‘Cyclists are a menace’ debate in London next month

British political mag The Spectator to host

by Kevin Emery   October 30, 2009  

the spectator.jpg

Eco-friendly saviours of the planet or self-regarding maniacs who represent hazard to road safety? That’s how British political magazine The Spectator is billing a debate it’s holding in London on the topic ‘Cyclists are a menace’. It will be held at Savoy Place on Monday, November 30. And cyclists are being urged to attend to have their say.

The debate couldn’t have come at a better time after the recent comments condemning cyclists contained in a House of Commons response to a National Audit Offic report on pedestrian and cyclist safety, not to mention the uproar surrounding TV chef James Martin’s anit-cyclist comments in the Mail on Sunday a couple of months ago, and it should be a lively affair.

It will be chaired by BBC political presenter Andrew Neil, and speakers against the motion include ex-Labour MP and former London mayor Ken Livingstone, London editor of the Telegraph Media Group and daily cyclist Andrew Gilligan, and Andrew Gimson, parliamentary sketch writer for the Daily Telegraph and author of Boris – The Rise of Boris Johnson.

Speakers for the motion are Labour MP Stephen Pound, author and Daily mail journalist David Thomas, and Baroness Sharples. Government policymakers will also be attending to find out the thoughts of the grassroots audience.

The debate starts at 6pm and runs until 8.30pm, and seating is limited so it’s recommended you book, and tickets are £25. To book visit the Spectator website.

MPs responded to the National Audit Office report by calling for a clamp down on anti social cycling, and Tory MP David Curry's said that some cyclists were: "irresponsible and arrogant road users" and that many people believed they took no notice of red lights and believed traffic cones were "not for them".

“We seem to regard cyclists as living in some sort of superior moral category when they actually do not have any."

Whichever way the debate goes the fact that is happening at all can be seen as another sign that cycling is entering the mainstream no doubt 100 years ago they could well have have hosted a debate on whether "Motorists are a menace" we wonder how it went.


6 user comments

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I wonder if people in London realise that debates like this are only really relevant in London - the rest of the country seems to do fine without branding cyclists a menace... bizarre. Bless their little blinkered souls.

G-bitch's picture

posted by G-bitch [310 posts]
30th October 2009 - 12:23


Sounds as though they are trying to wind up cyclists in order to get twenty five quid out of them to attend and express their indignation. Pound is a **** who fancies himself a wit and I've heard all the arguments over and over for free, so I'll pass.

posted by wild man [283 posts]
30th October 2009 - 12:30


Interesting the debate is titled "Cyclists are a menace" - not "Are Cyclists a menace?". No doubt anecdotes will be trotted out about pavement cycling and red light running, and all cyclists will be tarred with that brush.

For a wind up, perhaps attending cyclists could actually go dressed up as Darth Vader.


This isn't Nam, Donny. This is bowling, there are rules.

posted by lapize [15 posts]
30th October 2009 - 12:43


I think Wild man might be on to something there. Totally agree with you about Steven Pound too

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4147 posts]
30th October 2009 - 12:49


I can think of better things to spend twenty-five quid on than listening to the same hackneyed cliches about lycra louts, etc being trotted out yet again. Yawn

posted by CotterPin [64 posts]
30th October 2009 - 14:26


Be nice if the Daily Mail hosted a debate: ‘Motorists are a menace’ - but on the evidence there would be nothing to debate! All those in favour?!

--- --- \_ \¬
------ (+) / (+)______ better by bike!

Mike McBeth's picture

posted by Mike McBeth [73 posts]
1st November 2009 - 0:20