Just two weeks since Grant Shapps first aired the idea of number plates for cyclists in one interview, while simultaneously saying he opposed the idea in another, the Transport Secretary has addressed the matter once more to say the government is "not going to do number plates".
Speaking to The Times newspaper, Shapps described himself as a "very keen enthusiast" cyclist, if "not a mamil [middle-aged man in Lycra]", and said "we're not going to do number plates".
"We’re not going to do number plates," Shapps said. "There is no death by dangerous cycling on our statute books. At the moment it has to be addressed through an old piece of legislation, which is actually designed for horses and carts, which is deeply unsatisfying.
"When I pointed that out, some people said, ‘Surely then you'll need to know which bike is which?’ But when there's been an incident generally you know who it was.
"I’m a very keen enthusiast [cyclist]. I'm not a mamil [middle-aged man in Lycra], I wear my ordinary clothes, but I do like to go out. I converted my 90-year-old dad’s old bike — it looks so old no one would want to nick it — to electric for a bit of help going uphill."
Shapps' comments follow similar explanation from the Department for Transport who told road.cc the minister's view in a previous Times interview, saying he was opposed to the bureaucracy of bike number plates, was closer to the truth than the Mail's all-out insurance, registration and licence account.
On Wednesday, an MP who co-chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Cycling and Walking said she had been assured by the Department for Transport that there are no plans for cyclists to be required to display number plates or take out compulsory third party insurance.
"The Transport Secretary's foray into the politics of cycling has certainly generated much debate and again demonstrated the strength of feeling from those pro and against cycling about how to best ensure the safety of all road users," Selaine Saxby wrote in a magazine column.
"From a policy perspective I have been assured by the Department of Transport, as the Transport Secretary has reiterated to the press, that he has no plans to introduce number plates for bicycles or compulsory insurance."
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.