Cycling in North Sydney: "Register cyclists, says mayor"

"Cyclists should stick to the roads and avoid using shared paths [...] says North Sydney Mayor Jilly Gibson. Further all NSW cyclists should be licensed and registered so that those who speed or cycle aggressively can be penalised for flouting road rules..."

The bright ideas continue at some length on page 5 of the April 11 Mosman Daily, I can't find a direct link but you can see via the clumsy interface at or I'll attempt to upload a screenshot. 

I thought that this would be of general interest here, how should one respond to this?

Is there an advocacy body that actually looks out for the interests of cyclists that might take an interest?


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Strange. You google search the nth syd mayor and a mobile number pops up...
North Sydney Council - Mayor Jilly Gibson
Mayor Jilly Gibson North Sydney Council. Phone: 0412 456 842. Email: mayor@ Write: c/- ...

Thanks, Doddsy. Having that handy spurred me to write yesterday.

Anyone can feel free to steal from my letter if they think it says anything sensible. 

Peeps should also bombard the Mosman Daily w/ shorter missives. Adss on that previous comment, oh and here, too, to save clicks for the already motivated:

I had the following published in yesterdays Mosman Daily. It was in response to a letter from the previous week, which also raised the registration issue amongst others. Every week is seeing lots of anti cycling rhetoric in that paper, so we need factually based arguments from the other side. Letter deadline is probably on a Monday, paper is printed on Wednesdays.


I FOUND Jean Shaw’s letter on April 4, ‘‘Two Wheels Bad’’, to be misleading in several areas.

The injuries in an accident are in proportion to the weight and speed of the vehicle that hits you. So cars weighing 1 to 2 tonnes and travelling up to 60 km/h can cause serious or fatal injuries to pedestrians. It is absurd to suggest a cyclist plus a bicycle weighing roughly 85kg and travelling at 15km/h to 20km/h can cause similar injuries. Also, there are a lot fewer bicycles than cars. In the 2011 Census for Mosman LGA, they make up only 1.3 per cent of commuter journeys. The accident statistics clearly show the greatest danger is from motor vehicles. No, cars don’t ride on footpaths because they simply don’t fit. A bicycle is no wider than a person, with better brakes.

As Jean herself points out, cyclists know Military Rd is too dangerous to ride. Six lanes of fast-moving traffic, with many buses in the inner lane, make for a dangerous journey. There has already been at least one cyclist killed on this road. We take back-streets when practical, but sometimes the footpath is the only safe option. Bike registration costs more to administer than it can practically raise in revenue. No state in Australia is even remotely considering this, and very few places in the world have such a scheme. Now is a time to be encouraging cycling (and all active transport including walking), not taxing it. I do think cyclists have a duty to ride slowly and carefully when on footpaths and be very respectful of pedestrians.



Good points Kim and yes I for one have seen a much higher number of bikes on footpaths from Neutral Bay to Mosman. All ages and types and most* just pottering along.

* See some fast riders hit the footpath when the traffic is so clogged it just makes sense to use the path when no peds about. The Spit Bridge path remains a Scruby**

** A "path" No good for peds and/or bikes

Yeah I mostly potter along the footpath when I am heading up the hill to the shops at Military Rd. And I am amazed at sheer terror it seems to evoke in many old dears on the footpath - I always go right around them on the grass verge very slowly and give them a smile and their whole demeanour changes.

The footpath is fairly wide on the North side of military rd, from Orpheum cinema to Spit rd, and not too crowded. If you suggested to some of these complainers they try cycling down a 6 lane road, they would soon see the appeal of the foot path.

Because registering cars really worked - didn't it.
There is a still a massive amount of unregistered cars on out road.
Speeding is still common practice.
road rage is still common practice
running red lights, not giving way or stopping when sign posted etc.... What law is actually enforced by simply registering cars?
The only thing that changes drivers behaviour is a cop looking right at them. And you don't need registration for that.

More letters in today's Mosman Daily, but now running three to two in support of cyclists. Still some whingers calling for registration of cyclists so we need more sensible letters to refute this pointless request. One even suggesting we get a rego number stencilled on our vests and jerseys! They don't have a clue.

Indeed they have no clue: articles/screwballs in there about 10km/h limits for cyclists on the Spit Bridge and rego, & 'rigorous' enforcement.

In my view this is good: people in Mosman seem to be out of their comfort zone, and cycling is on the agenda.

How should one respond? Maybe try to invite Cr Jilly Gibson and the negative people from her council into riding bikes one day!

I can just imagine the Council meeting ;

In a dark corner of the Council Chamber sits Doctor Strangelove in his wheelchair, cigarette in his hand. As the Council's Consultant on Sustainable Transport he submits his recommendations.

"Mein Mayor, ve hef a zimple solution. All of zem are to carry identification papers at all times, zeir bicycles should be marked viz a cross zo zat any troublemakers can be immediately neutralized by our Gestapo!!"

I am a little tired of the Hollywood German accent. I know quite a few Germans and also met 5 that are over here to see our operations at work. None sound like that.
And it is fuhrer with an umlaut.


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