West Midlands European parliamentarian Nikki Sinclaire has called for all cyclists to wear registration markings so that they are “accountable” for their actions.
The former UKIP MEP, who now sits as a member for the We Demand a Referendum Now party, told BBC West Midlands yesterday that cyclists should wear fluorescent vests with registration numbers.
She said: “I think cyclists need to be accountable. They need to observe the Highway Code.”
I’m certainly not anti-cyclist, I’m a cyclist when I can get the time myself.”
Ms Sinclaire tweeted the above picture of herself wearing high-vis.
She told presenter Adrian Goldberg: “I see, time and time again, in Birmingham and London, cyclists running red lights and putting pedestrians in danger.
“I’m not saying the cycle itself should be registered. What I’m seeking is a registration of cyclists - not on all roads, just on main roads in the city.
“We need to encourage more cyclists, but we also need accountability.”
Adrian Goldberg said he had recently had to dodge a cyclist who had run a red light.
Ms Sinclaire said: “Had you hit that cyclist, you would have been prosecuted.”
Graham Hankins, of Birmingham cycling campaign Push Bikes, went on the show to explain why cycling campaigners think registration is a bad idea.
He said: “The registration system would be seen as a barrier to people cycling.
“There are lots of people out there would like to cycle but, the more rules you put in front of them, that would be seen as a barrier to cycling in the first place.”
Ms Sinclaire followed up her comments yesterday afternoon on BBC Hereford and Worcester.
She said: “For a start I think we need helmets, I should it be compulsory for people to wear helmets.”
She said that she only wanted cyclist registration plates in towns and cities, where it would be effective because of pervasive surveillance.
“The reason this would work in the UK, I don’t think it would work anywhere else in the world, is that we’ve got the most cameraed cities and towns in the world.”
Ms Sinclaire’s attitude to cyclists mirrors that of her former UKIP colleagues. In its 2010 election manifesto, the party said: “There needs to be a better balance of rights and responsibilities for pedal cyclists” and claimed there was “too much aggressive abuse of red lights, pedestrian crossings and a lack of basic safety and road courtesy.”
At the time, Chris Peck, policy co-ordinator at national cyclists’ organisation CTC, said: “UKIP are living up to their reputation with their cycling policy - it’s classic anti-cyclist third-pint-in stuff.”
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.