The discussion around number plates for cyclists has been reignited today in the House of Lords, the former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Lord Hogan-Howe, claiming that to tackle danger cyclists should need "a registration plate somewhere on the back" in order to avoid being "entirely unaccountable".
The topic has enjoyed an extended spell out of the public eye since last summer, when then-transport secretary Grant Shapps aired, then quickly backed out of, the idea during a frantic few days which culminated with the Department for Transport telling this website it was "just proposals" and that the views expressed in a contradictory interview downplaying his original idea were closer to "his position".
Shapps ultimately stated he was "not attracted to bureaucracy" of number plates for cyclists and said there are "no plans" for such legislation. The matter has largely avoided the limelight since then, that was until Lord Hogan-Howe's comments in the House of Lords today.
Speaking during a debate on measures to regulate pedicabs, the Evening Standard reports the former chief of the Metropolitan Police, who held his position between 2011 and 2017, asked "if we learn any lessons about holding pedicab drivers and owners to account, could we consider whether we take those lessons and apply them to cyclists?"
"I fear that my list of people who are dangerous is longer than just people who have electric scooters and electrically charged cycles," he said. "I fear that cyclists, particularly in London, seem to be entirely unaccountable.
"Even having a registration plate somewhere on the back would not be a bad idea to make sure that people are held to account and it is not totally without consequences if they choose to ignore things that are meant to keep us all safe. On occasion they have terribly injured people, and on some occasions killed them."
The debate also heard from former Tory minister Lord Blencathra who argued the pedicab bill is a "trivial little measure" compared to e-scooters and called for their complete ban in England and "greater penalties" for pavement cycling.
"I want to amend this Bill to ban all e-scooters in England from any public highway, including pavements, and give police powers to immediately confiscate any they find in use on public roads," he said.
"All rental e-scooter trials should cease immediately and greater penalties imposed on cyclists on pavements, especially if they're commercial couriers."
In June, Italy's transport minister Matteo Salvini outlined plans for a road safety bill which would force cyclists to carry number plates on their bikes, pay insurance, and make helmets and indicators mandatory.
In a speech to the Italian parliament in the summer, Salvini outlined his plans to increase road safety in the country through legislation which he says will guarantee "more rules, more education, and more safety on Italian roads".
Salvini, who leads the Lega party, which forms part of the right-wing coalition led by prime minister Giorgia Meloni, said that under the plans cyclists will be forced to wear helmets and carry licence plates and indicators on their bikes, while also paying insurance.
Just days later and Salvini backpedalled, insisting that the rules were aimed solely at people riding scooters.
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.