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21/11/2013 10:42 GMT | Updated 21/11/2013 11:50 GMT

Cycling With Headphones: Should It Be Banned?

Cycling with headphones
JOEL SAGET via Getty Images
Cycling with headphones

A ban on cyclists wearing headphones has reportedly moved a step closer after Boris Johnson said it made him "absolutely terrified".

Transport for London plans to commission research on the link between headphones and cycle safety, The Independent reports.

It comes after Boris Johnson spoke out on the matter.

"I'm very alarmed about cyclists wearing headphones. I would not be against a prohibition or ban on cyclists wearing headphones. Call me illiberal but it makes me absolutely terrified to see them bowling along unable to hear the traffic." he said.

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It comes after six cyclists died on the capital's streets in a fortnight, although there is no suggestion any were wearing headphones.

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Johnson has come under pressure to act on cycle safety, and insisted he would "not be deflected from the cause of encouraging more cycling in London".

On Wednesday he told assembly members that his thoughts were with those who had suffered from the recent deaths and that it was "difficult but important" to stress that the fatalities "must be seen in the context of an overall decline in deaths".

He said that in the six years from 2008 to 2013 there were 81 cyclist deaths in London, while in the previous six years the fatality figure was 102.

He also told assembly members that in the five years from 2008 to 2012 there were 68 deaths while in the five-year period 2003-07 the figure was 82.

But Green Party assembly member Jenny Jones rounded on the Mayor, calling on him to "apologise to Londoners" for his record on cycling safety.

Before the meeting, Olympic cycling champion Chris Boardman, although critical of the Mayor over lorry-cycling safety in London, had said: "I don't want to join in with this 'Boris-bashing'. Boris is the only person who had the guts to do something about cycling in London."

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