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John Quinn claimed cyclists were "a law unto themselves", rode at 40-50mph knocked off wing mirror...

A Yorkshire local councillor who accused cyclists of being traffic menaces in the run up to the Tour de France has been banned from driving after being found to have almost twice the legal limit of breath alcohol.

Councillor John Andrew Quinn (Conservative) who represents the village of Embsay on Craven District Council claimed cyclists riding ahead of the Tour de France acted as “a law unto themselves”, rode through the village at 40 to 50mph and hinted they were responsible for knocking off car wing mirrors.

On June 29, Quinn stopped at the scene of a crash on Skipton Road, where a motorbike and side car had left the road, seriously injuring the rider, according to the Craven Herald.

Although Quinn was not involved in the crash, police speaking to him at the scene noticed alcohol on his breath, Skipton magistrates court heard.

Quinn tested positive for alcohol in a roadside breath test and at the police station was subsequently found to have 61 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

At a meeting of Craven Council’s select committee in 2013, Quinn claimed that cyclists were riding at speed through villages including Embsay and failing to stop at red lights, including at pelican crossings, and demanded to know what action police were taking against cyclists.

“They are a law unto themselves,” he said. “We have an elderly population in Embsay and we’ve had incidents where car wing mirrors have gone missing. Something needs to be done.”

Unusually for a local newspaper report, involving bicycles, the comments to the Craven Herald's article weren't full of the typical accusations of all cyclists breaking the law and how they shouldn't be on the road in the first place because they "don't pay road tax," a common misconception due to that tax being abolished in the 1930s.

Instead, the comments, including some from cyclists who appear to be neighbours of Councillor Quinn, highlighted logging trucks, cars and caravans as posing the greatest danger on Embsay's roads as well as being responsible for those broken wing mirrors, and also highlighted the imppossibility of cyclists riding through the village at between 40 and 50mph as he had claimed.

After an outcry from local cyclists, police and Craven District Council vowed to work with cycling groups

It turns out, then, that Quinn, who admitted drink-driving, himself poses a traffic hazard. The court heard that he had been entertaining at home before driving into Skipton to fill his Landrover Freelander with fuel for a business trip the next day.

He was banned from driving for 18 months, fined £420 and ordered to pay costs of £85 and victim surcharge of £42.

His ban will be reduced by 18 weeks if he completes a drink-drivers rehabilitation course by July next year.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

49 comments

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darrenleroy [198 posts] 1 year ago
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I couldn't resist:

Hi Councillor Quinn,

I just read you have been found guilty of drink driving. Perhaps you could ride a bike, but please stay below the speed limit. It might also help you shift some of that excess weight you’re carrying. Happy cycling!

Kind regards,

Darren
PS if you want tips on which bike to buy please ask and I’ll be happy to help.

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mrmo [2016 posts] 1 year ago
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not sure how to put this,

I think it sums up the problems on the UKs roads quite well, it is their fault.

Far too many motorists look at the out groups, be it cyclists or HGVs and complain. Why do trucks take so long to overtake, why do cyclists not use the cycle path etc etc.

It never crosses their minds that they are a huge part of the real problem, that they speed, drink drive, use phones, park on double yellows, etc etc. By deflecting the blame they quite effectively shirk their own failings.

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truffy [653 posts] 1 year ago
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mrmo wrote:

It never crosses their minds that they are a huge part of the real problem, that they speed, drink drive, use phones, park on double yellows, etc etc. By deflecting the blame they quite effectively shirk their own failings.

I think you're as guilty there of making sweeping generalisations as the drivers you condemn. I know my wife doesn't do any of those things!  3

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fatsimonstan [82 posts] 1 year ago
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How fast cyclists go through Embsay would depend on which way they ride. There's a long steep hill that is the main road through the village. I would imagine you can get quite fast going down it, but not up it!

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fatbeggaronabike [758 posts] 1 year ago
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Bloody Drunk drivers in their chelsea tractors “They are a law unto themselves,”

Karma  24

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jacknorell [942 posts] 1 year ago
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The irony is of course delicious.

Still a bit split though, as the fella is at least compassionate enough to stop and help at an accident! Many would not be.

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Housecathst [383 posts] 1 year ago
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darrenleroy wrote:

I couldn't resist:

Hi Councillor Quinn,

I just read you have been found guilty of drink driving. Perhaps you could ride a bike, but please stay below the speed limit. It might also help you shift some of that excess weight you’re carrying. Happy cycling!

Kind regards,

Darren
PS if you want tips on which bike to buy please ask and I’ll be happy to help.

Come on if you have his email address to hand post it up, I'd love to give him a a piece of my mind

Thank you  1

Edit found it Cllr.AQuinn [at] cravendc.gov.uk  1

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harman_mogul [208 posts] 1 year ago
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Yes, have to say JN is right. If the Cllr had not stopped at the scene of the accident, he would have been home free. Still no excuse though.

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seven [142 posts] 1 year ago
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jacknorell wrote:

The irony is of course delicious.

Still a bit split though, as the fella is at least compassionate enough to stop and help at an accident! Many would not be.

Aside from compassion, that he stopped also speaks volumes for how Quinn views (or should I say 'viewed') the act of drink-driving. The fact that he had been drinking was possibly the furthest thing from his mind right up until the point that he found himself on the business end of a breathalyser, which is pretty scary.

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WashoutWheeler [29 posts] 1 year ago
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Not sure why anyone would vote for someone so clearly out of step with the modern world!

He is clearly out of step with many many people in Yorkshire on cycling unless all those voters turned out in their hundreds of thousands possibly millions to boo Le tour of course! (Yes of course, that must be it!)

He is out of step with modern day attitudes towards drinking and driving.(I am a busy important person so the law obviously does not apply to me!)

