New Forest East


Dr Julian Lewis: Speeding cyclists on rural roads in the New Forest are putting residents and other pedestrians at risk, simply because they cannot be bothered to fit a bell on their bikes so that they can warn pedestrians of their approach. When I wrote to a Transport Minister about this issue 18 months ago, he replied:

“Through rule 66 of the Highway code we recommend that a bell is fitted to a bicycle and used as necessary. Under current regulations the cyclist is not compelled to keep the bell fitted after the bicycle has been purchased. We have no plans to make bells compulsory as this would be difficult to enforce.”

May we have a statement from the Government about that rather insipid reply, so that my constituents, such as Margaret Verdon JP, can go about their business without fear of being mown down by silent road cyclists?

[The Leader of the House of Commons (Andrea Leadsom): I might be tempted to say that this is a bit of a ding-dong, but the issue of cycling and its danger to pedestrians is very real. I have had an appalling case in which the child of constituents of mine was killed by a cyclist who had mounted the pavement. It is a very serious issue and I sincerely encourage my hon. Friend to seek an Adjournment debate; although there is an amusing element, the issue has had severe consequences in some cases.]