Home
Toby Perkins says he was left with "massive bruises" - but author Owen Jones defends capital's cyclists...

A Labour MP has spoken of his anger after being left with “massive bruises” when he was hit by a cyclist in Central London.

Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield and shadow minister for small and medium-sized enterprises, was heading to yesterday’s Prime Minister’s Questions at the time.

He tweeted:

It is unclear whether the cyclist was riding through a red light at the time, or whether Mr Perkins was crossing at a green pedestrian signal, although from a subsequent exchange, the implication is that the rider ignored a traffic signal.

Political commentator Owen Jones, author of the books Chavs and The Establishment, leapt to the defence of the capital’s bike riders, and received a reply from the MP which suggested the cyclist had ridden through a red light:

In November 2012, Mr Perkins announced he was supporting the road safety charity Brake's Go 20 campaign, aimed at making the roads safer for cyclists - and pedestrians.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

33 comments

Avatar
ribena [179 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

It sounds too me as though the cyclist was filtering and Toby Perkins has walked through the stationary traffic to cross the road.

This happens a lot in London.

Avatar
Leodis [407 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Well thats me voting for UKIP then.

Avatar
Simon_MacMichael [2466 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
ribena wrote:

It sounds too me as though the cyclist was filtering and Toby Perkins has walked through the stationary traffic to cross the road.

This happens a lot in London.

He did say it was "at lights" - he just didn't clarify which colour they were...

Avatar
Leviathan [2263 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Leodis wrote:

Well thats me voting for UKIP then.

Please don't.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/active/recreational-cycling/10846025/Cycl...

Avatar
bikebot [2149 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

It's entirely possible the cyclist was either filtering too fast or ignored a light. I don't know that, but it happens. Now why am I as another one of those "London cyclists" somehow associated with that in his broad catch all statement?

How many unassociated groups do you think you could get away with saying such a thing. Let's go straight for the obvious, and pick on race or religion, I'm sure that would go down well

Avatar
Paul M [360 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Remember that this guy is a politician. They are very adept at choosing words carefully to give an impression which is quite contrary to the truth, without actually lying.

The fact that he could have said that the cyclist went through a light set at red, but that he did not say this, leads me to assume that in fact the lights were green for traffic and that he took the opportunity to cross because some other congestion, or a traffic signal further on, had brought traffic to a halt.

Of course, the cyclist would be well advised to proceed with caution in such a situation, but I am guessing he didn't actually commit any offence.

Avatar
freespirit1 [247 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I was always under the impression that a pedestrian no matter the status of the light has absolute priority.

Avatar
mrchrispy [480 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

At least he could tweet about it, a car/bus/lorry would have killed him.

Avatar
OldRidgeback [2658 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

So is the MP going to tell us more details about what happened? Was he at a crossing? Was the cyclist jumping a light? Or was the MP crossing between stationary traffic and didn't see the cyclist? If it was the last case, then the cyclist would actually have right of way. Pedestrians are supposed to look out for moving traffic when crossing, and that includes bicycles. But it's impossible to tell from the information here.

I'm another of those London cyclists and have had numerous close encounters with pedestrians who may listen but don't look when crossing roads.

Avatar
jova54 [667 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
freespirit1 wrote:

I was always under the impression that a pedestrian no matter the status of the light has absolute priority.

I'm sorry. Are you suggesting that pedestrians can just wander out onto a light controlled pedestrian crossing, if the traffic is temporarily stationary, and have right of way even if their light is on red?

I'd love to know where you read that.

Avatar
giff77 [1258 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

We have no idea if the incident occurred on a pedestrian crossing or at a junction that did not have pedestrian phase (they do exist - here's one local to me http://goo.gl/maps/4EZD2 )If the traffic has come to a halt at a junction or there is no traffic the pedestrian can then cross with care. Lights only serve as an invitation to cross in relative safety, though motorists have been known to sail on through regardless which happened to me once when half way across a pedestrian crossing on the green man. Fortunately I was keeping an eye for such a possibility and was able to stop in time. A youngster or elderly person may not have been so lucky.

Avatar
georgee [170 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Telling that a politician didn't have the sense to look properly or have the balls to shove the chopper cyclist off his bike. I'd much rather read a story one here entitled 'politician shoves RLJ'ing cyclist under a bus then stamps on his jaw' than this sort of story.

