Cycling UK has expressed its concerns about a survey of drivers conducted by FairFuel UK for The Daily Mail, about attitudes to cyclists.
The poll of more than 10,000 motorists, published in the Daily Mail in December suggests that 73 per cent of respondents believe cyclists should be subject to similar legal requirements as motorists.
Of those, just under nine in ten said cyclists should be prosecuted for dangerous cycling; more than 80 per cent wanted cyclists to be compelled to take out insurance, and 73 per cent wanted cyclists to be made to wear fluorescent clothing by law.
Cycling UK’s policy director Roger Geffen said: “If we want grandparents and grandchildren alike to be able to cycle safely and normally for day-to-day journeys, it makes no sense to impose unnecessary new rules and costs on would-be cyclists, particularly children.
“The top priority must be to create safe, cycle-friendly streets and junctions, while strengthening the enforcement of our existing traffic rules, rather than adding new ones,” he added.
The results of the FairFuel UK survey are in stark contrast to Sustrans’ scientific Bike Life poll, which showed high levels of public support among UK city dwellers for significantly increased investment in cycling infrastructure.
“Cyclists can already be prosecuted for dangerous or careless cycling. However, the other proposals in the FairFuel UK survey would be very costly to implement, would provide few if any benefits and would seriously undermine efforts to attract new people to take up cycling, including children and their parents,” said Geffen.
Cycling UK also voiced concerns about enforcing tighter regulation of cyclists. Outside London, the charity found roads police officer numbers fell by 48 per cent between 2004/5 and 2015/16, even though total police force numbers fell by just 12 per cent over this period.
The government has considered the possibilities of compulsory licensing, registration and insurance for cyclists or pedal cycles, and has concluded that none of these options would deliver benefits that would justify the significant costs involved.