Dept for Transport 2022 changes to The Highway Code:

8 main changes to rules of the road.

A new hierarchy of road users – leaving 1.5m space around cyclists

From Feb 2022 rules for all types of road users have been updated in The Highway Code to improve the safety of people walking, cycling and riding horses.

Roads Minister Baroness Vere said:

I’m proud to say we have some of the safest roads in the world, but I’m determined to make them safer still for everyone. These updates will do just that by bringing the rules into the 21st century, encouraging people to respect and consider the needs of those around them, and ensuring all road-users know the rules of the road.


Summary of the eight changes in important areas:

• introducing a new hierarchy of road users

• crossing the road at junctions

• walking, cycling or riding in shared spaces

• positioning in the road when cycling

• overtaking when driving or cycling

• cycling at junctions

• people cycling, riding horses and driving horse-drawn vehicles on roundabouts

• parking, charging and leaving vehicles


The new hierarchy explains that those in charge of vehicles that can cause the greatest harm in the event of a collision bear the greatest responsibility to take care and reduce the danger they pose to others. This principle applies most strongly to drivers of large goods and passenger vehicles, cars and motorcycles. Other more vulnerable road users have a responsibility to reduce danger to people walking.


Changes at a glance:-

• Giving people walking across and people cycling going straight ahead priority when turning in and out of junctions

• Leaving at least 1.5 metres when overtaking people cycling at speeds of up to 30mph, and give them more space when overtaking at higher speeds.

• Allowing at least 2 metres of space and keep to a low speed when passing a person who is walking in the road

• Encouraging people driving vehicles to open their doors with the hand furthest from the door, to help them look over their shoulder behind them to see people cycling or walking nearby

• People cycling may ride in the centre of the road or two abreast for their own safety, whilst allowing others to overtake when it is safe for them to do so

• Passing people riding a horse or driving a horse-drawn vehicle at speeds under 10 mph and allow at least 2 metres of space