What Are the Changes to the Highway Code in 2022?

Jul 19, 2022 | The Hub | 0 comments

What Are the Changes to the Highway Code in 2022?

When did the Highway Code change?

The Highway Code changed at the beginning of this year on January 29th 2022. The changes reflect that motorists can cause the greatest harm in a collision and should bear the most significant responsibility to reduce any danger to others. 

What does “Hierarchy of Road Users” mean?

This relates to the most vulnerable road users, who are at the top of the hierarchy. So pedestrians and cyclists are the most vulnerable and would suffer the most damage in the event of a collision and will have right of way in certain road situations. 

What are the new rules?

Rule 1: all roads users are aware of the Highway Code and understand their responsibility 

This rule applies primarily to van/minibus, car/taxi, lorry drivers and motorcycle riders. 

Pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders must also be mindful when using the road to ensure their safety and the safety of others. 

Rule 2: For drivers, motorcyclists, horse riders, cyclists and horse-drawn carriages


  • You should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross if you are turning into or out of a junction

Zebra crossings/Parallel crossings/Light-controlled crossings:

  • You must give way to pedestrians on these crossings
  • Pedestrians have priority on these crossings, especially when light-controlled crossings have given the green signal
  • You should give way to pedestrians on zebra crossings as well as to pedestrians and cyclists on parallel crossings
  • Horse riders should give way to both pedestrians and cyclists on these crossings 

Bike paths and road use:

  • Pedestrians can use these as long as there are no signs prohibiting pedestrian use
  • Cyclists should give way to pedestrians who are using bike paths and to horse riders on bridleways

Pavement use:

  • Only pedestrians can use the pavement, including wheelchair and mobility scooter users

Rule 3: For drivers and motorcyclists

  • When turning into or out of a junction or changing lane direction, you must not cut off cyclists, horse riders or horse-drawn vehicles that are ahead of you
  • You should stop and wait for a safe gap in a flow of cyclists, including when cyclists are:
    • Travelling around a roundabout
    • Moving past or waiting alongside slow-moving traffic
    • Approaching, passing or moving off from a junction

Are these changes a good thing?

The introduction of newer vehicle types, such as electric vehicles, can be significantly quieter than combustion engine vehicles. It’s essential that drivers know they can cause the most damage in a potential collision to benefit all road users, especially as it’s speculated that the manufacturing of combustion engine vehicles will end by 2035.

These new changes will also consider driverless cars once introduced to ensure that these vehicles are programmed to know the hierarchy of road users. 

Will the new rules improve the relationship between motorists and cyclists?

With more concrete rules affecting both cyclists and motorists, there is potential to improve the relationship. As long as both sets of road users are aware of the new changes and familiarise themselves with the Highway Code.