Page last updated at 16:43 GMT, Saturday, 28 June 2008 17:43 UK

Road rules 'set against' cyclists

The government is spending 140m promoting cycling in England

Cyclists who break the law and ride anti-socially only do so because the "rules of the road" are set against them, a cyclists' campaigner has said.

CTC policy co-ordinator Chris Peck said it was important to ask why a minority of cyclists used pavements instead of the roads or went through red lights.

Mr Peck said CTC wanted to see road rules "rewritten" to help cyclists.

The AA said the behaviour of some cyclists effectively meant there were "two tribes" at war on the roads.

We do see cyclists just not obeying the rules of the road, also we get motorists doing things that the shouldn't so maybe we need to clarify the rules for all
Edmund King

One mooted traffic law proposal is to introduce an advanced green stage at a junction which allows cyclists to get away before motorists.

Roger Geffen, CTC campaigns and policy manager, said: "We would like to see more one-way streets made two way for cyclists.

"This can be done, it works perfectly well at the moment in countries like Holland.

"Some people are just anti-social, and some drive cars and some ride bicycles."

Mr Geffen said residential areas should have 20mph speed limits and also called for cyclists to get more training to make them confident on the road.

"Cyclists are far more likely to be victims rather than perpetrators of irresponsible behaviour on the roads," he said.

Breaking rules

Mr Peck said: "Most cyclists obey the rules of the road, there is only a minority that cycle anti-socially, like breaking red lights and cycle on pavements but we have to realise why they are doing this.

Richard Hebditch of the Living Streets charity

"It's because the rules of the road are not set up for cyclists, the width of the roads, the layout of the roads, even cycle routes are not designed with the cyclists in mind, they are designed to keep cyclists off the road and mingle them with pedestrians."

Cycling is being promoted in English cities such as Bristol, with the government providing 140m of funding.

The rules are set to be changed at a local level, in London councils will soon get new powers to protect and prosecute cyclists.

Nick Lester, of lobby group and think tank London Councils, said: "We have got two powers, the first is to enable advance stop lines to be enforced to give cyclists the benefit at traffic signals.

"The second is better powers to control reckless footway cycling where cyclists can - and it's only a minority of cyclists - cause fear amongst pedestrians."

Edmund King, of the AA, said at times it appeared there were two tribes at war on the roads.

He said: "We do see cyclists just not obeying the rules of the road jumping red lights, one way streets, also we get motorists doing things that they shouldn't so maybe we need to clarify the rules for all."

Your pictures: Cycling
20 Jun 08 |  In Pictures
Bristol named first cycling city
19 Jun 08 |  Bristol/Somerset
City cycle journeys rise by 91%
16 Jun 08 |  London

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific