benefits all users.

The objective of Rule H2 is to create clearer and stronger priorities for pedestrians, particularly at junctions and clarify where pedestrians have right of way.
This being said, at junctions, you should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross the road, into which or from which you are turning. You should also give way to pedestrians waiting to cross a zebra crossing, at light controlled crossings when they have a green signal, and pedestrians and cyclists waiting to cross a parallel crossing.
The rule also states that pedestrians may use any part of the road, cycle tracks and pavement, unless there are signs prohibiting pedestrians. On shared use cycle tracks, cyclists should give way to pedestrians.
Pavement should be also used only by pedestrians including people using wheelchairs and mobility scooters.

The new Rule H3 places a requirement on drivers to give priority to cyclists when they are turning into or out of a junction, or changing direction or lane, just as they would to other vehicles.
Drivers should wait for a safe gap in the flow of cyclists if necessary, when cyclists are:
  • approaching, passing or moving off from a junction
  • moving past or waiting alongside stationary or slow-moving traffic
  • travelling around a roundabout

To find out more information including the updated rules for pedestrians, animals, cyclists, drivers and motorcyclists, as well as the ‘General rules, techniques and advice for all drivers and riders’ chapter’s updates, click here.