Round-the-world cyclist Mark Beaumont is to hand over a report to the Scottish Parliament today (WED)calling on a change in the law that would assume drivers are to blame if an accident happens involving a cyclist or walker.

Campaigners, backed by the 32-year-old Perthshire adventurer, claim new research shows that government attempts to encourage active travel are being hampered by a lack of legislation that protects walkers and cyclists.

The Road Share campaign group claim there is a clear and strong association between presumed liability and higher levels of safe walking and cycling.

The campaigners argue that the current situation where vulnerable road users who cause the least harm are also the least protected by the law "does not sit comfortably for a mature and socially conscious nation".

Walkers and cyclists injured in a road traffic accident and the families of those killed can wait up to two years before receiving compensation, campaigners said.

Brenda Mitchell, the founder of the campaign and a personal injury lawyer with Cycle Law Scotland, said: "Motorised vehicles bring the most harm to a collision involving a cyclist or walker yet this is not reflected in our current road traffic liability laws that expect those injured or the families of those killed to go through an often harsh and protracted legal process to gain much needed treatment, care and compensation.

"This is a matter of social justice."

Derek Halden, one of the authors of the report, said: "The law currently provides no additional legal protection for our children, or elderly and disabled people on our roads.

"The research shows that socially conscious nations have changed their laws, and by doing so have enabled more walking and cycling.

"Better legislation will not fix all of the current problems, but without it, further improvements in safety and encouragement for active travel will be seriously hampered."