With Boris’s bikes tearing up London’s streets, the scheme is sure to go from strength to strength. But aren’t they missing something – a little hard hat to protect cyclist’s fragile heads?
London’s new bike hire scheme started rolling a couple of weeks ago, with thousands of us saddling up alongside bumbling Mayor Boris Johnson.
Boris praises the scheme – which will soon include casual as well as registered cyclists – declaring that it’ll make London the world’s best cycling city. The Which? Car team is out testing the system and will soon reveal whether it’s everything we’ve hoped for.
But there have been questions over whether the scheme should require helmets. The streets of London are dangerous places and I already shudder when I see cycling commuters with their uncovered heads free to hit the tarmac.
Of course, it’d be impractical to add helmet hire to Boris’s bikes. Theft and different head sizes would put such an addition out of the question. And requiring helmets would leave many casual users and tourists unable to use the bikes.
But surely more should be done promote wearing helmets? That is, more than just the words ‘consider wearing a cycle helmet’ on the scheme’s website and promotional material?
I was more worried that a newspaper ad for the scheme featured six cyclists riding the chunky bikes, and only one was wearing a helmet. That’s hardly encouraging safety.
How long will it be until a cyclist gets knocked down and their head’s cracked open? How will the world see London’s beloved cycle scheme then?
Should Boris's cycle scheme require helmets?
Neither - the scheme should further promote helmet use, but not require them (51%, 43 Votes)
Yes - untrained cyclists shouldn't be unprotected on London streets (30%, 25 Votes)
No - it would destroy the cycle scheme's usefulness (19%, 16 Votes)
Total Voters: 84