UK drivers want more regulation for cyclists

Darren Cassey, PA Motoring Reporter
·2-min read

More than two thirds of UK motorists think new legislation is needed to deal with the rising numbers of cyclists on the road.

A survey of 2,000 people by GAP insurance provider InsuretheGap found that many are concerned about the high number of cyclists they share the road with, while 59 per cent think bicycles should have a registration number.

The increasing popularity of electric bikes has not gone unnoticed by motorists either, with 70 per cent believing these should have an annual MOT-like test. Known as e-bikes, the Bicycle Association said sales doubled between January and October 2020, accounting for about 20 per cent of the money spent on bikes.

Spring weather Apr 4th 2021
Cyclists pass a bank of daffodils in Paley Street, Berkshire. Picture date: Sunday April 4, 2021.

Other findings include the fact that 74 per cent think cyclists should have third-party liability insurance, 49 per cent think they should pay a road tax and 84 per cent say helmets should be a legal requirement for road cycling.

Eighty-four per cent of motorists also want cyclists to face the same laws as drivers when on the road. For example, cyclists are currently exempt from breathalyser laws and cannot be charged with speeding – though they can be booked for ‘cycling furiously’ under the 1847 Town Police Clauses Act.

Ben Wooltorton, chief operating officer at InsureTheGap.com, said: “It’s clear that drivers have concerns about how cyclists and cars can share the roads, however many drivers are also cyclists, and it’s in everyone’s interest that roads are as safe as possible.

“In fact, over half of drivers would like more cycle lanes, and two fifths – rising to two thirds of under 34s – would cycle more if there were additional cycle lanes.

“Perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate road usage and how it’s changed in recent years to see if improvements could be made, particularly when the government is about to embark on a massive road expansion and upgrading policy.”