Highway Code: Responses forwarded from MPs

These are responses forwarded to us by our members or members of the public.

# David Howarth MP

Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Cambridge

[We have been in correspondence with David Howarth, who supports our campaign and has presented a parliamentary petition.]

# James Paice MP

Conservative Member of Parliament for South East Cambridgeshire

Thank you for your email of 13 May about the revised draft of the Highway Code, recently published and laid before Parliament by the Department for Transport. I read with interest the points that you made.

I am a great supporter of cycling as it is a green and sustainable mode of transport, and I firmly believe that it should be encouraged. Our roads must be made as safe as possible for all road users, and I have grave concerns about the numbers of cyclists injured and killed on our roads each year.

I recognise the concerns you raise about the wording of the new Code, and completely understand your frusutration that the impressive response from cyclists to the Government’s consultation on the Code has not been reflected as you would wish in the final version. It is of course, hugely important that the wording of the Code does not give rise to claims of contributory negligence, and I am extremely worried that the draft as it stands does exactly that. The examples of poorly maintained and ill-thought out cycle paths raised by the CTC clearly demonstrate that it is not a sensible move to change the wording of the Code from “wherever practical” to @wherever possible”.

On this basis, the Conservative party will force a debate on the draft Highway Code in the House of Lords, where we have a chance of stopping it being passed. I am hopeful that we will be able to persuade the Government to think again on its proposed changes.

# Andrew Lansley MP

Conservative Member of Parliament for South Cambridgeshire

Thank you for your letter sent [DATE/DETAILS…] about the revised draft of the Highway Code, recently published and laid before Parliament by the Department for Transport. I read with interest the points that you made.

I am a supporter of cycling as it is a green and sustainable mode of transport, which I believe that it should be encouraged. Our roads must be made as safe as possible for all road users and I have grave concerns about the number of cyclists injured and killed on our roads each year.

I recognise the concerns you raise about the wording of the new Code and understand your frustration that the impressive response from cyclists to the Government’s consultation on the Code has not been reflected as you would wish in the final version. It is, of course, important that the wording of the Code does not inadvertently give rise to claims of contributory negligence.

I know that my colleagues in the Shadow Transport Team are currently considering the version of the Code that has been laid before Parliament and our response to it. I will make sure that they are aware of your concerns so that they can be taken into account as we hold the Government to account. In addition, I have written to the Roads Minister, Dr Stephen Ladyman.

Thank you again for taking the time to write to me on this important issue.