Saturday, July 29, 2006

Livingstone plans to register cyclists

I have to admit that moaning about cyclists is something I do quite a lot. As a pedestrian there is little more annoying than using a Pelican Crossing and having a cyclist simply ride through the red light whilst you cross (sometimes they even scowl and swear at you as if you are the one in the wrong). Of course, I should stress that not all cyclists do this. The issue however was raised in Ken Livingstone's interview on LBC yesterday. Ken announced that he's thinking of making cyclists have number plates.

"I'm now persuaded we should actually say that bikes and their owners should be registered. There should be a number plate on the back so that the ones breaking the law, we can get them off the cameras. It's the only way you can do it."

I wonder, does Ken think about these things before he says them or do they just roll off his tongue and then he has to deal withthe consequences? Registering cyclists? He can't be serious can he? How much would that cost? Would there be an age limit? Are we all going to have licenses to ride cycles? How much is getting the plate going to cost the cyclist? The idea is utterly absurd and flies in the face of Ken's apparent environmentalism. How can he claim to be green and then want to intorduce disincentive to ride?

As a pedestrian, there is no doubt cyclists in London can be annoying as hell when they ride on the pavement, run red light, and generally act like the Highway Code doesn't apply to themm. However, the logistical costs alone of introducing some sort of license plate system for cyclists in London makes the idea nonsensical, and the running costs of the system would be astonimical. What scares me though is that this is Ken, which probably means he's serious. Council tax rise anyone?


Lobster Blogster said...

Having ten legs I find riding a bicycle quite enough of a challenge as it is. Would I have to pay five times the normal rate?

Anonymous said...

Sorry Dizzy, this is the first good idea that Ken has ever come up with.

And London's next mayor - St Nick of Ferarri, agreed.

dizzy said...

No need to apologise for being wrong!

It's an uterrly unworkable idea. It's one of those kind if ideas which, when you first hear it, you think "hmm that sounds interesting", then when you think it about it in practice it falls apart.

First up, how will it be defined who needs a plate? Is it every person who plans to ride in London? So, a family of four who all want to ride their bikes - and get exercise - have to pay for four license plates.

Now place it against iniatiative like the GLA's health strategy for London. The one that is meant to encourage exercise. THe messsage is clear: "We want you to be healthy, please ride a bike, but by the way we want to tax you for it too"

It will cost a fortune to implement, and it's yet another database, holding yet more information, on every single person in the country that owns a bike down to five year olds. It's absurd.

As to Nick Ferrari agreeing, well that just goes to show what populism does to you. It's a white van man idea and it shows.

Anonymous said...

One would hope that there would be no charge for the registration. The number of fixed penalties issued would cover the costs of the scheme a hundredfold over.

It's about time cyclists had to obey the laws of the road too. I'll declare my interest though: I got hit by a cyclist jumping a red light and suffered a broken leg for the pleasure.

Anonymous said...

GMT, as usual something like this would be a sledge hammer designed to crack a nut.

Yes, I agree with you, cyclists are annoying. I myself am motorbiker and I get fed up with them being colour blind (not be able to see red).

But bringing in a bill like this is typical old Labour, reactionary, ill-thought, and ultimately too controlling.

After all, my 6 year old rides her bike on the pavement. Under these rules she too would be penalised.

Anonymous said...

"It will cost a fortune to implement, and it's yet another database, holding yet more information, on every single person in the country that owns a bike down to five year olds. It's absurd."

Is that not the whole point? ID cards through the back door.