Road safety group draws ire after advising cyclists to “stop and allow …

A road safety group from Warwickshire has advised cyclists to be “considerate of motorists who are trying to pass them”, amongst other instructions that go completely against the new Highway Code, kicking off a huge round of criticism.

The campaign called Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership claims to introduce guidelines and offers counsel to road users to reach its target of reducing road deaths and serious injuries by 50 per cent by 2030.

The group, on Saturday evening, posted on Twitter: “Cyclists need to be considerate of motorists who are trying to pass them, by moving from a central ‘Primary’ road position o a Secondary road position to invite a vehicle to pass. If there is insufficient room they should stop when safe to do so to allow vehicles to pass them.”

It also contained an image with an “updated advice” for cyclists riding in groups, which reiterated the Highway Code[1] 66, which came into effect in January 2022, suggesting cyclists to allow drivers to overtake, for example, by moving into single file or stopping, but only when they feel that it is safe to let them do so.

> Highway Code changes: ‘What about cyclists, or do the rules not apply to them?’[2]

As many people, including journalist, writer and cycling campaigner Peter Walker pointed out, Warwickshire Road Safety’s guidelines were misleading. Other people also replied that the post was contradictory, will confuse people and simply untrue in some aspects.

“Cyclists should only do it when THEY feel it is safe. It’s not up to the driver to beep when they want you to single out. If I’m cycling with my daughter on the inside, they may have to wait some time. Her safety is more important than a driver’s time keeping,” said one reply under the post.

BicycleBen said: “Motor-centric tweet puts drivers first.  But remember the hierarchy. It’s not the job of cyclists to get out of the way of drivers or to facilitate an overtake. Cyclists *may* consider moving over or pulling in to let other traffic pass, only *if they* consider it safe to do so.”

Can @warkspolice[3] comment? Since you are a partner of the organisation below.

Cyclists give way to motorists? I thought it was the other way around. The way this “advice” is written is not a good look. It makes it seem that cyclists should not “inconvenience” motorists.[4]

— Andreas (@cargobikerLDN) April 23, 2023[5]

The road in the graphic is wide enough for a vehicle to overtake on the opposite side of the carriageway. On a narrow road it would make sense for the cyclists to ride single file, providing it leaves sufficient clearance for a vehicle to overtake safely.

— ExitStrata (@ExitStrata) April 23, 2023[6]

Why are you tweeting untruth?[7]

— CyclingMikey (@MikeyCycling) April 23, 2023[8]

The Highway Code changes that came into effect last year introduced a new road hierarchy as one of the eight changes, which also included the much contested Dutch Reach[9] that involves looking over your shoulder when getting out of your car so as to not injure any cyclists or pedestrians.

The hierarchy of road users placed road users who are most at risk in the event of a collision at the top. According to the UK Government, this rule is meant to remind all road users that they have the responsibility to ensure other users remain safe.

In the hierarchy, pedestrians are placed at the top due to their lack of protection on the road making them the most vulnerable in a road traffic accident. The code rules are based on the lower a road user is in the hierarchy, the more harm they can cause others. This explains why cyclist sit second, yet bus or lorry drivers come in last place due to the size and damage the vehicle can cause.

> Have Highway Code changes made drivers more aggressive?[10]

However, when a lot of people started pointing this out, Warwickshire Road Safety posted: “The hierarchy of road users underpins the changes to the Highway Code but there are a number of specific rules for cyclists & drivers to understand. It’s really important that all road users behave responsibly, consider each other and do what they can to keep each other safe.”

The partnership group was formed in 2019 and has recently published the Warwickshire Road Safety Strategy to 2030. It says on its website: “Using an evidence based Safe System approach, we will strive to eliminate fatal and serious casualties, thereby creating a safe road environment which will encourage active and sustainable travel.”

Last week, we reported that over half of UK drivers were still confused by Highway Code changes[11], with only one in five bus and lorry drivers could identify the correct hierarchy of road users, and nearly half of them believing that they topped the hierarchy.

The new changes to the Highway Code also outlined that drivers should “leave at least 1.5 metres when overtaking cyclists at speeds of up to 30mph, and give them more space when overtaking at higher speeds”.

Recently, we had also reported[12] that of the 286 reports of careless, inconsiderate, or dangerous driving around cyclists considered by West Midlands Police in 2022, 213 reports of careless or dangerous driving around cyclists last year resulted in no further action being taken, and only one resulted in a prosecution.

> 286 close pass submissions to West Midlands Police resulted in one prosecution, FOI request reveals[13]

We have reached out Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership for a comment regarding their tweet.


  1. ^ Highway Code (
  2. ^ > Highway Code changes: ‘What about cyclists, or do the rules not apply to them?’ (
  3. ^ @warkspolice (
  4. ^ (
  5. ^ April 23, 2023 (
  6. ^ April 23, 2023 (
  7. ^ (
  8. ^ April 23, 2023 (
  9. ^ much contested Dutch Reach (
  10. ^ > Have Highway Code changes made drivers more aggressive? (
  11. ^ over half of UK drivers were still confused by Highway Code changes (
  12. ^ reported (
  13. ^ > 286 close pass submissions to West Midlands Police resulted in one prosecution, FOI request reveals (

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