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Bike licences call for Birmingham and the West Midlands

Making riders carry licence plate is high on voters' wishlist in upcoming mayoral elections...

A survey ahead of May’s first-ever West Midlands mayoral election this May has found that local residents would like the successful candidate to introduce a bicycle licence – “to stop cyclists being a menace on the roads.”

The findings of the survey have been reported by the Birmingham Mail on the same day that motoring lawyer Nick ‘Mr Loophole’ Freeman and helmet camera user Dave ‘Cycling Vigilante’ Sherry jointly called for riders working for companies such as Deliveroo to also carry licence plates.

> Mr Loophole and Dave Sherry call for crackdown on delivery cyclists who break the law

The newspaper says that in exchange for cyclists being licenced, they would be given a network of cycle lanes throughout the West Midlands, although in practice any decision to introduce licences for bike riders would lie with central government, and it’s a concept that ministers at the Department for Transport have consistently rejected.

Publishing the West Midlands People’s Plan Manifesto, organisers of the survey said:

The popularity of cycling is not going to drop – more and more people, young and old, are taking up cycling.

But as more and more people take to the roads on bikes there is a need to pay more attention to their safety and that of other road users.

A ‘bicycle licence’ could be introduced as a way of showing which cyclists have demonstrated that they understand the rules of the road and their responsibilities to other road users.

The report also suggests introducing a charge for motorists to use the region’s roads, with the frontrunner in the race to become West Midlands Mayor, Conservative candidate and former John Lewis department store boss Andy Street, saying that tackling congestion is a priority.

> Frontrunner for West Midlands mayoral election pledges 40-fold increase in spend on cycling

He has applauded the efforts of Birmingham City Council to roll out cycling infrastructure – the city is one of the chief beneficiaries of the DfT’s Cycle City Ambition initiative – and has pledged a 40-fold increase in funding or cycling for other parts of the region.

The People’s Plan Manifesto, which was set up by Liam Byrne, Labour MP for Hodge Hill and who is chairing the campaign of his party’s candidate, Sion Simon, says:

A West Midlands congestion charge could be introduced, or restricted parking around schools at the start and end of the day, but the most positive step that could and should be taken is making public transport more appealing.

ENDBLOCKQUOTE

It also calls for greater investment in public transport such as light rail services, measures to tackle pollution, and fines for households and businesses that fail to recycle their rubbish properly.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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45 comments

Avatar
Beecho | 7 years ago
4 likes

What price a Rapha licence plate?

Avatar
tritecommentbot | 7 years ago
1 like

Worrying actually. This could snowball and hit Westminister, and then the Heil, Sun etc will push it over the edge. 

Doubt it'll be now, but I can see it happening in the next few years. 

Avatar
Alexander22 | 7 years ago
4 likes

Will this bicycle licence be free? Otherwise how are students, children expected to get this licence thing?

Also police in Birmingham can't even sort or manage the hundreds of illegal drivers we have in Birmingham on a daily bases. So adding in bicycle licences will just put more pressure on the police therfore less enforcement on other important things like killer drivers.

What next!?!? A walking licence because of careless pedestrians???

Avatar
Yorkshire wallet | 7 years ago
4 likes

May I suggest Birmingham moves towards independence? With a big wall around it?

Avatar
Grahamd | 7 years ago
5 likes

Clearly a lot of the residents in Birmingham are no smarter than the average idiot.

Avatar
Man of Lard replied to Grahamd | 7 years ago
5 likes
Grahamd wrote:

Clearly a lot of the residents in Birmingham are no smarter than the average idiot.

Big village, many idiots...

Avatar
Simon E | 7 years ago
15 likes

If the people of Birmingham think this is one of the big issues that the new Mayor needs to tackle I truly feel sorry for them.

Avatar
Alessandro replied to Simon E | 7 years ago
4 likes
Simon E wrote:

If the people of Birmingham think this is one of the big issues that the new Mayor needs to tackle I truly feel sorry for them.

On the contrary, it must be a total utopia if this is all they have to worry about!

Avatar
djfleming22 | 7 years ago
5 likes

 

A ‘bicycle licence’ could be introduced as a way of showing which cyclists have demonstrated that they understand the rules of the road and their responsibilities to other road users.

