Here’s our Hayling Herald February 2022 column, for those that didn’t get to see it.
Highway Code Changes!
Whether you’re a motorist, cyclist or pedestrian (or all of the above), you need to know about the new changes to the Highway Code which have just gone live. We’ve summarised the big changes below, so you can help make Hayling’s roads safer and more people-friendly :
3 new hierarchy rules:
- Rule H1: Hierarchy of Road Users – the more harm you can do, the more responsibility for care. The more vulnerable you are, the more protection you get.
- Rule H2: Vehicles turning at junctions should give way to pedestrians. Vehicles should give way to pedestrians and cyclists waiting to cross a zebra or parallel crossing (currently you only have to give way if they’re already on the crossing).
- Rule H3: New priority for cyclists when cars are turning (the turning vehicle always gives way). Vehicles turning into or out of a junction. or changing direction or lane, should not cut across cyclists or horses going straight on, or cause them to stop or swerve, whether they’re on a cycle lane, track, or the road. Stop and wait for a safe gap.
More key changes:
- Vehicles should leave at least 1.5 metres when overtaking cyclists at speeds of up to 30mph, and give them more space when overtaking at higher speeds.
- Cyclists on shared-use paths should give way to pedestrians and horses, slowing down as necessary and ringing your bell (bells are recommended on bikes) or by calling out politely.
- Cyclists may occupy the centre of a lane when they feel it is unsafe for vehicles to pass.
- Car doors should be opened by the “Dutch reach” method, using the hand on the opposite side to the door they are opening. This makes drivers turn their heads to look over their shoulders and reduces the likelihood of “dooring” a passing cyclist.
Roads were not built for cars
My Christmas reading was fascinating. “Roads Were Not Built for Cars: How cyclists were the first to push for good roads & became the pioneers of motoring” by Carlton Reid. When bicycles were first invented, long before cars, most roads were muddy, rutted farm tracks, so the early cyclists formed the Road Improvement Association to give them more places to ride.
And pedestrians welcomed them too. There’s a good clue in the word ‘pavement’, which was originally the ‘paved’ whole width of the road. It was only when cars came in that we changed it to the pedestrian section. In the US, ‘pavement’ is still the whole road, and pedestrians use the sidewalk.
Looking at a pre-1900’s map of Hayling, before cars, you’ll see the main road is exactly where today’s is, which explains why it’s so narrow and bendy.
So it’s even more galling when cars are given smooth tarmac, and climate-friendly cyclists are told to put up with muddy, rutted tracks like the Billy Trail. This is not the right sort of progress.
Fun fact: Henry Ford’s first car was built largely out of cycle components, as were many others. And electric cars came ten years before petrol cars, which gradually took over – how different the world would be now if the electric cars had won this early VHS/BETA battle.
Can you help us out?
- Many people loved last year’s Cycle Safari – whether you entered or not, tell us what you’d like to see for 2022, via cyclehayling.org/safari !
- Do you know of a garage to house the wonderful Cycling Without Age trike, ideally within a mile or two of West Town? It needs to be lockable, dry and have a mains supply to recharge (you’d be refunded the costs).
Tip of the month
Who likes the first few minutes of winter cycling before you warm up? It’s even worse if you’re going slow in case of skidding. My tip this month is to ‘hover’ over the saddle, like they do in gym spinning classes. It’s amazing how quickly that gets the blood flowing, and it takes your mind off the cold in no time. Remember: you heard it here first.
More at cyclehayling.org