It’s a strange old world and, as normal, others are able to enunciate the weirdness more eloquently, with more detail and insight than I am. But blogging is nothing unless you just point to someone else’s blog post and just re-iterate with a summary of their opening paragraph.
The basic problem is that the UK’s Highway Code is not law, but its recommendations hold a lot of weight. Generally speaking, if you transgress any area of the code the chances are that you’ve probably broken a law somewhere along the line. So the powers that be are reviewing the code, as is done every few years, and in their infinite wisdom, they’re proposing to change their opinion of cycling facilities to suggest that where these are available cyclists should be obligated to use them.
This is utterly ludicrous.
In the current green, carbon emission reducing age it’s just what we need: a slap around the chops to those who are trying to do their bit for the environment, for traffic reduction and to ease the burden on the country’s over-stretched public transport networks.
What does this actually mean? It means that any accident with a cyclist near any kind of clueless facility becomes the cyclist’s fault. It gives more ammunition to White Van Man in his thick-skulled anti-everyone ranting (because you can be assured that this will be the one time when he knows what the Highway Code says on a subject).
This is not progress. This could seriously threaten cycling (and cycle sport) as a viable method of transport. It means that, despite my being a high-rate tax-payer, when I’m on two wheels, I’m a second class citizen. Don’t assume that your VED gives you more rights to the road, let’s compare P60s and then talk about who’s putting more into the exchequer and the upkeep of this country.