The transport secretary has promised to introduce a “death by dangerous cycling” law so that cyclists who kill other people are treated the same as motorists.
The main way to do this would be to add number plates to bicycles so they could be tracked.
The transport secretary told The Daily Mail: “Somewhere where cyclists are actually not breaking the law is when they speed, and that cannot be right, so I absolutely propose extending speed limit restrictions to cyclists.
“Particularly where you’ve got 20mph limits on increasing numbers of roads, cyclists can easily exceed those, so I want to make speed limits apply to cyclists.
“That obviously does then lead you into the question of: ‘Well, how are you going to recognise the cyclist? Do you need registration plates and insurance? And that sort of thing.’”
He said he was proposing a review of insurance and how you track cyclists who break the laws.
At the moment, the Highway Code and Road Traffic Act speeding limits only apply to motorists. Local authorities can currently push speed limits onto cyclists, but it isn’t common.
The Department for Transport did not want to comment on Shapps’ claims when asked by the PA news agency, but officials did confirm to the Mail that these proposals would mean cyclists have to have number plates.
Shapps said he didn’t want these measures to discourage anyone from cycling, but added: “I see no reason why cyclists should break the road laws.”
If he does move ahead with a death by dangerous cycling law, it will end the legal loophole which means cyclists who kill pedestrians can only be sentenced to two years in jail.
Shapps suggested the proposal could be added to the Transport Bill set to go to Parliament in the autumn.
It comes as ministers grapple to make a mark before an inevitable reshuffle in government when Boris Johnson’s replacement is appointed in September.
And it seems not many people are impressed with Shapps’ idea – especially as inflation is now at 10.1%, energy bills are set to soar again in October, the NHS is on its knees and a drought has been declared across the country.
Despite unveiling this proposal about cyclists, Shapps has actually refused to wade into the ongoing dispute between rail employers and employees which is causing nationwide strikes – despite calls for him to join talks.