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Highway Code Review update following the Governments latest response

3 Aug 2021

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The Government launched a consultation on the amendments of the Highway Code review in July 2020, which are specifically designed to benefit walkers, cyclists, and equestrians.

The BHS has been part of the Highway Code Stakeholders Focus Group to ensure that horse riders have been represented as vulnerable road users in the review of the Highway Code consultation.

Our Dead Slow campaign messaging about how to pass horses safely on the roads has been proposed, along with a number of other rules about equestrians.

Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety at The British Horse Society said:

"It is disappointing to see that the recent press coverage surrounding the proposed new changes to the Highway Code have focused on a hierarchy of vulnerable road users, particularly mentioning pedestrians and cyclists. I understand that the catalyst to these changes was the Government’s, Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS), which led to reviewing the Highway Code.

As part of the Highway Code Stakeholder focus group, equestrians, cyclists, and pedestrians all came together as vulnerable road users to discuss how we could strengthen the Highway Code to make the roads safer for all of us. The hierarchy of road users includes horses riders as one of the key groups too, and these new changes were never intended to see one vulnerable road user as less important than another one. In no way does this hierarchy place cyclists higher than horse riders. The proposed changes are to strengthen the Highway Code for all vulnerable road users, and I am pleased that the BHS has been able to represent the equestrian community, to ensure that horse riders have been included.”

The British Horse Society supports the proposed hierarchy of road users, in that it is a concept which places those road users most at risk in the event of a collision at the top of the hierarchy. The hierarchy does not remove the need for everyone to behave responsibly. The road users most likely to be injured in the event of a collision are pedestrians in particular children, older adults and disabled people, cyclists, horse riders and motorcyclists.

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