It may only be planned to be a five minute affair and has been constructed in such a way that it's emotive arguments that will be heard, not scientific ones, but the cycle helmet compulsion slot at next week's doc conflab in Manchester has made it into tonight's London Evening Standard. Other newspapers could pick up on the obesity versus less cycling argument.

BMA’s cycle helmet compulsion debate gets media airtime

The piece in the Evening Standard quotes two doctors describing how dangerous it is to ride bicycles without helmets, and one quote from a doctor who believes it’s more important to get people cycling whether or not they wear helmets.

Peter Maguire, an anaesthetist and critical care doctor, said: "It is a human tragedy when you see someone come in with horrific injuries that lead to severe brain damage from which they may never recover and that could have been reduced or prevented if they had been wearing a helmet."

He’s talking about cyclists but, of course, same could be said for compulsory helmets for motorists.

Steve Watkins, director of public health in Stockport, said helmet compulsion "would cause more deaths from coronary heart disease and other things.

"If everyone ditched the car and cycled every journey under five miles we would save thousands of lives."

Dr Watkins is chairman of the Transport and Health Study Group, an independent national organisation of health and transport professionals.…/19510128?source=Evening%20Standard

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