22 AUGUST 2022


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Article from BTNews 22 AUGUST 2022

Shapps and cycling *

Whilst the Cabinet’s leading cyclist is ‘absent with leave’ and not returning, the man in charge of this form of road transport has promoted his own views on bicycle speeds.

Less than a fortnight after suggesting a “death by dangerous cycling” law that will treat killer cyclists the same as motorists, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps wants to come down on peddlers going too fast.

The Welwyn Hatfield MP told the Daily Mail: “Somewhere where cyclists are actually not breaking the law is when they speed, and that cannot be right, so I absolutely propose extending speed limit restrictions to cyclists.

“Particularly where you’ve got 20mph limits on increasing numbers of roads, cyclists can easily exceed those, so I want to make speed limits apply to cyclists.

“That obviously does then lead you into the question of: ‘Well, how are you going to recognise the cyclist? Do you need registration plates and insurance? And that sort of thing’.

“So I’m proposing there should be a review of insurance and how you actually track cyclists who do break the laws.”

The Highway Code and Road Traffic Act speeding limits only apply to motor vehicles and their drivers. While local authorities can impose speed limits on cyclists, it has been rarely done.

The Department for Transport refused to provide comment to the PA news agency on the interview and Shapps’ time as Secretary of State might be limited.  

“I don’t want to stop people from getting on their bike”, he told the Daily Mail, adding: “It’s a fantastic way to travel. We’ve seen a big explosion of cycling during Covid and since, I think it has lots of health benefits.

“But I see no reason why cyclists should break the road laws, why they should speed, why they should bust red lights and be able to get away with it.”

For readers’ information Usain Bolt has a top speed of 27.8mph and in case BTN is accused of multiplicity for a top female it is something under 25mph.


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OUR READERS' FINEST WORDS (All times and dates are GMT)

All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum

Simon Grigor, United Kingdom

When it's reckoned that there are more than a million uninsured motorists on the UK's roads, the unions are holding rail travellers to ransom, Felixstowe dockers are striking, the airports are restricting the number of passengers, to name but four bigger issues, one would have thought that Mr Shapps might have thought of something more important to 'throw out there'.

Andrew Sharp, St Albans

There is no requirement for cyclists to carry a speedometer, so how would they know how fast they are going?

William Booth, United Kingdom

On your bike Mr Shapps. Peddle after your friend Johnson.