Thursday, 23 September 2010

Cycle helmets and cycle hire - a bad mix

Letter to Brake: Dear Sir/Madam,

I’m just writing after a fellow cyclist alerted me to what is apparently a new campaign on pushing cycle helmets for the cycle hire bikes in London. ( and

No doubt you’ll be hearing from CTC, but I urge you to look at countries where a lot of people cycle – the Netherlands and Denmark, for example. A tiny minority of adults or children use cycle helmets in these countries, and yet cyclists are rarely injured. As Mark observes, if the roads in London are so dangerous, you’d be better calling for them to safer for non-vehicular users: mandating helmets for a cycle hire scheme is a sure way to murder it:

While I appreciate you have the interests of individual cyclists in mind, by suggesting they need helmets, it is demonstrably in the wider interest that more people cycle more often, and cycle helmets is no way to encourage this ( as an example).

I earnestly support your overall aim – to make our roads a safer place – but I can’t stress strongly enough that mandating cycle helmet use like this is of no value to the promotion of a healthier country and a healthier cycling environment.


Tim Lennon.


Tim Beadle said...

Excellent post.

"you'd be better calling for them to safer for non-vehicular users"

I think you missed out a "be".

Ian Perry (Cardiff, UK) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ian Perry (Cardiff, UK) said...

The charity Brake who are urging TfL to supply helmets... are well intentioned, but ill-informed. We should learn from the Dutch (and Copenhageners), and not assume that "we" know better...

How many pedestrians receive head injuries in London due to the dangerous vehicles that are allowed on our streets? Apparently, cyclists should be wary of dangerous vehicles - yet the government bans dangerous dogs - where is our/their consistency?