THE chairman of a city cycling campaign group has said there is a risk people won't know of Highway Code changes coming into force this weekend saying "people should educate themselves now."

Major changes to revamp the Highway Code are set to come into force this Saturday, January 29.

But a national survey of more than 13,700 drivers by the AA found 33 per cent of motorists polled said they did not know the Highway Code was being changed, and four per cent said they had "no intention" of looking at the details.

Danny Brothwell, chairman of Bike Worcester, said there were some concerns people wouldn't be aware of the changes.

"That is a risk," he said.

"But every road user should get up to speed with any changes to the Highway Code - it is their responsibility. Newspaper stories and social media will help get the message out there - but people need to educate themselves."

The changes are set to happen this Saturday, provided they receive parliamentary approval this week.

Among the changes that are coming are cyclists will be encouraged to ride in the middle of the road in some circumstances and, even if there is a cycle lane, they will not be obliged to use it.

The campaigner added on those rules: "It is to be welcomed, putting safety of the vulnerable as the priority.

"It is strengthening the rules, they are important changes."

The changes are new advisory measures that are not legal requirements but could be drawn upon in court proceedings. These include advice that drivers:

  • Should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross a road into which or from which their vehicle is turning.
  • Should not cut across cyclists or horse riders going ahead when turning into or out of a junction or changing direction or lane, to prevent “left hook” collisions.
  • Should open car doors using the “Dutch reach” method, with 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.
  • 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.