Councillor urges Essex residents to complete government Highway Code survey
PUBLISHED: 10:00 09 October 2020
A Saffron Walden Town Councillor wants to make Essex roads safer for vulnerable users.
Walkers, cyclists and horse riders have the chance to make their voices heard over the next few weeks.
Green Councillor Trilby Roberts is calling for Essex residents to fill in a government consultation survey which could eventually change The Highway Code.
Cllr Roberts said: “Getting people out of their cars is not going to work if the roads are not better for vulnerable road users. They won’t do it if they don’t feel safe.
“This would improve their own health and that of the environment.
“Obviously, the Highway Code changes will have to be supported by improved infrastructure cycle lanes, walking paths from housing developments and sensible speed limits to make the biggest difference. But it is a place that a start can be made without too much delay or expenditure.
“I urge people to complete the survey.”
According to the government’s Department of Transport, there were 1,782 reported road deaths in 2018, a similar number to the level seen over the last eight years.
The main changes proposed is the introduction of a hierarchy of road users. Under new guidance, drivers and riders could have to give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross the road. Drivers whould also give priority to cyclists at junctions, when travelling straight ahead.
Advice on safe passing distances and speeds when overtaking cyclists and horse riders would also be included.
Earlier this year, Cllr Roberts said: “You have to educate the drivers. People are generally ignorant. I’ve had motorists shout at me because I swerved around a pothole but they are meant to stay back. They should comply with the Highway Code. Drivers should stay back and let you go around a pothole, but they overtake at junctions and bends.”
She urged Essex residents to take notice of two major campaigns dedicated to “close passes”, which can be found online from Cycling UK and West Midlands Police.
The consultation survey can be completed before midnight on October 27 at https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/k736d5
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