P.s. Could we all stop defending the cyclist when we all know the probable truth.

Avatar
HarrogateSpa [405 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Quote:

I'd much rather read a story one here entitled 'politician shoves RLJ'ing cyclist under a bus then stamps on his jaw' than this sort of story.

Why? I don't know why it helps to gratuitously introduce imagined assaults into the story.

Avatar
levermonkey [680 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

How about this then?

Labour MP is running late and in a hurry decides to cross the road weaving through the stationary cars. No problem , he is after all a 'by right' user of the highway.

He is so intent on reaching his destination that he fails to see another by right user [the cyclist] and react to the fact that their paths will cross causing a possible conflict. As he is the one crossing traffic flows then he is the one who has the main responsibility for avoiding collision. (See rules of the sea from time immemorial). Or put another way his actions directly caused the collision.

He when arrives at his destination after berating the person he has assaulted and then proceeds to denigrate the victim via social media and whinge about his self-inflicted injuries. Note: He makes no mention of his victims injuries as he didn't endeavour to find out and doesn't care.

"How dare this Pleb get in my way! Doesn't he know I'm a very important person - I'm a Member of Parliament!" aka Pompous Git.  19

Just a thought.  4

Avatar
oliverjames [53 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I hope the cyclist apologised for his carelessness. When cycling (or driving) you've got to think for everyone else but above all always give way to pedestrians. Just remember any crowd you've ever tried to walk through in a hurry...random motion.

We'll never know what happened and it's always possible that Mr Perkins walked out from behind a slab sided van into the cyclist's path. However the cyclist should have been travelling at a speed that would have enabled him to stop, or at least limit the damage.

Careless cycling will not win supporters for this excellent mode of transport.

Avatar
Northernbike [229 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Nothing is ever a politician's fault - you only have to look at this idiot Perkins' Labour collegues' reaction to what's happening in Iraq to see that

Avatar
muffies [47 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

those pedestrians going through static traffic without caring are so annoying
even when there is zero pedestrian path they run through cars.. and jump in the bikes. and of course they're completely wrong to do so.

sounds like this is the stuff that happened there.

Avatar
bendertherobot [1264 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
oliverjames wrote:

I hope the cyclist apologised for his carelessness. When cycling (or driving) you've got to think for everyone else but above all always give way to pedestrians. Just remember any crowd you've ever tried to walk through in a hurry...random motion.

We'll never know what happened and it's always possible that Mr Perkins walked out from behind a slab sided van into the cyclist's path. However the cyclist should have been travelling at a speed that would have enabled him to stop, or at least limit the damage.

Careless cycling will not win supporters for this excellent mode of transport.

So, we don't know what happened, but the cyclist should apologise. It could have been a van blocking his view, but the cyclist should have been going slower?

Basically we know nothing so how on earth can we ascribe "could have" or "should have" to anyone?

Avatar
StoopidUserName [211 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

If red light jumping cyclist (95% of which in my experience are not cyclists as defined on here but casuals) then throw the book at them. They are a minority in London regardless of what people think but I'm sick of them.

If they were legally filtering when some d*ckhead walked out in front of them without looking then I hope he reads this article and decides to sue.

I 100% agree with giving pedestrians priority and forcing vehicles including cyclists to stop if they can but you simply can't overcome the laws of physics - I've seen this too many times and they always think they're in the right in the heat of the moment

Avatar
farrell [1950 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

It's got a touch of the Brick Tamlands this thread.

Avatar
ragtag [218 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Pedestrians only have right of way if they are already crossing a road in which you are turning. Rule 1 for pedestrians states, "If you have to step into the road, look both ways first. Always show due care and consideration for others." Rule 18 states, "always check that the traffic has stopped before you start to cross or push a pram onto a crossing." 12 states, "You should only start to cross the road when the green figure shows."

Of course we don't know if there was a light or not, but if this was me I would have stated that the lights were red if they had been. It could have just as easily been a motorbike coming down there, in which case the MP would be tweeting from a hospital bed.

Avatar
jmaccelari [249 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Sounds to me as if he was in the wrong...

