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Highway Code reform 'becoming bit of a class war' – changes set to benefit cyclists

General secretary Steve McNamara has slammed changes to the Highway Code due to come into force on January 29. Mr McNamara argued on LBC that the changes, which will give drivers greater responsibility to watch out for people on bikes, will fuel a “class war” between motorists and cyclists.

according to Taxi Drivers’ Association chief Steve McNamara.

Mr McNamara told LBC: “It’s massively unfair!

“It’s not the motorist it’s unfair on, what this has almost become, and you know start singing the red flag but, it’s almost become a bit of a class war.

“So you’ve got sort of working-class people who, you know, builders plumbers are in vans, delivery drivers, you know, cab drivers, minicab drivers, bus drivers, those sorts of people that have to be on the road, not chosen to go out for a drive.

“They’re the ones that have been impacted by all these decisions.”

He added: “Meanwhile, you know, the middle-class white man who has got a nice job in the city, who can ride his bike a mile and a half from his central London abodes is benefiting enormously.”

A key amendment to the code includes clearer guidance for drivers to leave a distance of at least 1.5 metres when overtaking cyclists.

There will also be a recommendation for car users to reduce the risk of opening a door into the path of a cyclist by using the hand on the opposite side to the door, as that will often lead to them looking over their shoulder.

Nicholas Lyes, RAC head of roads policy, described the amendments as “a significant departure from what’s gone before”.

Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns at charity Cycling UK, said the changes to the Highway Code will happen “overnight” so the lack of official publicity is “frustrating”.

This “helps no-one”, he warned. Mr Dollimore said: “Neither the walkers and cyclists the rules are meant to protect, nor the drivers who are somehow meant to telepathically know about them.”

A DfT spokesman said: “The proposed upcoming changes to the Highway Code will improve safety for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders and were announced to national press.

“The department has established a working group of key organisations to ensure that messages about the changes are as widespread as possible and our well-established Think! campaign will continue to ensure all road users are aware both when these changes come into effect and beyond.”



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