Bike theft has been a growing problem in London for years, which reflects the tremendous growth in cycling, but also the fact that it had become a low priority for politicians and police.
Our ‘Beat the Thief’ campaign played a part in pushing bike theft up the agenda, and the establishement of a 50-strong police Cycle Task Force in 2010 has meant that finally there's a dedicated squad making life tougher for thieves.
More work needs to be done to stop selling online, from sites like Gumtree, and to stamp out street selling.
We're pleased the blame culture, whereby cyclists were held responsible, has largely been eradicted - though we still advice all cyclists to use good locks and learn how to lock their bikes well.
Cycle parking on-street and off-street has lagged several years behind the growth in cycling, and needs to increase significantly.
Planning regulations are similarly years behind, and should be update immediately to require higher levels of cycle parking in commercial, residential and transport developments.
Increased provision of secure parking in workplaces is the only way to increase commuting to desired levels when theft is such a high probability.
Local and regional government should take a lead in making up for the current shortfall in cycle parking.
Enforcement of road traffic law
We advocate much better enforcement of road traffic legislation.
Currently, there are very few traffic police in London and their number should be increased considerably.
Traffic enforcement should become a Metropolitan Police priority, for crime prevention by denying criminals the use of the street network, among other objectives, but also to curb speeding and other road traffic offences.
Use of mobile phones, driving without insurance or a valid licence, driving under the influence of drink or drugs, speeding, running red lights: these and many other offences should be punished with greater frequency for the benefit in particular of cyclists and walkers.
We support a change in the law to apply ‘stricter liability’ to collisions. In cases of civil compensation, this calls for the reversal of the burden of proof in collisions between motor vehicles and pedestrians or cyclists.
The onus is on the driver’s insurance company to prove that the casualty caused the collision.
We also believe that, as in France and the Netherlands, pedestrians and cyclists with additional vulnerabilities (children, older people and those with disabilities) should receive full compensation, regardless of their actions.
This would bring us in line with all the other major nations of Europe.
In the case of collisions between cyclists and pedestrians, the burden of proof would lie with the cyclist to prove the pedestrian was at fault.