Cycle training, anti-social cycling, pavements, helmets

Cycle training

Increasing cycle training is one of the our highest priorities. It should be delivered in all schools for children or for adults individually and in small groups. All boroughs in London offer cycle training for free or subsidised through their local council.

We campaign to encourage a wide variety of people to receive cycle training for increased cycle awareness: professionals such as lorry drivers and council officers (transport planners and traffic engineers), and also the parents of schoolchildren who have cycle training at school. 

Giving people greater skill increases their enjoyment of cycling, which in turn addresses numerous other public policy objectives, such as improved physical and mental health.

Anti-social cycling

We don't condone illiegal cycling, and advise cyclists to obey the Highway Code.

However, we note that cyclists are frequently singled out unfairly for ignoring traffic laws, such as going through red lights, when other road users such as motorists also ignore traffic signals, causing significantly greater risk to other road users, particularly pedestrians.

Often cyclists ignore red lights when there is an 'all-green' pedestrian phase, which tempts them due to the absence of often-intimidating motor traffic to cross the junction.

Cyclists must be aware that this can intimidate pedestrians and can result in collisions.

Pavement cycling

Footway cycling is anti-social and in most cases illegal. Even though it is most prevalent where conditions on the road are intimidating or dangerous, this doesn't make it acceptable.

We advise in these situations it is better to walk along the footway and rejoin the roadway as soon as the conditions are safe.

We support the existence of shared-use facilities, such as the South Bank, but note that in these circumstances that cyclists must give way to pedestrians and cycle considerately in their presence.

Helmets

We strongly oppose making the wearing of cycle helmets compulsory, lobbying instead for positive efforts to reduce the road danger caused by motor vehicles.

The danger of incurring a head injury while cycling normally (as opposed to racing, for instance, or mountain biking) is usually overstated, and there is much evidence that compulsory helmet regulations decrease cycling and do not lead to a reduction in casualty rates.

Helmet wearing can tempt cyclists to decrease their risk avoidance.

We also oppose attempts to introduce compulsory laws 'by the back door' by only provisioning them for children, who similarly are not at significant risk when cycling.