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Bristol mayor calls for compulsory insurance for cyclists

George Ferguson has previously backed a number of cycling campaigns

Bristol mayor George Ferguson believes that all cyclists should have insurance. While rejecting the suggestion that bikes should be fitted with number plates, he also said that more should be done to crack down on those riding on pavements, without lights or without a bell.

Ferguson, who is currently fighting for re-election on May 5, told the Western Daily Press that as a cyclist himself, he felt let down by those who ran red lights and annoyed motorists. “It only creates a war,” he said.

"The liberal – with a small 'l' – in me would resist number plates. I have a very nice bike and they'd look terrible.

"But I do think we should all have insurance, and I do think we should get tougher on those who don't use lights, don't have a bell and people riding on pavements.

"We should get a lot tougher about it but I would be resistant to screwing number plates onto bikes."

Ferguson also said he would like to see on-the-spot fines for those caught breaking the law.

The major, who was elected as an independent candidate in 2012, has previously shown support for cyclists through his backing of a rush hour lorry ban, and in 2013 he welcomed a petition calling for a Dutch-style network of bike lanes in Bristol.

He has been a major supporter of 20mph speed limits throughout the city and speaking at the Bristol Road Safety Summit in 2013, he also said that there was a case for greatly increasing the number of dedicated paths for pedestrians and cyclists. On that occasion, he added that, “In every case, the faster, more dangerous form of transport should take a particular responsibility.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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Mr Agreeable | 7 years ago
1 like
Quote:

If any of them had done even rudimentary research on Ferguson instead of just knee-jerking, they would know that he has done more in office  for urban cycling than anyone else in the UK with the possible exception of Boris Johnson.  Bristol's widespread 20mph limit and most of its segregated cycle infrastructure are thanks to him.

I'd say he's more like BoJo circa first term - lots of fine words about encouraging cycling but very little to actually promote it. And a lot of claiming credit for work which was actually initiated by previous administrations. The little bits of cycle infrastructure that have been built during his terms are stuck on their own with barely anyone using them, and meanwhile key commuter routes like Park Street, Gloucester Road and Whiteladies Road are actually getting worse to cycle along. He's also backed the Metrobus project which takes away space from walking and cycling routes, and killed off a dedicated walking and cycling bridge across the New Cut.

He's figured out that a "cycling culture" is a handy shorthand for a progressive, European city which attracts investment, so he does everything possible to associate himself with it, but in terms of making Bristol centre a pleasant place to cycle, he's got a long way to go.

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Jimmy Ray Will | 7 years ago
0 likes

It would be lovely if people could just move on from the idea that if we all behaved ourselves, things would get better... this is utterly ridiculous sentiment.

Do you judge all car drivers on the actions of the minority of idiots out there? Do you assume everyone that owns a hoody is going to murder you / sell you drugs? 

Of course you don't. 

So why will a bunch of well behaving cyclists make any difference to how car drivers feel about us? That is driven by the media... 

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WiznaeMe | 7 years ago
2 likes

All cyclists should be insured against causing injury to third parties. 

The Motor Insurance Bureau, which covers uninsured and untraceable drivers, should be funded by government to manage a level of national coverage for injuries caused by cyclists.  

MIB currently levies £15-£20 on every motoring policy. The physical risk presented by cyclists is significantly less than that of cars and the cost of extending the MIB's services would be tiny in comparison.  

Not an overnight solution, but definitely achievable.

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Bikeylikey | 7 years ago
0 likes

I live in Bristol. George got my vote last time, he's just lost it this time.

I do not need a bell. I gave them up after about the hundredth time someone shouted abuse at me after ringing it. As has been said here, the voice is far preferable, you can give it inflectilon, nuance, make it polite. Plus people often don't recognise the 'ping' of the commonest type of bell. And am I going to be forced to put bells and number plates and all manner of weight and drag on my expensive lightweight racing bike?

Yes to stopping the red light jumping though, I too feel let down by red light jumping cyclists ruining the reputation of the rest of us.

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Condor flyer | 7 years ago
0 likes

Third party Insurance makes complete sense. If only to  protect your wallet if an errant pedestrian walks into you and sues for damages.

 

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Condor flyer | 7 years ago
0 likes

Every cyclist should have third party insurance to provide cover not only for him or her self, but also to protect from being sued by another road user in the event of a collision.

 

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wycombewheeler | 7 years ago
0 likes

"Cracking down on" cyclists without bells seems a bit harsh since they aren't a legal requirement and are in fact completely pointless.

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Fish_n_Chips | 7 years ago
0 likes

To be fair I've been crashed into: by uninsured cyclists who made 'mistakes' , luckily I had full cover: to cover the costs if a new frame.

