for Transport (DfT) announced yesterday that it is 'looking at
updating parts of the Highway Code, including measures to counter
the dangerous practice of 'close passing' which puts people off
cycling, and would benefit other vulnerable road users like horse
The DfT's 'news story' also mentions that it 'has commissioned the
Cycle Proofing Working Group to develop national guidance and best
practice for cycling and walking infrastructure'.
There's to be £1 million 'to support the pathfinder demonstration
projects for repairing and upgrading sections of the National Cycle
The announcements lack any detail, but came on the same day the DfT
opened a consultation on its project to introduce new
offences of causing death or serious injury while cycling as a
response to the Charlie Alliston case. The timing is not likely to
be a coincidence - the DfT could be seeking to 'offset' one
announcement against the other.
The cycling offences consultation is based on the report by Birketts
which the DfT commissioned. The main questions asked by the
consultation are whether there should be new offences of causing
death or serious injury by dangerous cycling, and causing death or
serious injury by careless or inconsiderate cycling. All the signs
are that the decision has already been made by the DfT.
In addition to the urgent consultation on cycling offences (phase
one), there was a non-urgent wider
consultation on road safety issues relating to cycling (phase
two). Phase two closed on 1st June 2018, and a summary of responses
and next steps is due by 1st September 2018.
A full review of road traffic offences promised by the government
in 2014 has never happened.