Cyclists suffer 25 near misses each year due to right of way confusion

A petition calling for re-examination of the Highway Code will be taken to the government today by Chris Boardman

Cyclists suffer 25 near misses with other vehicles each year because of confusion over who gets right of way at junctions, says new research.

>>> Every police force should have one of these cycling ‘close pass’ mats to educate drivers

That equates to riders risking being knocked down once every fortnight, a statistic which has sparked safety campaigners to call for a revision of the Highway Code to protect cyclists.

Governing body British Cycling has said that 14 conflicting rules in the code undermine safety for those on bikes at left and right turn junctions.

The most common threats to cyclists were vehicles passing to close and vehicles pulling out in front of cyclists.

BC is requesting a rule be implemented which gives any road user right of way if they are travelling straight ahead.

A petition backing the proposal has been signed by 27,000 people and will be taken to the Department for Transport today by BC policy advisor Chris Boardman.

“This wouldn’t cost the government money and could be implemented very easily with political will,” Boardman said.

“The cost of doing nothing is far greater. As Westminster’s Near Miss project has shown, incidents at junctions are putting people off cycling for good.”

However a DfT spokesperson said the government would need “to be convinced” of the safety concerns to consider implementing the change.

“Britain has some of the safest roads in the world. We are determined to keep all road users safe, including cyclists and pedestrians,” a DfT spokesperson said according to the Evening Standard.

“We would need to be convinced that any safety and accessibility concerns around such a fundamental change as British Cycling are proposing could be addressed.”