Responsible cycling

This article was published in 2003, in Newsletter 48.

Cambridge Cycling Campaign fully supports enforcement of traffic regulations.

As mentioned in Newsletter 47, we have written a new paper on responsible cycling. This was ratified at the last monthly meeting, commanding strong support. Entitled Position paper on responsible, legal cycling, it aims to make clear that Cambridge Cycling Campaign fully supports enforcement of traffic regulations.

The policy aims to make clear our advocacy of responsible, legal cycling. We believe this is in the best interests of cyclists themselves and of the wider community. Indeed, many take the view that illegal cycling is one of the biggest barriers to better provision for cyclists around Cambridge.

The need for such a paper arose following increasing concern over unbalanced media coverage of illegal cycling, as well as the valid concerns of the general public over the problems such cycling causes. Media coverage has tended not to recognise that other groups of road users also break traffic regulations, with arguably graver consequences.

It is important that the Campaign is seen not to condone inconsiderate cycling and that it should distance itself from irresponsible behaviour.

The Campaign supports enforcement (applied in a fair and reasonable manner) of all traffic regulations, for all categories of road user, to reduce conflict and road danger.

The paper starts by outlining the Campaign’s position on enforcement of traffic regulations, listing some of the offences and anti-social actions taken by some cyclists. However, we put this in context by comparing these with those of other road users, making clear however that transgressions of inconsiderate cyclists should nonetheless be treated seriously.

The paper then discusses some of the associated issues behind illegal cycling. A significant minority of offences are committed as a result of poor highway design which neglects the needs of cyclists. Although this does not excuse such offences, it makes clear that poor highway design is a contributory factor.

The next part of the paper talks about the benefits which would result from improved signage and public information, as well as modernisation of cycling regulations.

The paper concludes with examples of what the Campaign itself can do, and has been doing, to promote safe and responsible cycling. Whilst the Campaign itself cannot be blamed for the transgressions of cyclists, there are things that we have done, and will continue to do. These include our involvement in cycle training schemes, testing the roadworthiness of cycles and more.

The paper is available on the Campaign’s website, at, or on request via our usual contact details.

Martin Lucas-Smith, Co-ordinator