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Confusion as Grant Shapps now says he is "not attracted to bureaucracy" of number plates for cyclists

"I'm not attracted to the bureaucracy of registration plates. That would go too far," the Transport Secretary said in another interview yesterday...

Confusion reigned this morning as transport minister Grant Shapps' comments in an interview given to The Times appeared to contradict his widely-reported pledge to enforce tougher rules, namely possibly introducing number plates for cyclists, as part of the current legal review.

> Grant Shapps: Cyclists should have number plates, be insured and subject to speed limits

Speaking to the national newspaper, the Tory cabinet minister said: "I'm a keen cyclist, I'm very proud of the big expansion in the number of miles being cycled. I'm not attracted to the bureaucracy of registration plates. That would go too far."

These comments, published in a story on the front page of The Times, contrast with Shapps' interview simultaneously published on the front page of the Daily Mail, in which he says he "absolutely proposes extending speed limit restrictions to cyclists" before stating: "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?'"

The Mail interview prompted something of a media frenzy, with talk shows, news outlets and social media filled with debate about the prospect of cyclists needing a number plate to use the roads.

> "There is no war on cars. There is a war on bikes": Cyclists react to Grant Shapps' "hugely damaging" number plates and speed limits pledge

road.cc contacted the Department for Transport for clarification on the matter and were told: "It's just proposals. No new policy has been introduced as of yet. The Times piece is the more accurate reflection of the Transport Secretary's view. That's his position on it."

The Department for Transport is likely to clarify the position further in the coming hours.

> "Grant Shapps should be congratulated": Frothing talk shows and Mr Loophole discuss number plates for cyclists

Speaking to the Mail, Shapps said: "Somewhere where cyclists are actually not breaking the law is when they speed, and that cannot be right, so I absolutely propose extending speed limit restrictions to cyclists.

"Particularly where you've got 20mph limits on increasing numbers of roads, cyclists can easily exceed those, so I want to make speed limits apply to cyclists.

"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 [via identifiable markings].

"I don't want to stop people from getting on their bike, it's a fantastic way to travel, we've seen a big explosion of cycling during Covid and since, I think it has lots of health benefits.

"But I see no reason why cyclists should break the road laws, why they should speed, why they should bust red lights and be able to get away with it and I think we do have to not turn a blind eye to that and I’m proposing setting up a review to do exactly that."

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.

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99 comments

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sheridan replied to ktache | 1 year ago
4 likes
ktache wrote:

Weirdly, I had a little look at hp, because of the previous death by cycling bit a while back (laws same since days of the horse and other such nonsense), as 1hp is 250W, but WvA can stick out 3hp, horses generally can put out 6hp.

I'm guessing this is one of the reasons those SI people have stayed away from the HP.

There's a certain amount of marketting involved there.  James Watt used the power output of a pony to set the measure (one horsepower is double what that pony produced).  An average healthy human can put out 1.2 hp, while Usain Bolt produced 3.5 hp while setting a world record three years ago.  Peak power of a strong horse has been measured at 14.9 hp.

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Rendel Harris replied to sheridan | 1 year ago
3 likes

Yes, Watt had a vested interest in underestimating horsepower as he agreed to take royalties of one third of the savings his engines made over horses, so the lower a horsepower was measured at the more horses he could claim the engine replaced and so the higher his royalties. Canny folk, yon Scots!

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ktache replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
1 like

But his profiteering held back the development of the steam engine.

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grumpus replied to ktache | 1 year ago
2 likes

An electric motor rated at one horsepower outputs 746 Watts, mechanically that's 76 kgf⋅m/s  i.e. it can lift a 76 kg mass a metre vertically in a second. That's about half what a top sprinter can manage, but the cyclist will do it for a few seconds while the motor (or horse) can do it all day.

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mdavidford replied to grumpus | 1 year ago
1 like
grumpus wrote:

it can lift a 76 kg mass a metre vertically in a second.

I think you're doing cycling wrong.

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chrisonabike replied to mdavidford | 1 year ago
0 likes
mdavidford wrote:
grumpus wrote:

it can lift a 76 kg mass a metre vertically in a second.

I think you're doing cycling wrong.

Why?  He might be a truly epic descender...

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mdavidford replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
2 likes

Oh yes, I'm a great descender

Descending a vertical wall

My speed is such, I descend too much

I can't tell it apart from a fall

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eburtthebike | 1 year ago
11 likes

Surely even DM readers must be wondering if such a trivial issue deserves to be 96pt front page headlines?  They couldn't possibly be distracting from the massive, complete, total ultra-shambles that passes for a government, could they?

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ShutTheFrontDawes replied to eburtthebike | 1 year ago
9 likes

DM readers are not so self-aware, on the whole at least.

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hawkinspeter replied to ShutTheFrontDawes | 1 year ago
12 likes
ShutTheFrontDawes wrote:

DM readers are not so self-aware, on the whole at least.

Look, they know that they're angry, they just need to know what they're angry about

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TheFatAndTheFurious | 1 year ago
12 likes

The briefing to the Mail fulfilled exactly its purpose.

A headline to feed red meat to the loons and no intention of actually doing anything, and setting "us" against each other instead of against the Tories.

#CrushTheTories

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RTB replied to TheFatAndTheFurious | 1 year ago
0 likes
TheLonelyOne wrote:

#CrushTheTories

And how exactly are you going to do that Wolfie?  That would require: a) a general election; b) someone massively less useless and massively more worthy of winning a vote.