 

 

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RMurphy195 | 7 years ago
1 like

If you collide with someone or something and cause injury or damage, then the fact that you have/have not got insurance does not in the slightest affect the injured party's right to claim damages off  YOU.

Not the phrase "Claim damages off YOU" - the claim is not against the insurance company, but against the perpetrator. All insurance means is that you can pass on the cost, and management,  of the claim to your insurer - along with legal costs which can be considerable.

If you are not insured, you have to pay yourself. And if you are unable to pay, - well, if you are hit by an uninsured driver, who was unable to pay damages, how would you feel?

And if you injured someone and the damages claim ran into a big enough sum to be life-changing for you, how would you feel?

The word "compulsory" simply means that

a) An enforcement regime would have to be put in place

b) If you do have an accident and were not insured, you would end up with a penalty (whether your fault or not) as well as having to pay damages.

Remember - insurance does not cover your potential victim, it covers YOU.

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Mungecrundle replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 7 years ago
1 like
Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

It would be lovely if people could just move on from the idea that if we all behaved ourselves, things would get better... this is utterly ridiculous sentiment.

Do you judge all car drivers on the actions of the minority of idiots out there? Do you assume everyone that owns a hoody is going to murder you / sell you drugs? 

Of course you don't. 

So why will a bunch of well behaving cyclists make any difference to how car drivers feel about us? That is driven by the media... 

 

So very true. However if you have a sure fire cure to human prejudice please share it and make the World a far far better place. In the meantime, like it or not, the antisocial actions of a few tarnish the general perception of the blameless many.

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oldstrath replied to RMurphy195 | 7 years ago
0 likes
RMurphy195 wrote:

If you collide with someone or something and cause injury or damage, then the fact that you have/have not got insurance does not in the slightest affect the injured party's right to claim damages off  YOU.

Not the phrase "Claim damages off YOU" - the claim is not against the insurance company, but against the perpetrator. All insurance means is that you can pass on the cost, and management,  of the claim to your insurer - along with legal costs which can be considerable.

If you are not insured, you have to pay yourself. And if you are unable to pay, - well, if you are hit by an uninsured driver, who was unable to pay damages, how would you feel?

And if you injured someone and the damages claim ran into a big enough sum to be life-changing for you, how would you feel?

The word "compulsory" simply means that

a) An enforcement regime would have to be put in place

b) If you do have an accident and were not insured, you would end up with a penalty (whether your fault or not) as well as having to pay damages.

Remember - insurance does not cover your potential victim, it covers YOU.

Of course third party insurance is sensible, and the low cost of such policies points very clearly to the low level of actual danger posed by cyclists. What seems to me objectionable about Ferguson's comments is simply the singling out of poor cycling, ad though poor driving didn't both exist, and pose a much larger objective danger.

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oldstrath replied to Mungecrundle | 7 years ago
1 like
Mungecrundle wrote:
Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

It would be lovely if people could just move on from the idea that if we all behaved ourselves, things would get better... this is utterly ridiculous sentiment.

Do you judge all car drivers on the actions of the minority of idiots out there? Do you assume everyone that owns a hoody is going to murder you / sell you drugs? 

Of course you don't. 

So why will a bunch of well behaving cyclists make any difference to how car drivers feel about us? That is driven by the media... 

 

So very true. However if you have a sure fire cure to human prejudice please share it and make the World a far far better place. In the meantime, like it or not, the antisocial actions of a few tarnish the general perception of the blameless many.

So why isn't the 'general percecption' of drivers that they are all lawbreaking, antisocial 'knobheads', given that at least half the drivers I know have 3 or more points for speeding, and most admit to using a mobile phone at the wheel 'when I need to'? 

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brooksby | 7 years ago
1 like

George Ferguson has done a lot to address transport issues in Bristol: pretty much blanket 20mph speed limits, residents parking zones, even starting to consider low emissions zones. Has also overseen a number of cycle paths (proper segregated ones). Has done a lot of quite unpopular things, to move Bristol in the direction he wanted, moving toward 'transport transition', I guess you'd call it.

Which is why he is almost universally hated by the good drivers of Bristol, to a degree that you cannot believe without reading below the line on the Bristol Post website.

I'd venture that these latest comments are an off the cuff attempt to seem a bit more down-with-the-motorists, ahead of the election for mayor on Thursday...

(Unfortunately I live on the wrong side of the Avon so I don't get to vote in the mayoral election).

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HarrogateSpa | 7 years ago
2 likes

Don't the feed the troll. Just ask road.cc to delete the account.

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L.Willo | 7 years ago
1 like

No, 1500Kg of metal at 40mph is accountable with a reg plate. Even if the police are not present, you can report it and if caught on CCTV, action can be taken.

