There are in excess of 20 million bicycles in Great Britain. Many of these bikes change hands frequently, and so the creation and maintenance of a reliable register would not just be very difficult but also carry considerable overall expense to Government, bicycle owners and dealers. Furthermore, the fee for any registration system could not be very large for any single bike as it would need to relate to that payable for the smallest motor cycle. The costs of administering a registration scheme are therefore likely to outweigh the revenue received.
Furthermore, the safety case for a cyclist licensing system is less compelling than that for drivers, as compared to motor vehicles, bicycles involved in road traffic accidents are less likely to cause serious injury to other road users. Introducing a registration and licensing system would also likely deter some people from cycling, which would be at odds with the Government's ambitions to encourage more cycling with the health and environmental benefits it brings.
Ministers have no plans to make cyclists carry photographic or other forms of identification. The police already have sufficient powers if they are unsure of a person's identity. There are other users of the highway, for instance pedestrians and horse riders who are also not required to carry personal identification, or have other forms of identification, e.g. registration numbers displayed.
The Government does not therefore have any plans to introduce compulsory licencing and registration for cyclists.
Last updated July 2019