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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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mdavidford replied to swldxer | 1 year ago
1 like

ROYAL MAIL

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to eburtthebike | 1 year ago
4 likes
eburtthebike wrote:

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.

Well, he was promoted by Boris as clearly they have a similar approach to truth and integrity (less of an approach though and more of a run the opposite direction from). Presumably, he wants a job under poundland-Thatcher or defund-the-deprived Sunak?

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OldRidgeback replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
0 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?

Too long

Avatar
ktache | 1 year ago
5 likes

Does anyone else think that "bust red lights" is a really strange phrase?

Avatar
eburtthebike replied to ktache | 1 year ago
1 like
ktache wrote:

Does anyone else think that "bust red lights" is a really strange phrase?

I did wonder if it only applied to women cyclists, but I couldn't quite see how.

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Steve K | 1 year ago
9 likes

I've come to the conclusion that Grant Shapps doesn't know his arse from his elbow.

Avatar
Shades | 1 year ago
10 likes

Other countries which have a more developed and mature cycle culture.  If other countries governments have a weekly briefing on the UK, I'd call it the 'comedy hour' ("their Prime Minister is on a bender in Greece and, get this one, they want to put registration plates on bicycles")

Avatar
eburtthebike replied to Shades | 1 year ago
3 likes
Shades wrote:

Other countries which have a more developed and mature cycle culture.  If other countries governments have a weekly briefing on the UK, I'd call it the 'comedy hour' ("their Prime Minister is on a bender in Greece and, get this one, they want to put registration plates on bicycles")

It's just distraction from this week's, sorry, today's government disaster.

Avatar
exilegareth replied to Shades | 1 year ago
3 likes

The Papua New Guinea Courier, often found on Twitter, does some very fine coverage of British politics of this kind.

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