One month after video footage showed him knocking a cyclist off his bike Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has declared that cyclists are not “road users" prompting outrage from both CyclingUK and British Cycling's Policy Advisor Chris Boardman.
What with all the train strikes and tube strikes, you’d have thought he wouldn’t want to attract any more attention to himself until he'd sorted out the mess.
Grayling made the comment on Tuesday, when Labour MP Daniel Zeichner asked him about his previous comments regarding cycle lanes. Zeichner referred to an interview in which Grayling told the Evening Standard there are places in London where cycle lanes “perhaps cause too much of a problem for road users and could have been designed in a smarter way".
When Zeichner asked Grayling if cyclists were not also road users, Grayling replied: “Where you have cycle lanes, cyclists are the users of cycle lanes. And there’s a road alongside – motorists are the road users, the users of the roads. It’s fairly straightforward, to be honest."
In fact, as CyclingUK later tweeted, the 1888 Local Government Act refereed to ‘bicycles, tricycles, velocipedes and other similar machines’ as ‘carriages’.
The comments made by Grayling have angered cyclists across the country, perhaps more prominently British Cycling’s policy adviser Chris Boardman.
Commenting on the statements, Boardman said: “The transport secretary’s comments demonstrate an astonishing lack of knowledge about how seven million people regularly use the roads in this country. I feel embarrassed for him. If he truly thinks the roads are not for cyclists then what am I paying my taxes for? Chris Grayling’s government has made a commitment to double cycling levels to help tackle congestion, obesity and air pollution - three issues that are at crisis point."
Boardman added: “The minister should also know that segregated cycle lanes of sufficient quality are incredibly rare in Britain. In fact, it’s going to be impossible to meet government targets on a diminishing budget of less than £1 per head. This is in stark contrast to the Netherlands and Denmark where more than £20 per head is spent."
He finished by commenting: “If there was ever anyone who needed to actually get on a bike and hear about the true state of cycling infrastructure, it is Chris Grayling and I’d be delighted to go on a ride with him."
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