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

Of course, I would not encourage cyclists to break the law, but my hon. Friend makes a very important point. People have to be extremely streetwise when using their bike and have to have a certain form of aggression when they are cycling in order to ensure that they are not pushed off the road. Yesterday, I saw a cyclist running right through the middle of a red light when there was no need at all to run through the red light. That gives cyclists a bad name, but I recognise that abiding by all the laws makes it extremely difficult.

Ian Condie, a member of Dunfermline cycling club, made the point to me that we need to ensure that there are alternatives in place that work. He said:

"In 5 successive weeks, I suffered no less than 6 punctures due to broken glass, bits of wire, and thorns. If these paths were swept periodically, this wouldn't be a problem. For this reason, most of the cycling club members avoid the cycle path unless they are on a mountain bike, even though they'd much rather get off the main road."

The issues that stirred up the greatest emotion at my meeting with the cycling club were the relationship between cyclists and the motor vehicle, and the highway code.