Btw, please drop the Macmillan monicker, if you're going to get nastily political and rude underneath it.  It's such a turn-off and I just put a wad Macmillan's way too.  Maybe, I'll give it elsewhere if people like you associate themselves.

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Rendel Harris replied to RTB | 1 year ago
5 likes
RTB wrote:

Btw, please drop the Macmillan monicker, if you're going to get nastily political and rude underneath it.  It's such a turn-off and I just put a wad Macmillan's way too.  Maybe, I'll give it elsewhere if people like you associate themselves.

You'd consider withdrawing your support for a charity to which you previously donated because you don't like the opinions of a random Internet poster who also supports the same charity? Well, that sounds perfectly reasonable.

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TheFatAndTheFurious replied to RTB | 1 year ago
2 likes

Macmillan stands for everything that the Tories don't.

Macmillan provides help and support and care for those that need it most, when they are at their lowest and weakest.

Macmillan provides a safety net for those whose world is falling apart.

Macmillan appreciates every contribution made, and I'm truly happy that you have provided your support to them.

Threatening to abandon such people that we both want to help is incomprehensibly perverse,

#IdReallyRatherThatWeVotedTheToriesOutOfPowerEverywherePossibleThankYou.

 

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brooksby replied to RTB | 1 year ago
5 likes
RTB wrote:

And how exactly are you going to do that Wolfie?  That would require: a) a general election; b) someone massively less useless and massively more worthy of winning a vote.

I rewatched "V for Vendetta" recently...

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brooksby | 1 year ago
10 likes

Isn't it obvious?  One interview was with Grant Shapps and the other was actually  with Michael Green.

(We await the next set of interviews, with Corinne Stockheath and Sebastian Fox, shortly...).

 3

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grant_Shapps#Business_ventures

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hawkinspeter replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
4 likes
brooksby wrote:

Isn't it obvious?  One interview was with Grant Shapps and the other was actually  with Michael Green.

(We await the next set of interviews, with Corinne Stockheath and Sebastian Fox, shortly...).

 3

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grant_Shapps#Business_ventures

I had no idea just how scummy he is until reading that!

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eburtthebike replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
3 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:
brooksby wrote:

Isn't it obvious?  One interview was with Grant Shapps and the other was actually  with Michael Green.

(We await the next set of interviews, with Corinne Stockheath and Sebastian Fox, shortly...).

 3

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grant_Shapps#Business_ventures

I had no idea just how scummy he is until reading that!

They all are.  Our government is run by gangsters.

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chrisonabike replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
7 likes

Hmm... I did not know that. With that many aliases I wonder whether he's ever posted on road.cc?

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philsinclair | 1 year ago
1 like

I live in Switzerland and we do have number plates and compulsory insurance for E-Bikes that can do over 25kph and up to 50 kph, the maximun speed allowed. They are treated the same as mopeds. So at a certain point I do find this partially sensible. Cyclists are also subject to the same rules and fines as motorists. A driving licence is treated as a certificate of competence on the road. Even pedestrians (in theory) can been fined for crossing the road on a red light and if applicable loose their driving licence..

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Shades replied to philsinclair | 1 year ago
0 likes

Aren't those ePedelecs?  Pretty sure some countries insist on a different (assume stronger) helmet.  Not sure what the rules are ref using them on bike paths (where they're legal) but the odd de-restricted e bike that overtakes me on a bike path are a bit scary.

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philsinclair replied to Shades | 1 year ago
1 like

They are allowed on bike paths and I think the speedy ones have to have a helmet as they are treated same as mopeds. No idea which though. I find them scary too as sharing the bike paths with prams, pets and lifestock can all be a bit much. As well as crazy E-Scooters.

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chrisonabike replied to philsinclair | 1 year ago
1 like

I suspect that some change is a-coming, same as how the market drove e-scooters here. Several e-bike companies have got "can we sell a motorbike-lite - with the attraction of possible lesser regulation? " efforts (see previous road.cc / ebiketips). I've not thought this one through myself - but it is quite possible whatever government we have won't either. So as usual I'd suggest looking at the NL where they have extensive experience of more categories of smaller / slower powered vehicles. Plus lots of cycling. I wouldn't necessarily suggest they've got this one right but there should be data and there are certainly lots of articles / opinion.

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mattw replied to philsinclair | 1 year ago
1 like

I think that is not that different to where we are (?)

In the UK aiui a fast E-Bike (over 15.5mph assisted speed) is treated as a moped, and so you are into helmets, licences and insurance.

 

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Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago
13 likes

Idiot two faced minister is caught being an idiot and two faced.

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hawkinspeter replied to Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago
3 likes
Secret_squirrel wrote:

Idiot two faced minister is caught being an idiot and two faced.

How long do we have to wait for him to be sacked?

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eburtthebike replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
3 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:
Secret_squirrel wrote:

Idiot two faced minister is caught being an idiot and two faced.

How long do we have to wait for him to be sacked?

Sacked? Have you been living under a rock for the past twelve years?  Like every other slimey, truth-twisting hypocrite in this government, he won't be sacked, he'll be promoted.

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brooksby replied to eburtthebike | 1 year ago
5 likes

Or he'll take up a job with whatever company is given the contract to deal with the licencing sh!t that he has created....

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Grahamd replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
5 likes
brooksby wrote:

Or he'll take up a job with whatever company is given the contract to deal with the licencing sh!t that he has created....

Sounds about right, and as with track and trace will cost millions and deliver nothing.

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swldxer replied to Grahamd | 1 year ago
2 likes

TEST AND TRACE - "TRACK" is Parcelforce.

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