London's cyclists should be insured and cycles roadworthy
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There are 23 million cycle journeys a year in London (source TFL) yet not one cyclist has passed any sort of proficiency test, carries insurance for their vehicle and damage to others, is not identifiable nor has to have proof that their vehicle is roadworthy.
Any other road use must have road tax, insurance and a roadworthy certificate. They must pass a test to prove not only proficiency to use their vehicle but also a good knowledge of both the Highway Code and emerging hazards.
Cyclists are not required to do any of these things yet travel some of the busiest roads in the world whilst riding around London. The creation of cycle lanes may offer them some protection - whilst probably inconveniencing all other road tax paying road users - but does not cover them for many routes.
Should a cyclist squeeze through traffic in a traffic jam, scrape a vehicle and fail to stop the driver of the vehicle has no means of identifying the cyclists and even if they could make contact the cyclist has no insurance.
Pedestrians on zebra crossing are sometimes intimidated, or even bumped, by the high speed "lycra louts" but, again, have no means of reporting an offender.
There are a number of 20 mph roads now in London yet cyclists speed on them with no fear of prosecution.
Foreign visitors to London have unrestricted access to hire bicycles yet have no knowledge of riding on the left, circling roundabouts in a clockwise direction and no obligation to wear any form of protection.
I have been driving cars for over thirty years and have just recently taken and passed a quite arduous A1 motorcycle test. It is preposterous that this test involves a CBT, theory test, hazard perception test, Mod 1 off road proficiency test and a Mod 2 on road test just for a motorcycle yet a cyclist needs no licensing at all.
I have had a number of instances of nearly being knocked down on zebra crossings, witnessed cyclists speeding and not obeying traffic signals, making very dangerous manoeuvres on the road.
With so many million cycle trips every year, and which are continuing to increase, something should be done to manage things.
I propose that TFL / the Department of Transport, at the very least, make cycles identifiable with registration marks and insist of basic levels of third party insurance.
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