Carden questioned why the government has not made it a legal requirement for cyclists to wear helmets and asked what steps are being taken to ensure young people wear helmets while riding bicycles.
Mr Norman said that the department recommends all cyclists wear helmets, as outlined in The Highway Code. He emphasised that the government particularly encourages children to wear helmets for their safety.
However, he also referred to a 2018 safety review which considered making helmet-wearing mandatory for all cyclists. The review concluded that such a mandate could deter many people from cycling, ultimately undermining the wider health and environmental benefits associated with this mode of transport.
The discussion sparked by Carden’s questions highlights the ongoing debate around cycling safety and the balance between personal choice and legal enforcement. While the government acknowledges the importance of helmets in cyclist safety, especially for children, it has opted not to pursue a legal requirement due to concerns about potential negative impacts on cycling participation.