Road Safety News

Ringing time on the bicycle bell

Friday 23rd December 2011

The requirement for all new bikes to be fitted with a bell is likely to be scrapped as part of the Government’s ‘Red Tape Challenge’ which is seeking to remove any unnecessary, burdensome and overcomplicated regulation (

The requirement to fit a bell at point of sale, or include it within the packaging, was not accompanied by a rule stipulating that a bicycle has to have a bell fitted when on the road, and many are simply discarded by owners as soon as they get their new bike, according to

Other cycling issues that have been reviewed include shaking up regulations relating to racing on the highway and simplifying regulations relating to cycle tracks.

Click here to read the full report.


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Living in a rural part of the country, bike bells are so important, lots of walkers on roads and horse riders are being spooked by cyclists not using or having a bell. I have seen 2 accidents in the last 9 months where cyclists have collided into people walking, a simple ting would have prevented this happening! If you’re on the road make others aware you’re there!
Helen, Norfolk

Agree (9) | Disagree (1)

According to Annexe 1 of the 2007 Highway Code, the Regulations only require efficient brakes and at night working front & rear lights and a red rear reflector.

I believe there was a legal requirement for a bell on the road in Northern Ireland, but not mainland GB.
Having said that, as a frequent walker on paths near rivers, I wish cyclists would give some warning wherever they are. A bicycle bell is more easily recognisable than someone simply saying "excuse me".
Guy Bradley, Hertford

Agree (14) | Disagree (3)

Nice one David. No Bell Peace Prize!

However, I do believe that there is current legislation that required a bell to be on a bike. It's the only stipulation for road use.... that it is fitted with a bell. I know I told kids off for not having one when I was in the police service in the 70s.

And what a load of rubbish to consider it to be unnecessary, burdensome and an overcomplicated regulation. So there must be some regulation and it's the only one reg specific to cyclists to have a warning instrument that can be used to inform other road users of its presence and that includes pedestrians, on a pedestrian prescinct and not to frighten them out of the way as some do.

The only benifit I see for the cycling fraternity is a] a saving on cost and b] it makes a bike more green friendly.... by not requiring a bell made out of metals that would increase the greenhouse gas effects.

By the way, why can't a cyclist get off his bike and walk on a prescinct? It would be:
a) safer for himself and others
b] alleviate costs on the health services by not running anyone over
c] be greener and
d] help the cyclist be fitter by pushing his bike like he should, or did when I was a serving police officer.
bob craven

Agree (10) | Disagree (7)

Must agree with David. Is this some minister after a no bell peace prize......
R8Road NW

Agree (7) | Disagree (1)

They should be made compulsory for ALL cycles - especially those that are 'permitted' to cycle on pavements!
David Hodgson - Bexhill

Agree (20) | Disagree (3)