Cycling UK is urging bike riders in England and Wales to write to their MPs to ask them to support a motion that seeks to exclude vulnerable road users from reforms of the law regarding personal injury claims.
The government plans to increase the small claims limit from £1,000 to £5,000 to help combat bogus or exaggerated claims for whiplash.
But concerns have been raised that rather than vehicle occupants, it will be vulnerable road users such as cyclists, pedestrians, horse riders and motorbikers who will be hit hardest by the proposed changes.
Now, Hornsey and Wood Green MP Catherine West has tabled a motion and is calling on fellow MPs in England & Wales (the reforms do not apply to Scotland or Northern Ireland) to support her.
The Labour MP said: “I want to see ministers apply common sense when it comes to law making. Cyclists and other vulnerable road users, including children, should be protected on our roads, not punished by the Government if they are unfortunate enough to have a non-fault accident.
“I hope MPs on all sides will show their support and sign the motion.”
The motion reads:
That this House notes the Government’s publication of the Civil Liability Bill; supports Ministers’ intention to reduce fraudulent and frivolous claims; expresses concern that vulnerable road users (VRUs), including cyclists, pedestrians, horse riders and motorcyclists, will be swept up within the scope of the Bill and the broader personal injury reform package, despite there being no evidence that non-fault road traffic accident injuries suffered by VRUs include whiplash; further notes that almost all whiplash claims are made by drivers or passengers of motor vehicles; believes that VRUs deserve the Government’s protection, as opposed to removing their rights to redress for injuries under Tort; acknowledges that under these reforms, VRUs suffering injuries below £5,000 in value will be unable to access a lawyer should they wish to pursue their rights of redress in the Courts; and urges the Government to take a pragmatic approach and remove VRUs from the scope of the reforms to ensure they remain protected on our roads.
Cycling UK has created an online tool (link is external) that will automatically generate a letter addressed to your MP once you have filled in certain details and which urges them to support the motion.