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Oxfordshire's VTN is
Bladon Combe Hanborough Glympton Stonesfield Woodstock Wootton and Blenheim

News

The Government Launches a New Highway Code aimed at improving safety for Pedestrians, Cyclists, Equestrians and all vulnerable road users.

The Highway Code: 8 changes you need to know from 29 January 2022

1. Hierarchy of road users

The hierarchy places those road users most at risk in the event of a collision at the top of the hierarchy. It does not remove the need for everyone to behave responsibly.

It’s important that all road users:

2. People crossing the road at junctions

The updated code clarifies that:

3. Walking, cycling or riding in shared spaces

Routes and spaces which are shared by people walking, cycling and riding horses.

People cycling, riding a horse or driving a horse-drawn vehicle should respect the safety of people walking in these spaces, but people walking should also take care not to obstruct or endanger them.

People cycling are asked to:

4. Positioning in the road when cycling

People cycling in groups

The updated code explains that people cycling in groups:

People cycling are asked to be aware of people driving behind them and allow them to overtake (for example, by moving into single file or stopping) when it’s safe to do so.

People cycling passing parked vehicles

The updated code explains that people cycling should:

5. Overtaking when driving or cycling

You may cross a double-white line if necessary (provided the road is clear) to overtake someone cycling or riding a horse if they are travelling at 10 mph or less (Rule 129).

There is updated guidance on safe passing distances and speeds for people driving or riding a motorcycle when overtaking vulnerable road users, including:

Wait behind them and do not overtake if it’s unsafe or not possible to meet these clearances.

People cycling passing slower-moving or stationary traffic

The updated code confirms that people cycling may pass slower-moving or stationary traffic on their right or left.

They should proceed with caution as people driving may not be able to see them. This is particularly important:

6. People cycling at junctions

The code has been updated to clarify that when turning into or out of a side road, people cycling should give way to people walking who are crossing or waiting to cross.

There is new advice about new special cycle facilities at some junctions.

Some junctions now include small cycle traffic lights at eye-level height, which may allow cyclists to move separately from or before other traffic. People cycling are encouraged to use these facilities where they make their journey safer and easier.

There is also new guidance for people cycling at junctions with no separate facilities.

The code recommends that people cycling should proceed as if they were driving a vehicle where there are no separate cyclist facilities. This includes positioning themselves in the centre of their chosen lane, where they feel able to do this safely. This is to:

People cycling turning right

The code now includes advice for people cycling using junctions where signs and markings tell them to turn right in 2 stages. These are:

People cycling have priority when going straight ahead at junctions

The code clarifies that when people cycling are going straight ahead at a junction, they have priority over traffic waiting to turn into or out of a side road, unless road signs or markings indicate otherwise.

People cycling are asked to watch out for people driving intending to turn across their path, as people driving ahead may not be able to see them.

7. People cycling, riding a horse and driving horse-drawn vehicles on roundabouts

The code has been updated to clarify that people driving or riding a motorcycle should give priority to people cycling on roundabouts. The new guidance will say people driving and or riding a motorcycle should:

The code already explained that people cycling, riding a horse and driving a horse-drawn vehicle may stay in the left-hand lane of a roundabout when they intend to continue across or around the roundabout.

Guidance has been added to explain that people driving should take extra care when entering a roundabout to make sure they do not cut across people cycling, riding a horse or driving a horse-drawn vehicle who are continuing around the roundabout in the left-hand lane.

8. Parking, charging and leaving vehicles

The code recommends a new technique when leaving vehicles. It’s sometimes called the ‘Dutch Reach’.

Where people driving or passengers in a vehicle are able to do so, they should open the door using their hand on the opposite side to the door they are opening. For example, using their left hand to open a door on their right-hand side.

This will make them turn their head to look over their shoulder behind them. They’re then less likely to cause injury to:

Using an electric vehicle charge point

For the first time, the code includes guidance about using electric vehicle charging points.

When using one, people should:

Further details from https://www.gov.uk/government/news/the-highway-code-8-changes-you-need-to-know-from-29-january-2022

Colin Carritt January 2022 Village Travel Network

Other News

Are you familiar with the acronym LCWIP?

It stands for Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan.  A bit of a mouthful but  simple enough concept.  The idea is to study an area, big orsmall, urban or rural, to analyse the existing travel patterns and to develop a long term plan that encourages more active travel by bike, on foot or using active travel and public transport, and then to design the capital infrastructure necessary to deliver on that plan.

LCWIPs have been up and running now for half a dozen years but, so far, they have mainly been developed for towns and cities.  In Oxfordshire the City LCWIP was drawn up and approved a couple of years ago and is now being followed by similar plans for Witney, Bicester and Didcot.  The smaller towns and villages seem to be in danger of getting left behind and the VTN hopes that by combining our resources and our voice we can make a difference.  Our friends at Chipping Norton have conducted their own survey and so are well on the way to drawing up an independent KCWIP for the town.  Kevin Hickman has already done similar work in Witney which is being taken up by OCC and WODC

The VTN needs to do the same.  We may be smaller than these towns but we are an important transport hub with Hanborough railway station, and within relatively easy cycling distance of Oxford.  But there are missing links that make cycling of walking difficult or indirect and these are the issues that the VTN will be addressing over the next months.

Marlborough School Kids Bike to School through Blenheim

Marlboroughh school children cycling to school through Blenheim Park following a ground breaking agreement between Stonesfild Parish Councillor Mick Heduan and Blenheim Estates Director Roy Cox - both members of the VTN

At a recent meeting of the Village Travel Network and Blenheim Estates a more collaborative approach was agreed in order to create better connectivity across the seven villages.