All road users could benefit from proposed changes

Proposed new rules to make junctions safer for cyclists and pedestrians could also reduce congestion for drivers, new research has found.

An amendment to the Highway Code to give priority people, whether driving, cycling or walking straight ahead over those turning at traffic lights could reduce delays by 23 per cent for drivers, 21 per cent for cyclists, and 38 per cent for pedestrians.

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The research by Phil Jones Associates commissioned by British Cycling used computer modelling to simulate the effect of such a scheme on one junction in Waltham Forest, finding significant improvement for all road users as there is no need for separate traffic light stages for pedestrians and drivers and cyclists.

The proposed change to the Highway Code is part of British Cycling’s Turning the Corner campaign, which aims to make junctions, where two-thirds of all collisions take place, simpler and safer.

Commenting on the research, British Cycling policy adviser Chris Boardman pointed out the benefits for all road users, and called on Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to take swift action.

“Simple changes to the Highway Code and regulations would not only make junctions safer spaces for all road users, it would also make them much more efficient, saving lots of time,” Boardman said.

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“The time saved at this single junction amounts to around six hours every year for regular car commuters – that’s a whole season of Line of Duty – and would reduce exhaust emissions by 17%.

“Beginning the process of changing these rules to bring us in the line with the rest of the world would not be an onerous task – it is simply a case of updating the Highway Code and is something that the Transport Secretary could action tomorrow.”