Motoring organisation the AA has published a highway code for cyclists. The book, called Cyclists Highway Code: Essential Rules of the Road which is available on Amazon for £4.99, is designed to show cyclists the rules of the road as it applies to them, as well as elements of bike maintenance and where in the UK people can sign up to a Bikeability course.
The book’s product description says, “Features include choosing and setting up a new bike, cycle maintenance, accessories as well as a special section on finding and taking the Bikeability course (including full syllabus). Riders are guided through all the key rules of the road and there’s a test yourself quiz section, designed to aid understanding of the key cycling concepts and rules.”
This has had a mixed reception. Former cycling champion and now champion of cycling Chris Boardman was consulted as the book was written. He is reported as saying of the new book, “The bicycle is such a simple tool, but one which can improve your health, reduce congestion and make our towns and cities more liveable. British Cycling welcomes the AA Cyclist’s Highway Code as it should encourage new cyclists and help parents get their children into cycling.”
However, some cyclists aren’t so keen. A blog on Gizmodo points to the well known tensions between cyclists and car drivers, and was presumably written by a cyclist in London. Under the headline The AA patronises the nation with little special Highway Code for Cyclists it said, “the AA clearly wants to get drivers and cyclists tearing at each others’ throats again, as it’s decided to release a special version of the Highway Code that’s been edited down to just the key elements that cover bicycles. Either because it cares about riders or hates them and wants to wind down a metaphorical window and punch them off into a lamppost.”
It is clear that there is irresponsible behaviour on the part of cyclists and car drivers alike, with people being injured on a regular basis due to faults of both sides. Regardless of whether you are in favour of the guide, it could be useful for those considering cycling to work again instead of being caught up in traffic in their own cars (watching cyclists glide by as they do) or for those whose kids want to get about town more quickly without catching the bus!