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Pedal Cycling

Volume 23: debated on Tuesday 4 May 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will consider introducing a section on pedal cycle awareness into driving tests.

The present driving test takes account of candidates' awareness of pedal cyclists. This aspect can also be covered in the questions on the highway code. A candidate will fail the driving test if he does not show due care and consideration for all road users, including pedal cyclists.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport how many cyclists were killed, how many suffered serious injury and how many suffered minor injuries during each of the last five years for which records are available; how many and what percentage of such accidents were caused through carelessness on the part of the cyclist concerned, and how many and what percentage by other causes; and if he will specify such other causes.

In 1980, 302 cyclists were killed; there were 5,234 and 19,252 casualties reported seriously and slightly injured respectively. Figures for earlier years, and more detailed analyses of cycle accidents, are given in "Road Accidents Great Britain 1980", a copy of which is in the Library.Information on causes of accidents is not routinely collected. Bicycle accidents, except in the case of fatalities and those where other vehicles are involved, are frequently unreported.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport how many pedal cycles he estimates were in use on roads in the United Kingdom during each of the past five years for which figures are available; and how many he estimates are in use at present.

Data on the number of pedal cycles in use are not collected by my Department.Pedal cycle traffic is shown in table 2.1 of "Transport Statistics Great Britain 1970–1980", a copy of which is in the Library. The latest annual figure is for 1980, when there were about 4.8 billion kilometres of cycle travel.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will introduce legislation to require pedal cyclists to wear fluorescent cycle sashes in day-time hours and in hours of darkness.

No. Whilst I recognise the value of conspicuity aids generally—fluorescent in daytime and reflective at night—I believe that the question of their use is a matter for the individual rider. The role of the Government is best directed towards ensuring that effective conspicuity aids are available and publicising their usefulness as widely as possible.