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"If you're a competent driver it shouldn't cause any issues": Cyclists react to Highway Code change outrage

There has been a lot of noise on TV, radio, national newspapers (and from a loophole-loving lawyer) recently...but what do cyclists think about the Highway Code changes?

You have probably heard how everyone else feels about the Highway Code changes coming into force in a few days — but what do cyclists think?

FDJ pro Jake Stewart, who is a regular on the lanes of the Peak District, this weekend proclaimed "cycling in the UK is doomed. Society is broken" after reading some thoughts from motorists.

> Highway Code changes: “Cycling in the UK is doomed,” says pro

But what about you or I? The ordinary UK-based cyclist who also deals with junctions, roundabouts and other road users on a daily basis. How do we feel about the changes?

There have been plenty of news stories about the Highway Code changes on road.cc over the past few days, so we thought we would round-up some of your thoughts to balance out the negativity...

mancrider was pleasantly surprised by the BBC Breakfast show coverage yesterday: "I particularly liked the very reasonable comments made by Edmund King (President of the AA) - hopefully he is an individual motorists may respect and listen to.

> Press misrepresents Highway Code changes – just days before they come into force

"Everything focused on these changes being common sense made official, that they we being made to ensure everyone looks after the more vulnerable (not just making change for cyclists, which I know can send the conversation in unfortunate directions), and just generally being more kind to each other on the roads."

One common theme was questions about the 'Dutch Reach', the technique of opening your car door to better see vulnerable road users approaching. You can expect to hear more from us in the coming days on that particular point.

Richard Baruch, and others, asked why the Department for Transport's publicity campaign is only set to begin in mid-February?

> Government slammed for not informing public of Highway Code changes aimed at protecting cyclists and pedestrians just days before they come into effect

On the issue of provocative TV interviews and social media debate, Aidan R concluded: "It really is depressing that sensible and nuanced changes to the Highway Code have been hijacked by some to sow division."

While Velophaart_95 added: "If you're a good and competent driver, any changes shouldn't cause any issues. The only people who it will affect are those who probably need more training and education."

The discussion has continued on Facebook, where Stan Kollar replied to Mr Loophole's comments about cyclists and pedestrians being entitled: "Shocking really, a vulnerable group of actual human beings to finally have some legislative support behind them to stop them being killed on the regular. The audacity!"

Steve Brill said: "Anything that makes it safer for us cyclists (and horse riders) can only be a good thing. Motorists' aggression and impatience towards those on two wheels has to be changed. Surely not killing a cyclist must come before saving 10 seconds on your car journey?"

Graham Snook commented: "The number of drivers going apoplectic about this and the rest of the rule changes is both worrying and funny as hell. All the Highway Code is asking, is for people to drive with more consideration, yet it's like many drivers feel put out because it means they will have to operate their vehicle in a safe manner, and that's just not fair."

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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