Kent transport

MP slams new ‘bonkers’ road traffic guidelines for cyclists

Changes to the Highway Code designed to boost protection for cyclists have been branded “bonkers” in the UK Parliament.

Former Tory minister Sir Desmond Swayne has argued against new advice for cyclists to ride in the center of lanes on quieter roads, in slower traffic and when approaching junctions, to make themselves as visible as possible.

Sir Desmond, MP for New Forest West in Hampshire, told the House of Commons: ‘I cycle 10 hours a week and on a narrow forest road I always cycle this close to the kerb because I’m also driver and I want to welcome the drivers.

“The advice in the new code that I should cycle in the center of the roadway is bonkers, isn’t it?”

Transport Minister Trudy Harrison replied: “I want to stress that this advice is for narrow roads only.

Sir Desmond Swayne, Conservative MP for New Forest West

“And I’m glad he’s embraced cycling because we too want to see half of all city journeys made on foot and by bike by 2030.”

Nine articles of the highway code have been updated since January 29, with 50 rules added or modified.

The changes aim to establish a “hierarchy” of road users, offering more protection to those most at risk.

Failure to comply will not result in a fine as the changes are advisory.

Other changes include guidance for traffic to yield when pedestrians are crossing or waiting to cross at intersections.

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