Avatar
md6 [181 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

If it was a red light, he would have said so. Here, he just implies it and allows the association that lights + cyclist = RLJ without saying so. It is a classic politician spin technique. He can't be called up for lying if he didn't say that he was hit by RLJ. therefore, it is very safe to conclude that he was not RLJ, but was crossing through stopped traffic and stepped in front of the cyclist who quite rightly and legally was filtering.

Avatar
md6 [181 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

in fact, just checked his twitter feed and he hasn't answered someone ask if the cyclist was RLJ, so I've asked him again...lets see if he replies/confirms that as i expect, the cyclist was not RLJ

Avatar
oozaveared [945 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Simon_MacMichael wrote:
ribena wrote:

It sounds too me as though the cyclist was filtering and Toby Perkins has walked through the stationary traffic to cross the road.

This happens a lot in London.

He did say it was "at lights" - he just didn't clarify which colour they were...

yeah traffic stationary at lights. Cyclist filtering or quite properly passing stationary traffic, dozy pedestrian not looking.

I can guarantee that had the cyclist been doing anything remotely wrong then the dozy pedestrian would have quoted it chapter and verse.

Toby Perkins just needs to follow the Green Cross code.

Avatar
kie7077 [886 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
jova54 wrote:
freespirit1 wrote:

I was always under the impression that a pedestrian no matter the status of the light has absolute priority.

I'm sorry. Are you suggesting that pedestrians can just wander out onto a light controlled pedestrian crossing, if the traffic is temporarily stationary, and have right of way even if their light is on red?

I'd love to know where you read that.

Highway code Rule 66 and 67.

Is there anything that says a pedestrian can not cross a road? No? Then de facto they have right of way.

It is not mandatory for pedestrians to cross only when there is a green man, there are no jay-walking laws in this country.

Avatar
oozaveared [945 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
md6 wrote:

in fact, just checked his twitter feed and he hasn't answered someone ask if the cyclist was RLJ, so I've asked him again...lets see if he replies/confirms that as i expect, the cyclist was not RLJ

I doubt he'll answer. His post was dishonest in that it mentioned traffic lights in order to trigger the whole RLJ meme, but never stated RLJ or what he was doing in the road with the stationary traffic at the time.

he's just dishonest.

Avatar
shay cycles [346 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

The pedestrian SHOULD exercise proper care when crossing the road - whether at a crossing point or not and whether or not traffic is stationary. Clearly here not all of the traffic was stationary as there was a moving bike (which as we all know is traffic).

However the cyclist just like all other road users should always be aware of what is going on all around them. If you are filtering you still need to maintain awareness and if passing a vehicle that limits your ability to see then you slow down accordingly. If you do that you don't generally hit pedestrians (even idiot MPs - note I'm basing "idiot" on his policies not his road crossing ability).

When a motor vehicle is being driven a bit too quickly for what they can see, or makes manouvres where they don't have clear vision and hits a cyclist because they couldn't stop we quite rightly get upset and angry about that. So lets not get too defensive of cyclists before we know the full facts.

Avatar
What Mid Life Crisis [27 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I go through here every day. Due to tourist levels (and no doubt to assist politicians in getting back to Parliament from their other places of employment nearby) there are two sets of lights and two Pedestrian crossings there. I have seen plenty of jumpers, and plenty of people stepping into the road, deep in conversation or just plain lost. Most of the crossings run up near Parliament itself, and are within 30 yards of armed uniformed police manning barriers and suchlike. If an MP had been left with "massive bruising" I am sure someone would have gone to his aid, and that more of a story would have resulted. With no other info at hand, this smells a little bit like - "look constituents - still working hard - and taking risks for you" Is there an election in the offing?

Avatar
FluffyKittenofT... [1341 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Its impossible to discuss this without knowing what actually happened. If the cyclist was jumping a red at the time that's a very different thing from if they weren't.

If he was then my sympathies are 100% with the MP, but if not, then responsibility is more-than-likely a bit mixed (I do tend to think pedestrians always have priority, but if someone literally steps out right in front of a vehicle there's not much that can be done about it).

Main thing is, typically for a bike accident its just bruises and people being annoyed, and not a death. Also - would it be wrong to point out that it was probably the presence of large motorised vehicles that obscured everyone's lines of sight?

Pages