10 comments on “Bicycle licence anyone?

  1. I have a better idea.

    Cycling is a “life skill” just like learning to cross the road. Make cycle training to National Standard Level 2 (the modern version of the old cycling proficiency) freely available to all 10 year olds. Maybe even make it part of the National Curriculum. That way every kid leaving primary school gets the opportunity to learn to use the roads safely and competently many years before they get into that driving seat. Further, getting trained to National Standard Level 3 (cycling in busy urban situations, roundabouts, etc.) should then be a prerequisite to obtaining a provisional driving licence.

    An additional bonus is that every driver would, by default, also be a cyclist. Thereby removing at a stroke that ridiculous “us-and-them” business.

  2. Thanks for your comment. Sounds good to me – but then I would expect good ideas from a fellow bus-pass carrying cyclists/motorist (yes, we both read the same blogs!).
    All the same, I wonder how cyclists in general would react to the idea of a compulsory cycling test and an annual licence fee or similar.

  3. Be careful – this government is beyond parody and what you suggest as a joke may very well end up being policy before too long!

    Actually, cycling’s not that complicated for anyone who knows the highway code (supposedly any driver) and has an ounce of common sense and consideration for others. I’m sure that all the wildly incompetent ones will either give up, get knocked off, or mend their ways pretty quickly

    To adapt an old saying, there are old cyclists, and there are bold cyclists, but there are no old bold cyclists…

  4. The next logical step will be to put number plates on our seatposts, so they can bust us for running red lights. This was recently suggested to me by a White Van Man as we waited at the lights in Camden.

  5. The powers that be are watching and waiting, there is no doubt in my mind at all, a licence fee and no doubt a part payment of road tax, will be imposed on us sooner than later. The biggest complaint from drivers is that we, cyclists, share ” their roads “, for free. Any government is constantly searching to find new ways of increasing its income to the treasury. I very much like westfieldwanderer’s ideas, but the cynic in me tells me that, because the battle for control in our schools has already been lost, such a system would only receive lip service, any money input would be just as well poured down the drain.

  6. I agree with disgruntled, it’s not that complicated. A couple of tv spots stating the basics in 30 seconds (“Cyclists are required to obey the same traffic laws as cars…etc.”) could go a long way to educating people.

  7. Er… road tax? No such thing.

    That little disc on the windscreen is for Vehicle Excise Duty and is to do with emissions. It doesn’t give anyone any more right to use the road than anyone else. Road building/maintenance is paid for out of general taxation. Therefore, as long as you are paying tax, you are paying for the roads regardless of whether you use a vehicle or not.

  8. Thanks for all your good comments.
    Fixup: You are quite right about the “road tax” which has had nothing to do with roads for decades. That is why I opted for the “licence fee” option, and also because it could involve annual renewal and an initial cycling test (another fee) all revenue for HM’s piggy bank. I don’t really think we will have a cyclists licence etc. but…
    …I agree that cycling is not complicated but too many cyclists seem all too willing to ignore the rules of the road when it suits them, so some drivers take it out on the rest of us. What to do about it?

  9. If the police enforced traffic laws on these cyclists, they’d pretty soon change their ways. After all, a couple of decades ago it was considered pretty normal to drink-drive; after a lot of high profile campaigns it’s not just considered too risky, but it’s considered morally unacceptable as well to get behind the wheel drunk. Some high profile campaigns with police stopping and prosecuting and fining cyclists who run red lights, cycle on the pavement (not waiting until they injure someone), go the wrong way down one-way streets etc. – starting with the leader of the opposition – coupled with an equal crackdown on drivers who park in the bike lane, squat in the bike reservoir at lights, and drive too close to cyclists should do the trick. They’ll get just as much money from the fines, and there’ll be no need to change any laws.

    It’ll do wonders for their crime clearup rates, too. Win win!

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