Cycling safety laws questioned in House of Lords

Peer calls for a review of the existing legislation on riding your bike

Cyclists' safety and the use of helmets was discussed in the House of Lords

The current laws on cycling have been questioned by a peer in the House of Lords – including ‘the vexed question of cycling helmets‘.

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Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth asked during question time recently: “Is the minister in a position to seek to secure a review of all the measures relating to cycling safety – restrictions on heavy goods vehicles, cycling lanes, the 20-mile-an hour zone and the vexed question of cycling helmets?”

The query comes after a spate of cyclist deaths in London and a ‘die-in’ protest that attracted 1,000 participants to south-east London in November last year.

Transport spokesman Lord Popat turned down the request but reassured the Conservative peer saying:

“We are continuously reviewing a number of safety measures.”

The government whip added: “Our approach is non-legislative. We do not want to make cycle helmets compulsory.

“We would rather encourage and support people to wear helmets for safety. It is not good to burden cyclists. We would rather see more cyclists on our roads and cycling safely.” 

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Lord Popat did acknowledge, however, recent hostility between cyclists and motorists. He also drew attention to the government’s THINK! campaign for car drivers and cyclists to be aware of one another in the 30 January parliamentary session.