Currently 110Kg of combined twat and aluminium isn't very accountable, even as he is riding the wrong way around Aldwych, as I witnessed today. Zero fucks given when that fully-grown, lawless twat tries his luck one time too many and ends up under a bus.

There are some arsehole drivers, this goes without saying. How many more arsehole drivers would there be on the road if cars and drivers were as practically untraceable as cyclists?

Greater accountability would make the roads a much safer and much more pleasant environment for all road users. I don't discriminate because my preferred mode of transport in London just happens to be the bicycle. Motorists and pedestrians are not my enemy. They are fellow road users and deserve to be treated with respect too.

 

 

 

Avatar
davel replied to L.Willo | 7 years ago
1 like
L.Willo wrote:

No, 1500Kg of metal at 40mph is accountable with a reg plate...

Currently 110Kg of combined twat and aluminium isn't very accountable, even as he is riding the wrong way around Aldwych, as I witnessed today. Zero fucks given when that fully-grown, lawless twat tries his luck one time too many and ends up under a bus.

There are some arsehole drivers, this goes without saying. How many more arsehole drivers would there be on the road if cars and drivers were as practically untraceable as cyclists?

Greater accountability would make the roads a much safer and much more pleasant environment for all road users. I don't discriminate because my preferred mode of transport in London just happens to be the bicycle. Motorists and pedestrians are not my enemy.

So I assume you've worked out exactly how much more damage uninsured/unlicensed drivers and unregistered vehicles do...

I wonder whether you are spending the appropriate proportion of time on sanctimonious lecturing and victim-blaming of drivers on, say, pistonheads?

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L.Willo replied to davel | 7 years ago
0 likes
davel wrote:

So I assume you've worked out exactly how much more damage uninsured/unlicensed drivers and unregistered vehicles do...  

Than what? Are we playing a game of guess davel's hidden comparison? Oh goody!

OK, I think it  is owls ....  the answer is owls and that uninsured / unlicensed drivers and unregistered vehicles cause more damage to the environment than owls.

Am I right? What do I win?

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davel replied to L.Willo | 7 years ago
0 likes
L.Willo wrote:
davel wrote:

So I assume you've worked out exactly how much more damage uninsured/unlicensed drivers and unregistered vehicles do...  

Than what? Are we playing a game of guess davel's hidden comparison? Oh goody!

OK, I think it  is owls ....  the answer is owls and that uninsured / unlicensed drivers and unregistered vehicles cause more damage to the environment than owls.

Am I right? What do I win?

 

Than the antisocial, unregistered and arsewitted cyclists you wibble about on Every. Chuffing. Thread.  On a bike site.

Get back under your bridge. Or in the sea.

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oldstrath replied to L.Willo | 7 years ago
1 like
L.Willo wrote:

No, 1500Kg of metal at 40mph is accountable with a reg plate. Even if the police are not present, you can report it and if caught on CCTV, action can be taken.

Currently 110Kg of combined twat and aluminium isn't very accountable, even as he is riding the wrong way around Aldwych, as I witnessed today. Zero fucks given when that fully-grown, lawless twat tries his luck one time too many and ends up under a bus.

There are some arsehole drivers, this goes without saying. How many more arsehole drivers would there be on the road if cars and drivers were as practically untraceable as cyclists?

Greater accountability would make the roads a much safer and much more pleasant environment for all road users. I don't discriminate because my preferred mode of transport in London just happens to be the bicycle. Motorists and pedestrians are not my enemy. They are fellow road users and deserve to be treated with respect too.

 

 

 

 

No country in the world has that sort of 'accountability' for cyclists. Switzerland used to have a vignette system, they abandoned it as not cost effective.

 

Most countries in Europe spend the money separating vehicles from squishy things, not on trying to bully the squishy things into behaving nicely (i.e. defensively).

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Sub5orange | 7 years ago
0 likes

Are kids cyclists as soon as they get on a bike? Are people who call for this ready to shell out? 

Incidently my kids and I have 3rd party liability insurance but that is my choice, I do not think it should be a legal requirement. 

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L.Willo | 7 years ago
0 likes
Quote:

The former architect, who was elected as an independent candidate in 2012, is an avid cyclist himself and has been accused of introducing a number of 'anti-car' policies. 

In the past four years, he has implemented city centre 20mph speed limits and residents' parking zones and made roads more cyclist-friendly. 

As a result, the numbers of people commuting by car has fallen, particularly between 2013 and 14 when those driving fell from 48 per cent to 41 per cent. 

Mr Ferguson, who is currently fighting for re-election on May 5, has no power to make cyclists pay insurance. 

For the rule changes to be implemented an Act of Parliament would have to be passed. 

Bristol was named the UK's first 'cycling city' in 2008 and was given £11 million by the Government to improve bicycle access. 

