The Government should consider allowing the police to confiscate the bikes of cyclists not carrying identification documents, Lord Sugar suggested today.
The star of BBC show The Apprentice agreed it was impractical to license cyclists but pointed to the example of the United States.
His comments came as peers called on the Government at question time in the House of Lords to take a firmer stance on bicycle riders who break the law. Labour peer Lord Sugar, a keen cyclist, asked Government transport spokesman Earl Attlee: "Is it mandatory for a cyclist using the roads to carry some form of identification on them?
"In the United States of America we are told to carry identification with us so that the police can take action against people who are riding on pavements or jumping lights. "If you don't have identification with you, they confiscate your bike and it is up to you to go and get it back and pay a big fine."
Lord Attlee replied that the Government had "no intention" of requiring cyclists to carry identification. Lord Attlee had told peers that in 2010 there had been 680 reported "personal injury road accidents" involving cyclists on pavements and 342 people appeared in a magistrates court for the offence of cycling on a footway. But he said the offence was usually dealt with by a fixed-penalty notice.
Labour's Lord Harrison told him: "One evening recently my wife and I stepped out to go to our local Chinese restaurant in Chester to be met by a young man on a bicycle advancing at speed. "When confronted and challenged he told us with an entirely straight face that as he did not have lights on his bike he was obliged to ride on the pavement."
Lord Harrison called for police and community support officers (PCSOs) to be given greater powers to intervene, for cyclists to be given better education and for the roads to be made more bike friendly so riders did not feel compelled to take to pavements.
Lord Attlee said that PCSOs could offer fixed penalty notices to people riding on pavements but cyclists "may be more susceptible to a word in their ear".
Tory Baroness Knight of Collingtree asked if more could be done to educate cyclists as every other road user had to pass a test before they were allowed out.
Lord Attlee said the Government was providing £11million to local authorities so that 275,000 10-11-year-olds could benefit from training. He told peers: "Education is more important than enforcement, especially with youngsters. Frankly it is not realistic to issue a fixed-penalty notice to a 10-year-old."
Baroness Butler-Sloss, a retired judge and independent crossbench peer, asked what could be done "to encourage cyclists not to go through red lights and not to run down pedestrians on level crossings". Lord Attlee said the Government was concerned about the problem but it was an operational matter for the police.
Liberal Democrat Lord Bradshaw said there was "antipathy between all classes of road users". He added: "Bus drivers hate cyclists, pedestrians hate cyclists and motorists hate lorries."
And Labour's Lord Young of Norwood Green, who cycles to the Lords every day, said he experienced "just as many irresponsible motorists".
He added: "There are those who think it is OK to overtake on a hump-back bridge, those who think it is OK to go the wrong side of a traffic island to overtake and the motorist who kindly nearly ran me over on a roundabout this week.
"Surely we should be encouraging more people to cycle given we want a low-carbon economy and what we should be encouraging is responsible cycling and driving."
Lord Attlee said he "absolutely" agreed with Lord Young and encouraged everyone to read the Highway Code.