A recommendation by the Justice Select Committee, looking into the Government’s proposals to increase the small claims limit for personal injuries, has been welcomed by Cycling UK.
The committee proposed that vulnerable road users, such as cyclists, should be excluded from the Government’s planned reforms. The cycling charity was quick to hail this a victory, after it argued that cyclists would be hit particularly hard by the reforms, which would limit both their access to justice and the ability to claim compensation.
The Government had proposed that all road users would face stricter limits on minor injury claims, in a bid to reduce the number of so-called ‘spurious’ whiplash cases. The plans would mean that the victim in an accident would not be able to reclaim their legal costs and any case involving an injury valued at less than £5,000 would have to be heard in the small claims court.
As part of a coalition of various groups representing the needs of vulnerable road users, Cycling UK submitted evidence to the committee, which highlighted the fact that cyclists were more likely to be injured in a crash and that the injuries they sustained were often substantial.
Commenting on the victory for cyclists and other vulnerable users, the head of campaigns at Cycling UK said: “We are delighted, but not surprised, that the Justice Select Committee has accepted the evidence submitted by Cycling UK, and agreed that vulnerable road users should be excluded from the proposed increases in the small claims limit.
“The Government now needs to listen to vulnerable road user groups, the House of Lords and the Justice Select Committees, and think again about plans which have no policy justification, fly in the face of the evidence, and would disproportionately affect the most vulnerable people on our roads.”