Majority of motorists want cyclists to have number plates and insurance as part of new road laws – poll

It comes after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he "proposed extending speed limit restrictions to cyclists"

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A majority of motorists have backed calls for cyclists to have number plates and insurance as part of new road laws, a poll has found.

Less than a fortnight after vowing to create a “death by dangerous cycling” law that will treat killer cyclists the same as motorists, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he wanted to stop certain behaviour on the roads.

In the fresh proposals, Mr Shapps said he wanted to extend speed limit restrictions to cyclists while also questioning whether bike-riders would need number plates and insurance.

And a poll carried out by motoring campaign group FairFuelUK found that most backed the idea.

Motorists have backed calls for cyclists to have number plates and insurance
Motorists have backed calls for cyclists to have number plates and insurance
Grant Shapps
Grant Shapps

Of the 1,500 motorists they polled, 91 percent said they backed cyclists being forced to have “road registration IDs”.

While 80 percent of participants backed speeding fines and 70 percent supported cyclists having insurance.

Speaking earlier this week, Mr Shapps said: “Somewhere where cyclists are actually not breaking the law is when they speed, and that cannot be right, so I absolutely propose extending speed limit restrictions to cyclists.

“Particularly where you’ve got 20mph limits on increasing numbers of roads, cyclists can easily exceed those, so I want to make speed limits apply to cyclists.

“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."

Mr Shapps later told The Times he was “not attracted to the bureaucracy of registration plates”, adding that such a move “would go too far”.

Mr Shapps’ plans have been slammed by some people, including Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s head of campaigns, who said the proposals are “impractical and unworkable”, and have been “repeatedly dismissed by successive governments”.

He added that more people are cycling due to the cost-of-living crisis and the Government should “encourage people to cycle more, not less”.

Simon Munk, campaigns manager at London Cycling Campaign, said the proposals have already been deemed “unworkable and costly to implement” by Department for Transport (DfT) officials.

He continued: “They wouldn’t deal with road danger, they’d make cycling more expensive in a cost-of-living crisis, and discourage people from cycling in a climate crisis.”

The DfT press office later clarified it is not Government policy to introduce speed limits for cyclists and any proposals would need to be reviewed by the new prime minister.

A spokeswoman for the department said: “While there are no plans to introduce registration plates on bicycles, we continue to look at how we can improve road safety across all forms of transport and we are considering bringing forward legislation to introduce new offences around dangerous cycling.”