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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.”

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