The national governing body says the governments revised Civil Liability Bill will punish cyclists rather than protect them
British Cycling is appealing to the UK government to rethink its reforms to the Civil Liability Bill, saying that it will penalises vulnerable road users (VRUs) rather than protect them.
The government recently announced it was seeking to make changes to the law that is aimed at reducing the number of exaggerated and fraudulent whiplash claims from motorists.
This will involve increasing the small claims limit for road traffic accident personal injury claims from £1k to £5k, which the government hopes will reduce incentive for whiplash fraudsters to try and make a claim.
With the proposals now in the early stages of parliament, national governing body BC is concerned that the raising of the claim limit “would mean that many injured cyclists would be unable to recover their legal costs and therefore be denied access to justice.”
It says that the reforms are unfair to VRUs who are much less likely to sustain whiplash, including cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and horse riders, and that it has been working with the Vulnerable Road Users Group to try and convince the government to remove VRUs from the bill.
“This move will have huge unintended consequences for anyone involved in a collision that is not driving,” said British Cycling policy adviser Chris Boardman.
“It will now become almost impossible for cyclists to get legal representation without sacrificing a significant proportion of the compensation that they would be entitled to and I appeal to the government to rethink this approach.”
Catherine West, Labour MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, has already tabled an Early Day Motion requesting the government to exclude vulnerable road users from the reforms to the bill.
BC is encouraging the general public to write to their MP on the issue and support the motion through an online tool which you can find here.