Two-thirds of drivers think new legislation needed after cyclist growth

A survey of more than 2,000 UK drivers, which was commissioned by InsuretheGap.com, a leading supplier of GAP (Guaranteed Asset Protection) insurance for new and second-hand cars, finds that over two-thirds (69 per cent) want new legislation for cyclists including bikes having a registration number to make them identifiable (68 per cent), and more than half (53 per cent) saying cyclists should be required to hold a licence.

Over a third (44 per cent) of drivers also think cyclists should pay vehicle excise duty, like motorised vehicles, and all push and electric bikes should have an annual safety test, like an MOT (59 per cent).

Over eight in ten drivers (85 per cent) think that helmets should be a legal requirement for cycling on the roads, which is not surprising when almost three quarters (76 per cent) think cyclists ride too dangerously, with many flipping between being a pedestrian and a vehicle by cycling on the pavement when it suits, and then cycling on the road.

More than three-quarters (78 per cent) also say cyclists don’t think the rules of the road apply to them, feeling free to go through red lights and not stop at zebra crossings etc.

Many also believe that there are many roads which are not suitable for cyclists. Three-fifths (60 per cent) say there are too many cyclists on fast roads which are unsuitable for them, and nearly half (45 per cent) saying they shouldn’t be allowed on A roads altogether as they are a danger.  Two-fifths (42 per cent) also say that cyclists should be banned from roads which are too narrow to allow enough space for both a car and a bike.

Ben Wooltorton, chief operating office of InsuretheGap.com said: “The explosion in bike usage in recent years is good news for the environment and should also help to ease congestion in urban areas if managed correctly. However, our survey picked up a definite feeling among motorists that they are often held to higher standards than their fellow road users when it comes to adherence to the highway code”.

He continued: “Roads, particularly in towns, are increasingly being used as ‘shared spaces’ and it’s important that legislation, infrastructure planning and funding take into account the views, requirements and safety of all road users, otherwise this tension between different groups is almost inevitable.  Our survey also particularly highlighted that motorists are concerned about road funding, safety and also insurance which isn’t currently compulsory for cyclists, unlike most other road users.”

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