More than 16 per cent of people cycle to work, a trend that is expected to keep rising. 

The number of people riding a bike to work in Bristol now outnumbers those in Sheffield, Nottingham, Newcastle and Liverpool combined. 

Read more: http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/Bristol-mayor-George-Ferguson-calls-c...
Follow us: @WesternDaily on Twitter | WesternDaily on Facebook

 

Yeah but sod that, what does he know? He wears red trousers and has the audacity to think that cyclists should take / be held responsible for our cycling. So old school.

The nutter. 

 

.... only on road.cc ......

 

 

Avatar
oldstrath replied to L.Willo | 7 years ago
3 likes
L.Willo wrote:
Quote:

The former architect, who was elected as an independent candidate in 2012, is an avid cyclist himself and has been accused of introducing a number of 'anti-car' policies. 

In the past four years, he has implemented city centre 20mph speed limits and residents' parking zones and made roads more cyclist-friendly. 

As a result, the numbers of people commuting by car has fallen, particularly between 2013 and 14 when those driving fell from 48 per cent to 41 per cent. 

Mr Ferguson, who is currently fighting for re-election on May 5, has no power to make cyclists pay insurance. 

For the rule changes to be implemented an Act of Parliament would have to be passed. 

Bristol was named the UK's first 'cycling city' in 2008 and was given £11 million by the Government to improve bicycle access. 

More than 16 per cent of people cycle to work, a trend that is expected to keep rising. 

The number of people riding a bike to work in Bristol now outnumbers those in Sheffield, Nottingham, Newcastle and Liverpool combined. 

Read more: http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/Bristol-mayor-George-Ferguson-calls-c...
Follow us: @WesternDaily on Twitter | WesternDaily on Facebook

 

Yeah but sod that, what does he know? He wears red trousers and has the audacity to think that cyclists should take / be held responsible for our cycling. So old school.

The nutter. 

 

.... only on road.cc ......

 

 

The problem, as you know fine well, is the ambition to make people take responsibility for the cycling of others, an ambitions he doesn't feel for car drivers, else he'd spend all his time wailing about being let down by the dangerous drivers. But in his, and your, weird world 1500 kg of metal travelling at 40 mph is safe, 110 kg of flesh and metal travelling at 20 mph is terrifying and dangerous.

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fukawitribe replied to oldstrath | 7 years ago
1 like
oldstrath wrote:

The problem, as you know fine well, is the ambition to make people take responsibility for the cycling of others, an ambitions he doesn't feel for car drivers, else he'd spend all his time wailing about being let down by the dangerous drivers. But in his, and your, weird world 1500 kg of metal travelling at 40 mph is safe, 110 kg of flesh and metal travelling at 20 mph is terrifying and dangerous.

Straw man, false dilemma, false equivalence, ignoratio elenchi/another straw man. I know the guy is unpopular with a lot of folk but that might be pushing it a bit far.

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Housecathst | 7 years ago
3 likes

All household contents insurance policies have personal liability insurance, normally for £2 million at least. It covers you for cycling (but not racing) 

I wouldn't be surprised if there are less uninsured cyclist than there are motorists. 

It's such a non issue propogated by the ignorant just to give cyclists a kicking. 

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wycombewheeler | 7 years ago
0 likes

British cycling membership £30 gets you 10% off at Halfords and includes 3rd party insurance and legal cover.

I believe you can get just the insurance from LCC for £8. Small price to pay for piece of mind.

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harrybav | 7 years ago
0 likes

Yes, I'd be voting the fellow out and letting him know why.

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harrybav | 7 years ago
1 like

Yes, I'd be voting the fellow out and letting him know why.

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Jimmy Ray Will | 7 years ago
2 likes

I'm loving some of the comments on this post... I have to say, I share the opinion that a bell is a very inpersonal, and rude way to make your presence known on a shared path.  

 

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 7 years ago
1 like
Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

I'm loving some of the comments on this post... I have to say, I share the opinion that a bell is a very inpersonal, and rude way to make your presence known on a shared path.  

 

Maybe it depends on what kind of bell it is. Mine is a very small one that does a single "ding" and I haven't had a problem with it around Bristol. At least with a bell you have a choice whether to use that or your voice.

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giff77 replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 7 years ago
1 like
Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

I'm loving some of the comments on this post... I have to say, I share the opinion that a bell is a very inpersonal, and rude way to make your presence known on a shared path.  

 

The lion works bell has a lovely pitch to it and doesn't come across as arrogant. I sometimes feel that when some cyclists call out it can sometimes come across as impatient and bullish. And the pedestrian is as likely to jump out of their skins as the call is usually made as the cyclist goes bombing past. 

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