Should cyclists face compulsory training and need a licence?

Journalist and blogger go head-to-head during Scotland Tonight debate.

A Scotland Tonight debate saw a motoring journalist and blogger go head-to-head on whether road cycling should be regulated.

Alan Douglas believes there should be a “compulsory training programme” and licences for cyclists.

But keen rider Diana Farrell failed to be convinced that such a move would make the roads safer.

In the Listen Up segment on the STV current affairs programme, Alan made the opening pitch.

“We need compulsory training and licences for cyclists,” he said. “They are the only unregulated group of road users.

“Anyone can leap on a bike and head out without any training, licence or insurance. If they commit a traffic offence, like jumping a red light or riding on the pavement, they go unpunished.

“A driver would be fined or lose their licence, so we need punishments for law-breaking cyclists.”

The journalist said he was worried that cyclists were putting themselves and others at risk on the roads, which he described as “dangerous places”.

Diana, however, argued that most cyclists were already drivers and “very aware” of the Highway Code.

Recent changes advise bike users to take a position in the middle of a lane to make themselves more visible to motorists.

“I’m not convinced that a licence would ensure people are safe on the roads,” she said.

“Every driver on the roads has a licence, not all of them are safe. There’s always going to be a minority within any form of transport, whether that’s cycling or roads, that are not responsible, that are not following the rules.

“Those people are fully aware of what the rules are. The fact that you need a licence to drive a motor vehicle is more reflecting the damage you can do with a motor vehicle.

“I don’t know statistics off-hand, but there are far, far more deaths and injuries on the roads every single year because of drivers or involving drivers, not cyclists.”

Watch the Listen Up segment in the video at the top of this page, or the full episode of Scotland Tonight on the STV Player.

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