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Motion urging withdrawal of support for events requiring helmets and hi-viz passed by 44 votes to 10

Members of Cambridge Cycling Campaign have overwhelmingly voted to withdraw support for events requiring cyclists to wear helmets or hi-viz clothing. The motion, which we reported on last week, was carried by 44 votes to 10 at the group’s Annual General Meeting yesterday, according to Cambridge News.

As a result, no events or other initiatives that necessitate helmets or hi-viz clothing, or imply that they should be worn, will be promoted through its website. The motion, which was inspired by a similar approach taken by Lothian cycle campaigners Spokes earlier this year.

A spokesman for the group told Cambridge News “The campaign has a position that we are neutral on helmets and hi-vis clothing – it is a personal choice.

“We have many people in the campaign who wear helmets and hi-vis clothing.

“Event organisers who wish to have Cambridge Cycling Campaign help to promote their event will have to think hard about their guidance to participants.”

Mary Goode, chief executive of brain injury charity Headway Cambridgeshire, told Cambridge News she failed to understand the reasons behind the decision, asking,

“Why would cyclists make themselves more vulnerable by not wearing protective clothing?

“Cyclists, as a matter of course, will be checking their bike to ensure it is fit-for-purpose and roadworthy, and we would hope everyone would encourage the young in particular, to have road sense and an understanding of the Highway Code, so why would the Cambridge Cycling Campaign not take the same care about protecting their brain?

The motion had been proposed by Simon Nuttall, a committee member and adult cycle trainer, and seconded by Heather Coleman, and read:

Cambridge Cycling Campaign supports all cyclists as they go about their lawful business on the public road. We note that the law does not require helmets or high visibility clothing. The image of cyclists presented to the public has become so strongly skewed towards riders wearing those items that the legitimacy and status of those who do not wear them is being undermined. In order to help restore the balance the campaign reserves the right to decline to promote events or activities where helmets or high visibility clothing are required or implied.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.