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?