Lords renew calls for cycling licences because of ‘hoodlums in Lycra’

The government threw out the idea last year due to the cost and complexity

Lords have renewed called for licences for cyclists (Photo by John Keeble/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Lords have renewed discussions around introducing licences for cyclists because of "hoodlums in Lycra."

Talk of enforcing stricter rules for cyclists is not new, but last year the government threw out the idea of registration for riders due to the costs and complexity.

Despite the government’s decision, Lord Winston said the government should consider new measures to combat “extremely aggressive cyclists,” the BBC reports. 

Lord Winston said: “Most cyclists, of course, are conscientious and law-abiding.

“But an increasing number are extremely aggressive and avoid [the rules on] one-way streets, pedestrian crossings and red traffic lights – from time to time they collide with pedestrians.

“In view of the fact that the government obviously wishes to encourage cycling, and I agree with that, should the government consider its obligation to improve public safety, and therefore to implement some of these measures?”

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Last year, the government urged the public to share their thoughts on road safety.

In it’s response, the government said the registration and licensing of cyclists was raised by some respondents, adding that the case for cycling licences is not as strong as for drivers because crashes are far less likely to cause serious injury to other road users.

The government added it has no plans to introduce a registration and licensing system because the “costs and complexities would significantly outweigh the benefits.”

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Labour peer Lord Wills said: “What is the government going to do to protect disable people, vulnerable pensioners, mothers with buggies and many other from these hoodlums in Lycra?”

The government is aware of the danger to cyclists on the roads, and will be revising the Highway Code to tackle close passing and give advice on the ‘Dutch reach.’

Cycling campaigners including Tour de France stage winner Chris Boardman welcomed the progress after the Department for Transport announced the changes in October.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.