Illawarra club ridicule bike licence plan

Suggestions that a licensing system for bicycles would reduce fatalities have been ridiculed by Illawarra Cycling Club president Phil Jones.

In a radio interview on Friday, NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay said licences for cyclists could bring the ‘‘bad ones’’ into line and reduce the road toll.

‘‘I am increasingly persuaded we need to look at a licence for cyclists so the bad ones – it’s not going to worry the ones doing the right thing – but the ones that are running lights, crossing over, being aggressive, they’re a large part of the statistic,’’ Mr Gay said.

Mr Jones said he would happily pay a licence fee. However, he couldn’t  see how it would reduce cycling fatalities.

‘‘It’s not going to stop people getting run off bikes... that’s just a ridiculous statement,’’ Mr Jones said. 

‘‘I can’t believe a minister would say such a thing.’’

Mr Gay also said some roads might have to become cycle free to help reduce the road toll.

This could include part of the popular cycling route from Southern Cross Drive to the Princes Highway down to Wollongong, he said.

‘‘I understand how important this is for cyclists, but there have been a couple of accidents there.’’

The Sydney cycling community is reeling after a recent spate of accidents, including two deaths in as many weeks. The latest death occurred on Thursday afternoon, when a cyclist was killed in a collision with a bus at the intersection of Military and Ben Boyd roads in Neutral Bay.

Mr Jones said he supported particularly busy roads being made off limits to cyclists.

 ‘‘I personally wouldn’t be riding on some of these really congested roads in Sydney and even Wollongong at peak hour.’’

Mr Jones said motorists and cyclists needed to be more respectful of one another.


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