BOLTON Council will urge the Government to bring in legislation to make it compulsory for bike riders to wear helmets when cycling on roads.

Members backed a motion from Breightmet Councillor and keen cyclist John Byrne which calls for new laws to be brought in to make it a legal requirement to wear helmets at all times when riding a bike.

Cllr Byrne is now asking parents who are planning to buy bicycles for their children this Christmas to remember to pick up a helmet at the same time.

He has personal experience of the vital importance of cycle helmets after his son, Jon, recently came off his bike in Thicketford Road.

He said: “Jon was riding to work when he hit a curb and came off his bike, thankfully he was wearing a helmet at the time.

“At hospital, the doctors said that if he hadn’t have been wearing it, he would have likely ended up in Salford Royal Hospital (which treats major head traumas) or even worse.

“In Australia and New Zealand it is compulsory to wear cycle helmets and I think it would make sense here with the volume of traffic on the roads these days.”

He said it is relevant to mention this issue now because Christmas is a time when many people are purchasing bikes as gifts.

He added: “I would just say to parents, if you are spending £500 on a bike, just spend an extra £20 or £30 on a helmet because it is so important to protect the head.

“Motorcyclists have to wear helmets and they are on the road the same as cyclists, so why shouldn’t it be the same?”

There was little opposition to the motion at last week’s full council meeting, but Conservative Councillor Andy Morgan said he would not be backing it because he did not want to see “even more legislation being created.”

Cllr Byrne said he will now be making enquiries with council officers to see how and when contact with the Government will be made as a result of his motion.