It's difficult to see how they can enforce any stricter control of cyclists, but I'm all for it in theory. The Observer has some correspondence on this today, which in the main is from cyclists whinging about how cars are so horrible to them. I've been cycling round London for years, and cycle into work on a daily basis, and I don't agree. I don't accept that there's strong antagonism between cyclists and other road users; in my experience cars, taxis, buses, are all - generally - extremely considerate towards cyclists. The few times I've been knocked off by cars, twice with doors on parked cars suddenly being opened, and once with a driver doing a u-turn while looking straight through me, the drivers were extremely apologetic. A few weeks ago I saw a taxi knock a cyclist over - low speed stuff, nothing serious, but it was after dark and the cyclist had no front light - and the taxi driver was all concern: "nah, don't you worry about the taxi, old son, it's you I'm worried about. How are you? You alright?" But he had every right to be annoyed. What it comes down to is that cyclists are no threat at all to other road users, who are therefore quite happy to be friendly (though having a drink in a pub they're likely to have a moan if the subject comes up). White vans are an exception, but they're a menace to everyone.
It's pedestrians who are the most hostile: sometimes with justification if cyclists go up on the pavement, or head down one-way streets the wrong way, but often not. The problem is that a lot of pedestrians, without thinking about it, rely on their hearing. If they don't hear a car coming they'll start walking out into the road, maybe only bothering to look when they're already well onto the road, which is too late if there's a cyclist coming up. Yes we should use our bells more but we don't ("Aintcha got a f*****g bell!" - ah, the street cries of old London town!) as it gets tiresome, and frankly I tend to think, well, it's you walking on the road here, so shouldn't you be making sure there's nothing coming? It can be risky though. I was recently subject to a Cantona-style kung-fu kick when I went too near a youth crossing without looking (no, I didn't touch him) and foolishly stopped at a red light just down the road (my normally reliable antennae for impending trouble letting me down). Seems like I'd imposed on his personal space. And if you're heading up a cycle path with pedestrians coming towards you on the path, don't look at them: just put your head down like you're a force of nature and they'll move. If you make eye contact, there'll be some who'll take it as a sort of challenge. [If that suggests there's an element of bloody-mindedness in cycling, well you're not wrong. It's part of the appeal.]
The problem is that cyclists feel they're part road users and part pedestrians, and will generally try and get the best of both worlds. So yes, a lot of cyclists will ignore road signs and traffic lights when it suits them. In fact it's very difficult to resist the temptation to cut corners, as it were, and I do so myself on occasion. Probably every cyclist does: it's a question of where you draw the line. There's a crossroads on my way to work (over Pentonville Road) where after the lights have gone red on the main road, and before we get a green, the pedestrian lights go green. There can be up to ten cyclists waiting. Usually about half to two-thirds will go at that point. Not me: I'll be one of the good ones, though I'm not quite sure why. I think I'm doing it for the cars - hey look, we don't all ignore traffic signals! But with traffic lights where there's just a road in from the right, frankly I don't normally wait for green. Same when I'm taking a left-hand turn at the lights.
Making helmets compulsory? I occasionally wear one, but no, I object to that. Why not making wearing helmets compulsory for pedestrians as well? It'd probably save a couple of lives a year. But I could live with it.