Government announcements of the month

Highway Code changes to protect vulnerable road users come into effect on Saturday 29 January

The Highway Code is changing at midnight tonight. Most of the updates are not new rules, but clarifications to ambiguous or frequently misunderstood rules from the existing Code. There is a new introduction establishing ‘hierarchy of road users reminding people that the heavier your vehicle the more responsibility you bear to reduce danger to others. Read more on our blog and on the Department of Transport’s website.

£530,000 upgrade for Cambridge Cycle Point as Active Travel England launches with Chris Boardman as National Commissioner

Last Saturday it was announced that Active Travel England, the government’s new funding body and inspectorate for walking and cycling, would be headed up by Chris Boardman, Olympic gold medallist and current Transport Commissioner for Greater Manchester. Active Travel England will act as an ‘Ofsted-style’ inspectorate of active travel infrastructure, providing advice to local councils and rating authorities across the UK on their progress. Funds may be withdrawn if schemes are delivered late or not up to the required standard. It will also be a statutory consultee for new developments of over 150 houses.

On the same day some new funding was announced: £300,000 top-up of the national e-cargo bike for business loan scheme, £2.2 million to explore active travel on prescription schemes (Cambridgeshire & Peterborough will receive £60,000 for a feasibility study) and £3 million to improve cycling infrastructure around train stations. From this, a £530,000 grant has been allocated for improvements at Cambridge station’s Cycle Point which will transform accessibility and security at this well-used cycle park. Read more on our blog.

Only 18 years late: Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004

This week, the government confirmed that “the regulations giving effect to the moving traffic enforcement powers under Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 are scheduled to be laid on 27 January, and planned to come into force on 1 June.” Transport Minister Baroness Vere said on Thursday that local authorities in England will be able to apply in May for these powers that can help them deliver more flexible traffic schemes and improve safety for all road users.