New Highway Code hierarchy puts HORSE RIDERS above cars – here’s why

HORSE riders will be given priority over cars on UK roads under the new Highway Code.

The new guidelines, which come into place on January 29, include a controversial new "road pyramid".

It lists road users by how much damage they can cause – and urges heavier road users to be extra careful.

The hierarchy dictates standard cars must be more careful around cyclists, pedestrians and horses.

The new Highway Code road pyramid is as follows:

  1. Pedestrians
  2. Cyclists
  3. Horse Riders
  4. Motorcyclists
  5. Cars/taxis
  6. Vans/minibuses
  7. Large passenger vehicles or courier vehicles like buses and HGVs

Drivers will be advised to pass equestrian road users at a speed of 10mph, down from the current 15mph.

And drivers must give priority to horse riders crossing the road at junctions – regardless who arrived first.

According to the British Horse Society (BHS), two horses are killed on UK roads each week.

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A Department for Transport spokesperson told The Sun: "The proposed upcoming changes to The Highway Code will improve safety for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders."

BHS safety director Alan Hiscox told Horse & Hound: “I was dancing a little jig when I read them!

"I really think this will be a major step for the safety of horses on the roads.”

The new guidelines come at the same time as similar protections for pedestrians and cyclists.

Other key changes to the Highway Code include stricter 20mph passing distances beside cyclists and rules on electric car cables.

But there's good news for drivers, too: plans for new smart motorways have been scrapped by the Department for Transport.

The controversial roads have been criticised for their changing speed limits, dodgy cameras and a spate of tragic fatalities.

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