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Government details why there are NO PLANS to introduce visible ID requirements for cyclists

The Government has NO PLANS to introduce any visible ID requirements for cyclists according to a petition response on the topic.

The Government response comes after a petition which attracted over 10,000 signatures asking for cyclists and e-scooter riders to display visible ID. The petition also called for cyclists to use cycle lanes where available, and introduce a licensing and penalty point system for all cyclists and licensing system for e-scooter riders.

The creator of the petition argued that with road space being shared with more cyclists and e-scooters than ever, riders are not currently being held accountable in the same way as motorists.

However, a Government spokesperson poured water on the idea, detailing the reasons why no such plans are likely.

In a statement on the UK Government and Parliament portal, a response said: “The Government has no plans to introduce any such requirements for cyclists. The current trials of rental e-scooters will inform future policy on them.

“The Government considers that the costs of a formal registration system for cycle ownership would outweigh the benefits. The safety case for such a system is not as strong as that for drivers since, by contrast with motorised vehicles, cycles involved in collisions on the highway are highly unlikely to cause serious injury to other road users.

“Cycling provides clear benefits, both for those cycling (particularly in terms of health) and for wider society (tackling congestion, reducing CO2 emissions and improved air quality). The introduction of a licensing system would significantly reduce these benefits, especially over the short term. Over the long term, it would deny children and young adults from enjoying the mobility and health benefits cycling brings until they were old enough to pass a formal test.

“The introduction of a system of licensing would also be likely to lead to a reduction in the number of people cycling. This would be at odds with the Prime Minister’s plans to boost walking and cycling.

“Furthermore, the National Travel Survey indicates that a very high proportion of people who cycle regularly also hold a driving licence. The absence of a licensing system does not prevent a cyclist from being liable for their actions. The police and ultimately the courts, can take into account all the circumstances of an incident and judge accordingly.

“Cycle lanes, where provided, offer people cycling an alternative to cycling in the main carriageway, but it is not compulsory to use them and the Government has no plans to change this. The majority of people cycling generally use cycle lanes, but there are times when it may be more appropriate for them to use the main carriageway, such as when they are overtaking slower people cycling or avoiding obstructions on the cycle lane, or where it offers a faster, more direct route.

“The Government has announced ambitious plans for walking and cycling, and has committed an unprecedented £2 billion of funding for active travel over 5 years which includes the roll-out of segregated cycle lanes in towns and cities and offering cycle training to everyone who wants to undertake it, whether free or at a nominal charge. This investment coupled with the recently announced changes to The Highway Code will deliver increased safety for the most vulnerable road users and ensure a more mutually respectful and considerate culture of safe and effective road use that benefits all users.

“The Government is currently running trials of rental e-scooters to assess their safety and the impacts they have on the road and to inform the development of future policy. 31 trial areas are currently operating across England.

“Trial e-scooters are limited to 15.5 mph and are exempted from vehicle registration and licensing requirements. E-scooters must not be used on pavements. Those taking part in the trials need a full or provisional driving licence, meaning that the minimum age of those using the scooters should be 16 years old. Cycle helmets are strongly recommended but are not mandatory. All trial e-scooters must meet minimum construction standards and have a minimum of third-party insurance provided by the e-scooter operator.

“Outside of the rental trials, e-scooters are still subject to the Road Traffic Act 1988 and are defined as a type of motor vehicle. Users of e-scooters will need to have insurance, driving licences, number plates and helmets, and the vehicles will need to meet the relevant construction requirements. The law was not drafted with e-scooters in mind, so users of e-scooters will find it a challenge to comply.”

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