In short this clown is a blowhard dinosaur of the very worst kind and clearly a far bigger risk to road users than any cyclist.

Drunk drivers regularly kill and hit stationary vehicles (perhaps that is what caused the missing mirrors?!), Cyclists rarely cause fatal accidents or hit stationary vehicles (It Hurts!)

So voters of Craven please remember that when the weasle asks for your vote next time round.

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bikebot [1634 posts] 1 year ago
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Does anyone know of a word that could be used to describe pleasure at the misfortune of others? We really should have something like that  21

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Saturday [9 posts] 1 year ago
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Well I hope he learns from the experience , at the very least it has highlighted to the locals to take what he says with a pinch of salt.

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Argos74 [372 posts] 1 year ago
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I suppose if you're going to be banned, you might as well be banned in one of the nicest bits of Britain to cycle in. We need a "10 of the best hybrids under £1000" post to help him out.

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paulfg42 [382 posts] 1 year ago
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bikebot wrote:

Does anyone know of a word that could be used to describe pleasure at the misfortune of others? We really should have something like that  21

Not sure if you're teasing here but schadenfreude is the word.  7

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Cyclist [295 posts] 1 year ago
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Drink driving/texting/using phones without a hands free should all be life bans, draconian? Absolutely, however if that was the law then would you do it? Answer for 99% of the population would be no! for the minority of the retards that are left! I would just like to coin a often over used phrase! but I think abt under these circumstances... )))TOUGH TITTIES((((

If you decide to BASE jump without checking your chute and it fails.. Tough titties, you die. However drink drive/txt I/we die. And at the minimum for drink driving it should be an automatic 10 year ban.... But I forgot the old boy brigade are allowed one for the road....silly me  14

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freespirit1 [222 posts] 1 year ago
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Any user of wheeled transport if they are too pissed to walk should have the book thrown at them if they are using their wheels to get home or wherever.

That includes drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists, skateboarders, roller skaters and any others I may have forgotten.

As for those that have gloated about causing criminal damage to other peoples property, and then boasted about it. It is a bit hypocritical to be trying to take the moral high ground.

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nwardill [24 posts] 1 year ago
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karma

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workhard [397 posts] 1 year ago
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And I bet, when plod asked him to "blow into this tube" he went into full-on "Do you know who I am?" councillor-mode.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1113 posts] 1 year ago
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nwardill wrote:

karma

...just ran over his dogma.

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gazza_d [451 posts] 1 year ago
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Can;t help thinking that any mirrors he may have lost may not have been cyclists, but from him bouncing along dry stone walls in his Landie

As others have said - Karma rocks!

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Yorkshie Whippet [499 posts] 1 year ago
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Sounds like there is something this guy could teach me! The last time I hit a mirror on the bike, I hit the floor and it remained firmly on the car. Maybe I hadn't drunk enough?

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Flying Scot [908 posts] 1 year ago
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#bloody cyclists...#...hic.....

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FluffyKittenofT... [1113 posts] 1 year ago
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jacknorell wrote:

The irony is of course delicious.

Still a bit split though, as the fella is at least compassionate enough to stop and help at an accident! Many would not be.

Multiple levels of irony there, really. "No good deed goes unpunished" being just one of them (if he hadn't done the right thing and stopped he wouldn't have been nicked). Can't help thinking the fact his business offers 'health and safety advice' is yet another. Its a veritable irony layer cake.

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SevenHills [184 posts] 1 year ago
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Karma' s a bitch innit?

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severs1966 [293 posts] 1 year ago
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Airzound wrote:

[...] Maybe this is the start of the rest of his life?

He drinks and drives. Therefore, he doesn't care about life.

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seven [142 posts] 1 year ago
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Airzound wrote:

Here's a link to his councillor page so we can see what he looks like.

http://www.cravendc.gov.uk/article/2007/Councillor-John-Andrew-QUINN-Con...

He might find it a little harder getting around now. I have an old bike which I no longer have need of which I can offer to him at a very good price. He could do with losing quite a bit of weight. Maybe this is the start of the rest of his life?

Aye, I can't help but notice his address is on there. Perhaps we can have a whip round and order him a bike? Or maybe some bike catalogues. Perhaps an LBS near him would help out? We're having a laugh at his exposure as a massive hypocrite right now, but if he were to become a cycling convert off the back of it, wouldn't that be the best of all possible outcomes?

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RedfishUK [114 posts] 1 year ago
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Airzound wrote:

Here's a link to his councillor page so we can see what he looks like.

http://www.cravendc.gov.uk/article/2007/Councillor-John-Andrew-QUINN-Con...

Notice he is "retiring" at the next election and the info was updated on 9th July...lets hope he was pushed and his behaviour has ended his political career  41

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dp24 [201 posts] 1 year ago
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This is very funny.

Well, not the fact that he's a drink-driving kn*bhead. But it's certainly an amusing scenario.

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zanf [759 posts] 1 year ago
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jacknorell wrote:

The irony is of course delicious.

Still a bit split though, as the fella is at least compassionate enough to stop and help at an accident! Many would not be.

You know there are other reasons he could have stopped other than out of compassion or his incredible first aider skills (you would guess that paramedics would have been in attendance if the police were there)?

It could be he revels so much in his own self importance that he thought he would stick his nose in and those tendencies are amplified when one is under the influence of alcohol.

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jacknorell [942 posts] 1 year ago
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zanf wrote:

You know there are other reasons he could have stopped other than out of compassion or his incredible first aider skills (you would guess that paramedics would have been in attendance if the police were there)?

At no point does it state police was there when the councillor stopped, so you're making assumptions.

He's clearly a knob for drinking and driving, and has some very strange ideas about cyclists.

But he's probably not the devil incarnate and responsible for all cycling problems ever, which some people on here are implying.

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