Highway Code (Pedestrians)

Oral Answers to Questions — Roads – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th May 1954.

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Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Walter Bromley-Davenport Lieut-Colonel Sir Walter Bromley-Davenport , Knutsford 12:00 am, 12th May 1954

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation the position under his regulations with regard to the use of the right-hand side of the carriageway by pedestrians, pedestrians leading horses, riders and riders leading horses, respectively; and what changes it is intended to make in this respect in connection with the issue of a new Highway Code, with a view to clarifying existing doubts on the subject.

Photo of Mr Arthur Molson Mr Arthur Molson , High Peak

There are no regulations on this subject. The Highway Code advises pedestrians, where there is no footpath, to walk on the right. Anyone leading an animal is advised to keep it to the edge of the road and to place himself between it and the traffic. The new Code will repeat this advice.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Walter Bromley-Davenport Lieut-Colonel Sir Walter Bromley-Davenport , Knutsford

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in the draft of the Highway Code recently circulated pedestrians were told to keep to the right but to move over to the left when approaching a right-hand bend; that marching bodies were told to keep to the left; that people riding on animals and leading other animals were told to keep to the left; that pedestrians leading animals were told to keep to the right, whilst the legal profession interprets the whole thing as meaning that everyone must keep to the left? Can my right hon. Friend give an assurance that this diversity of opinion as to who should go to the right and who should go to the left is not due to any political wrangling amongst the members of his staff?

Photo of Mr Arthur Molson Mr Arthur Molson , High Peak

The new version of the Code advises pedestrians that where there is no footpath they should walk on the right of the road so as to face oncoming traffic.

Photo of Mr George Isaacs Mr George Isaacs , Southwark

Will the Minister consider including in the Code, which I think is an improvement on the old Code—some advice as to who has the right of way on converging roads—advice not only to motorists, but to magistrates who have to deal with many cases where there is an argument as to whether the man coming from the right or from the left has to give way? In view of the experience in other countries, will he look at this?

Photo of Mr Arthur Molson Mr Arthur Molson , High Peak

I am much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for that suggestion. We shall certainly give it careful consideration. It illustrates how useful it was that my right hon. Friend made copies of this new version of the Highway Code available to hon. Members. We should welcome any constructive suggestions from any quarter.