TRANSPORT secretary Grant Shapps has faced criticism after he proposed that cyclists should have to display number plates and buy insurance.

His proposal also suggested that cyclists should also have to face prosecution for breaking road speed limits.

When the Advertiser asked readers on Facebook their thoughts on the proposal, the response was mixed.

Some residents were welcoming to the idea.

Yolanda Burchell was one of them, saying that she believes cyclists should also have to possess a “cycling licence” so “they know the rules of the road.”

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Martin Howard agreed with her, stating his belief that cyclists should be “taxed and insured.”

He continued: “After all, they use the road just like motor vehicles.”

Martin also argued that a hypothetical cycling tax could be used to pay for the establishment of more cycling paths, saying “surely cyclists would be safer on a cycle path?”.

Dave Elliot voiced his support for the proposals, saying that he believes “compulsory helmets and insurance so both parties are protected would be the best start.”

Meanwhile, Marion McLellan was against the proposal, saying: “I thought they were encouraging people to cycle.

“Now it looks like it will be discouraged. What next?”

Graham Capper was equally against the idea, commenting: “What percentage of road accidents are caused by cyclists?

“How many pedestrians or other road users are killed or hurt each year by accidents involving cyclists?

“How many days off sick and days in hospital would be reduced if more people kept fit by cycling to school/work/shops, rather than polluting the environment in cars?

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“Given the current crises facing the government and the Transport Secretary in particular, you'd think he had more urgent priorities than discouraging cycling.”

Lou Costello said that he believed the proposal is “another attempt by the government to get yet more money out of us”, while John Buckley called it “a poor attempt by Shapps to divert attention away from other failings – energy, Brexit, inflation, NHS…."