Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:40 pm on 23rd May 2007.

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Photo of Willie Rennie Willie Rennie Shadow Minister, Defence 4:40 pm, 23rd May 2007

The right hon. Gentleman makes an extremely important point. Indeed, he has great foresight: I am coming to that issue later in my contribution. It has wound up a number of cyclists, who are extremely concerned about the shift in "The Highway Code" in favour of motorists and against cyclists. We need to resolve that issue.


David Munday
Posted on 24 May 2007 1:13 pm (Report this annotation)

I would like to point out that the Highway Code seems to be ignored by a lot of cyclists who prefer to use the pavement rather thatn the road and are abusive to pedestrians.

Willie Rennie
Posted on 25 Jun 2007 7:26 pm (Report this annotation)


Sorry for the delay. I've just seen your message.

I accept your point and made it during my speech. I'm not sure of the exact number but it's definitely some. This doesn't help the reputation of the vast majority of law abiding cyclists but it also doesn't justify the rough treatment that cyclists get from some motorists.


Mark Bestford
Posted on 25 Jun 2007 8:30 pm (Report this annotation)

Willie Rennie: Firstly well done. You're one of a very select few MPs that even know this site exists apparently. It's very encouraging to know that our views here are actually being fed back to Parliament and in some cases being acted upon. Keep it up.

To my point though. One of the issues facing motorists is the simple fact that you travel a lot faster than a cyclist. The other issue is that there are a lot more motorists on the roads today.

20 years ago I used to cycle from the town I lived in to the village I used to live in to visit friends. Rarely did I see a car, even rarer to see 2 cars going in opposite directions. Today it's rare not to see cars going in both directions. This means that as you round the corner to see the cyclist in front of you there's often nowhere to go. However, this does not justify the actions of some motorists towards cyclists.

There's also another issue as well. On my way to work each morning there's a cycle path. I'd estimate less than 10% of the cyclists on that road actually use it, seeming to prefer to use the road and put their lives at risk on what is actually a very busy road being between 2 junctions of the A34 with a business park between them.

Willie Rennie
Posted on 26 Jun 2007 5:38 pm (Report this annotation)


The number of cars has increased dramatically but that should make them (us) more aware of the potential hazards. There is some evidence to suggest that the more cyclists on the road the safer the roads are as it slows the traffic down and makes everyone more careful.

The reason why many cyclists don't use the cycle paths is often because they are poorly maintained and designed making it safer to use the road. That's why I have been pressing for improvements to maintenance and design.