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Grant Shapps’ bike licence plates proposal ‘a strange and pointless idea’

Grant Shapps’ bike licence plates proposal ‘a strange and pointless idea’

Cyclists take to the road in central London. Shapps has been accused of ‘playing to a tabloid audience’ in his remarks about cyclists. Transport groups…

Thursday, Aug 18

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Cyclists take to the road in central London. Shapps has been accused of ‘playing to a tabloid audience’ in his remarks about cyclists. Transport groups and opposition parties have reacted with bafflement to a proposal by Grant Shapps to look at mandatory insurance and registration for cyclists, something previously rejected by the Department for Transport (DfT) as impractical and counter-productive.

In an interview with the Daily Mail that appeared to surprise his own officials, the transport secretary said he “absolutely” wanted to extend speed limits to cyclists, adding: “I see no reason why cyclists should break the road laws and be able to get away with it.”

He added: “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 Mail said this was a reference to possible number plates or other identification for bikes. Wera Hobhouse, the Lib Dems’ spokesperson on transport, condemned what she called a “strange and pointless idea [that] would pile extra costs on to people who are trying to be more active”.

The DfT did not dispute that this was what Shapps meant, but said there was no plan in place and it would be a matter for whoever was transport secretary under the new prime minister.

Somewhat confusingly, in a separate interview with the Times , […]

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