Professor, politician and TV presenter Lord Robert Winston has raised concerns over cyclists; proposing new measures should be put in place to improve and ensure road safety.
While Lord Winston has said that, “Most cyclists, of course, are conscientious and law-abiding” he has drawn attention to some which he believes have a disregard for pedestrians, criticising their use of cycle lanes, especially in the London area.
He has also stated that: “an increasing number are extremely aggressive and avoid… one-way streets, pedestrian crossings and red traffic lights – and from time to time they collide with pedestrians.”
“In view of the fact that the government obviously wishes to encourage cycling, and I agree with that, should the government consider its obligation to improve public safety, and therefore implement some of these measures?”
While Winston’s concerns have primarily been raised because of the cycle lane outside of the Houses of Parliament, which at rush hour is an “accident waiting to happen”, he has suggested that new laws need to address those that the House of Lords call, “hoodlums in lycra”.
There are of course huge concerns that more regulations around cycling will consequently deter UK road users from using their bikes for travel.
If licences and insurance become a requirement for bike users, those from low-income backgrounds and younger people may not be able to cycle on our roads, unless they have the time and resources to do so.
For instance, in New Zealand, it became illegal to ride a bike without a helmet and the number of cyclists dropped drastically, which could easily happen in the UK.
While more of the UK population are cycling on our roads, accidents and collisions may well increase because of this. So, perhaps new laws do need to address cyclists sooner rather than later. However, any changes to cycling road safety laws need to ensure that cycling is encouraged and accessible for everyone, for greener and safer roads.