Vehicle drivers also have to demonstrate that they understand the rules of the road and their responsibilities to other road users at the time, so maybe this should be updated and examined every year because 2 of the drivers who tried to overtake a car while i am coming towards them dont seem to understand there responsibilities to other road users.

These councillors should not throw stones at glass windows.

Next it will number plates and Vehicle excise duty ... cannot wait for that one, means i can cycle right in the middle of the road just like all the other traffice because i pay for it as well.

 

Avatar
alexb replied to djfleming22 | 7 years ago
1 like
djfleming22 wrote:

 

A ‘bicycle licence’ could be introduced as a way of showing which cyclists have demonstrated that they understand the rules of the road and their responsibilities to other road users.

Vehicle drivers also have to demonstrate that they understand the rules of the road and their responsibilities to other road users at the time

Will this be a different license from my current full and un-endorsed driving license?

Will I need a different training course from the Cycling Proficiency Test that I took as a child with PC Bacon (no really!)?

 

Avatar
grumpyoldcyclist | 7 years ago
14 likes

Not this one again?

So on average five people are killed every day by drivers 'being a menace on the roads', so lets target the real issue.

Licence plates for bikes, my five year old grandson will need a licence plate will he?

Who's going to pay for all these licences then, bicycles are zero emissions so can't be charged, so somebody's tax is going to go up.

You would have to employ thousands of people to licence bikes to get zero income, brilliant scheme!

Will it reduce congestion?

Will it reduce pollution?

Will it reduce noise?

Will it improve health?

Will it reduce road casualties?

I'll stop now....

Avatar
burtthebike | 7 years ago
5 likes

Merely the Association of British Drivers (ABD, or Anti-Bicycle Disorder as I call them) trying to make some noise.

There are dozens if not hundreds of these rather bizarre suggestions on the website, and I imagine that most of them will be examined and rapidly discarded.

Just posted this in response on the website https://westmids.peoplesplan.co.uk/objectives/34#questions

"Since drivers have licences and registration plates have failed to prevent them regularly breaking the law, speeding, mobile phone driving, dangerous parking etc, etc, etc, why would this work for cyclists?  Surely pedestrians should also have licences as they can cause accidents too?"

On the same site is the suggestion "Follow London's lead and make Birmingham a safe place to cycle." whether that is supposed to be ironic I'm not sure.

Avatar
longassballs replied to burtthebike | 7 years ago
0 likes
burtthebike wrote:

Merely the Association of British Drivers (ABD, or Anti-Bicycle Disorder as I call them) trying to make some noise.

There are dozens if not hundreds of these rather bizarre suggestions on the website, and I imagine that most of them will be examined and rapidly discarded.

Just posted this in response on the website https://westmids.peoplesplan.co.uk/objectives/34#questions

"Since drivers have licences and registration plates have failed to prevent them regularly breaking the law, speeding, mobile phone driving, dangerous parking etc, etc, etc, why would this work for cyclists?  Surely pedestrians should also have licences as they can cause accidents too?"

On the same site is the suggestion "Follow London's lead and make Birmingham a safe place to cycle." whether that is supposed to be ironic I'm not sure.

See this argument all the time but it's a logical fallacy. The inference is that car licence's are useless and should be gotten rid of. It's also easily countered by saying that at least some of these bike scamps could be caught and put in chains.

Not that I agree with a licence.

Avatar
Peowpeowpeowlasers | 7 years ago
20 likes

The simple answer to this idiocy is to ask anyone who witnesses a motorist running a red light to take a note of the registration plate and report it to the police.  And then count how long it takes for the officer at the desk to stop laughing.

Avatar
alexb replied to Peowpeowpeowlasers | 7 years ago
2 likes
Peowpeowpeowlasers wrote:

The simple answer to this idiocy is to ask anyone who witnesses a motorist running a red light to take a note of the registration plate and report it to the police.  And then count how long it takes for the officer at the desk to stop laughing.

This. All motorists who beleive that possession of a number plate will allow them to magically identify and then punish a driver they see behaving badly should try it one day, just to see how completely ineffective it is.

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