INSTANCES currently abound of police inaction with respect to a wide range of chargeable offences, a particularly egregious example being the carte blanche extended to pedal cyclists who break the law by travelling along pedestrian pathways.

Often they do so at reckless speeds, without visible lights or any audible warning of their imminent approach, posing a serious threat above all to young children, the elderly and the disabled. The police make a convincing case that a persistent lack of numbers and resources prevents any effective crackdown on such gross misbehaviour. What is to be done?

My suggestion is that we change the law to permit pedal cycling on pedestrian pathways, but only with the following provisos. First, that all cyclists (minimum 16 years of age) wishing to do so be required to register their bicycles with the DVLA and be issued with cycle number plates for prominent display and identification as with road vehicles, the registered owner being responsible for any accident or traffic violation involving the bicycle.

Second, that a mandatory five-mile an hour speed limit be applied to all cycling on pedestrian pathways (a 20mph limit to apply on public roads in built up areas for all cyclists whether registered or not).

Third, that a warning bell and speedometer be mandatory equipment on all registered bicycles, an annual MOT check of these items and of brakes, lights, tyres and general roadworthiness to be compulsory for all registered bikes at an approved bicycle dealership, the owner to carry corroborating evidence of this at all times.

The total fee for initial registration (say £20) and the annual check (say another £15) would of course go a long way to pay for the extra administrative cost involved in imposing these requirements.

Would this solution work? The only way to find out is to give it a try – nothing ventured. nothing gained


Julyan Avenue, Poole