'We need to wait and see': Leeds cyclists unsure whether major changes to the Highway Code will have desired impact
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Introduced on Saturday changes saw the introduction of a new hierarchy, meaning people in charge of vehicles that can cause the most harm in the event of a collision have the greatest responsibility to look out for other road users.
Speaking to the YEP, Martin Stanley of Leeds cycling campaign welcomed the change but insisted 'considerate' drivers shouldn't notice a difference.
"It is finally making explicit things that were only ever suggested or implied." he explained. "It's a positive change but in reality if you are a careful and considerate driver then things shouldn't really change for you.
Rules stipulate that cyclists should make themselves as visible as possible by riding in the centre of lanes on quiet roads, in slower-moving traffic and at the approach to junctions.
"I'm look at these new rules not only as a cyclist but also a pedestrian, a runner and also a driver." Martin said. "I really think it's got benefits for everyone as it encourages you to be more cautious around not only cyclists but horses too and also feel less pressure from drivers behind."
Turning traffic is now advised to give way when pedestrians are crossing or waiting to cross at junctions, a change which Martin has already seen the benefits of.
"On Saturday I was out jogging and was crossing a side road and a driver stopped to wait for us. That sometimes happened before but perhaps the new rules were in his mind." Martin explained.
Leeds City Council views cycling as an important part in its plans to reduce carbon emissions but for Martin, while he praised new bike lanes in the city centre, he feels more must be done to update old and out of dates ones.
"We have seen a lot of infrastructure going in across Leeds which we very much support but there are still questions about the quality of it and whether some of it is good enough." he said.
"With many existing cycle lanes you find that their either not wide enough, they are often on a pavement which means we have to stop at every side road or the markings have worn away to the point that you don't even know they are there.
"The new stuff is generally much better but there are still cases where you need to use the road because it can often be an inconvenient route, making using the road quicker."