Transport Secretary Grant Shapps suggested this week that cyclists could be subject to speed restrictions to bring bicycles in line with limits imposed on other road vehicles. He said he disagreed with cyclists being within the law when they travel at speeds higher than those which cars or motor vehicles can travel in a certain area, which “cannot be right”.
He then proposed a rethink of how you “track cyclists”, including through measures such as registration plates and insurance.
The new potential curtailments on cyclists quickly generated debate on social media, with many Britons supporting the proposed measures.
Twitter user @GrahameMW reacted by commenting: “It’s about time!”
Fellow Twitter user @SnowAndBeach added: “Cyclists are just as bad as other road users. Everyone thinks they own the road, motorbikes [and] cyclists weave in and out of traffic and complain when they are involved in a incident.
“All road users should be responsible for themselves & be aware of others around them.”
Twitter user going by the name David John continued: “If you drive on a road, abide by the same rules as everyone else. Cyclists get away with far too much.”
However, Twitter user @david_darlo7 disagreed: “Speed limits? Is the Government going to send out a speedometer for my bike?”
Fellow social media user, @ca11medave, chimed in: “Let’s put obstacles in the way of one of the greenest forms of transportation that as a by-product keeps you healthy.”
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“That obviously does then lead you into the question of, ‘Well, how are you going to recognise the cyclist, do you need registration plates and insurance’, and that sort of thing.
“So I’m proposing there should be a review of insurance and how you actually track cyclists who do break the laws [via identifiable markings].
“I don’t want to stop people from getting on their bike, it’s a fantastic way to travel, we’ve seen a big explosion of cycling during Covid and since, I think it has lots of health benefits.
“But I see no reason why cyclists should break the road laws, why they should speed, why they should bust red lights and be able to get away with it and I think we do have to not turn a blind eye to that and I’m proposing setting up a review to do exactly that.”
Data published in September 2021 showed a 46 percent increase in cycling traffic for 2020 compared to 2019.
The figures, covering the periods of lockdown over the Covid pandemic, showed the highest levels of cycling on public roads since the 1960s.
Mr Shapps previously committed to creating a “death by dangerous cycling law”, that would hand out the same punishments to cyclists involved in fatal accidents as those behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.
Mr Shapps stressed his desire to “impress on cyclists the real harm they can cause when speed is combined with lack of care”.
He added: “For example, traffic lights are there to regulate all traffic.
“But a selfish minority of cyclists appear to believe that they are somehow immune to red lights.
“We need to crack down on this disregard for road safety. Relatives of victims have waited too long for this straightforward measure.”