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“I have a very simple principle when I’m on my bike. Any car in front of me, any car on the left or on the right is going to kill me”

Lord Sugar has said that 99 per cent of London road traffic incidents involving cyclists could have been avoided if the victims had shown more ‘situational awareness’. The comments came as part of an interview with LBC in which he reiterated complaints about the traffic disruption caused by Cycle Superhighway construction works.

Earlier this week, Sugar – a keen cyclist who recently picked up a new custom Pinarello – suggested that Mayor of London Boris Johnson needed ‘a whack’ after he found himself sitting in traffic caused by Cycle Superhighway construction work on Lower Thames Street.

Speaking on LBC, Sugar challenged Boris to join him in his car for a morning commute to see for himself what the journey was like.

“I don’t know who drafted the construction of this thing in Lower Thames Street, but they need a good slapping,” said Sugar. “I think Boris himself needs to come to my house one Monday morning and we’ll drive in, okay, and he’ll be pulling his blond hair out by the time we get anywhere near Westminster.”

When it was put to Sugar that the Cycle Superhighway would help save the lives of fellow cyclists, Sugar said this was not the way to achieve that.

“The way to stop that is what I call ‘situation awareness’ and I say this with the greatest respect to the cyclists and to those that have been injured, and that is that you cannot cycle in the centre of London without being aware of the dangers.

“I have a very simple principle when I’m on my bike. Any car in front of me, any car on the left or on the right is going to kill me. It’s as simple as that. Any truck that is parked by traffic lights, I will not go down the inside lane of it. I will stay behind it and be patient because it’s going to kill me.

“And as long as you have that philosophy when you’re riding your bike in central London, I think that 99 per cent of the accidents that occurred would have been avoided.”

Almost as if Sugar the driver and Sugar the cyclist were different people, he then appeared to laud dedicated cycle paths when asked whether cyclists should be ordered to use them.

“I cycle a lot in France, for example, and I have to say that a dedicated cycle path is fantastic. There’s no question of it. It keeps you away from the traffic and you should use it,” he said. “I can’t understand the logic of anyone not using it.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

53 comments

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terrahawk [15 posts] 1 year ago
11 likes

God he talks a load of shit, that one. 

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kitsunegari [165 posts] 1 year ago
9 likes

This guy is a total idiot.

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arfa [841 posts] 1 year ago
7 likes

Of course in Alan's world, the vehicle behind you never presents a problem.....
I would suggest that Boris ought to call him out and invite him for a bike ride but it's probably past time for the honourable gentleman to be put back out to pasture at his retirement home in Florida.

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teaboy [307 posts] 1 year ago
11 likes

How often would you get the tube if you thought that every other passenger was going to kill you? Would it make for a pleasant, calm travelling environment?

 

ANYONE who drives into central London is an arse.

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bendertherobot [1391 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

He's right to have that philosophy. He's wrong on whether the people dying or being seriously injured had it.

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gazzaputt [228 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Complete gobshite.

I reckon he has the Rolls following when he cycles so is never aware of the traffic around him.

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bikebot [2120 posts] 1 year ago
10 likes

Everything wrong with cycling in the UK.  Sunday cyclist lecturing utility riders on safety. And here's a reminder of what Alan Sugar thinks when someone shows him a collision, rather than asking him after he's been stuck in traffic.

https://twitter.com/lord_sugar/status/491672227742748673

It's almost as if he says thngs straight out of the top of his head without considering evidence and data first.

 

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DaveE128 [806 posts] 1 year ago
5 likes

Maybe, just maybe, he should get out of his car, and he wouldn't have a problem with traffic.

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P3t3 [360 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

Sadly this guy is a probably a barometer for what the average dim-wit thinks.  We can't expect him to make the leap to wondering what it is that puts people off cycling and then join the dots up to think about why congestion is a problem.  We can't expect him to thing about the next person on a bike and realise they are not exactly like him.  And we definately can't expect him to think of bikes as anythign other than a play-thing.  

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jasecd [438 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
teaboy wrote:

ANYONE who drives into central London is an arse.

 

I drive in to central London 2-3days a week as I regulalry freelance as a BBC cameraman. Unfortunately there is no practical way to carry 100kg of valuable equipment on my bike. I drive conscientiously and pay close attention to vulnerable road users.

Believe me, I see plenty of unnecessry car journeys, such as over-privileged and opinionated businessmen sitting in their chauffeur driven Rolls. When I lived in London I would make every journey in to the centre by bike whenever possible becase I care about the environment, congestion, myself and other commuters.

Why then, when I have no choice but to drive does it make me an arse? I'd say that making sweeping blanket statements makes you the arse...

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ron611087 [356 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

What Lord Sugar is suggesting is what the IAM has been teaching for years, which is managing the risk within your control. Whilst his suggestion seems sensible, the clue is in the name of the IAM. It's considered an advanced level of competency not required of ordinary drivers (unfortunately). So why should it just be a requirement for cyclists?

Another small point is if cyclists are to be at a level which in motorists is regarded as "advanced" before taking to the road, how do they  get to this level of competence without first going through any intermediate stage ?

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Lungsofa74yearold [293 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

If I've understood his logic correctly, 99% of cycling accidents are caused  by cyclists themselves. Glad we've got that one cleared up.  Slightly odd thing for a supposedly keen cyclist to say though...

Obviously having functioning brain is no barrier to becoming a billionaire business man. 

(And just another reason I will never ever ride a Pinerello as long as I live - truly hideous bike ridden by awful gobshite).  

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nielsamd [4 posts] 1 year ago
5 likes

Well,  he is the UK's answer to Donald Trump after all...

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commonsensehuman [17 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

He may be a nob but he is right. Not that that is the only problem, some drivers are nobs too. As too are some of the hatred spewers in this forum ...

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congokid [302 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes

It would be great if instead of spouting the usual victim-blaming bike hate bingo Lord Sugar could actually do something useful to make cycling a perceptibly safer activity that everyone could benefit from. Such as supporting proper infrastructure, for instance. With projected benefit to cost ratios of up to 35:1 being estimated for cycling infrastructure, surely it would make sense to apply the brainpower of his best bods to making it a reality? Think of the returns on your investment!

However, making up daft statistics off the top of his head just makes him look even more stupid following his recent outburst about the superhighway construction works. Or does he have a source for his '99%' figure?

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congokid [302 posts] 1 year ago
5 likes
commonsensehuman wrote:

He may be a nob but he is right. Not that that is the only problem, some drivers are nobs too. As too are some of the hatred spewers in this forum ...

Well, he may be a nob, but he is demonstrably wrong. There is no evidence anywhere to suggest in collisions involving motor vehicles and bicycles that 99% of the victims using bikes were at fault for the collision. But the evidence we do have (from Westminster City Council) suggests that the motor vehicle driver was at fault in as many as 70% of cases, while only 20% of collisions could be blamed on the person on a bike.

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Mendip James [38 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

The point, Alan, is making bike use accessible for the masses and to stop our streets being crowded out by motor vehicles so there is no space to move. It is not an exercise in 'how do I not die on my bike' although I'm sure everyone appreciates your guidance.

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oozaveared [934 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
P3t3 wrote:

Sadly this guy is a probably a barometer for what the average dim-wit thinks.  

The trouble is it's worse than that.  First off he's clearly not stupid.  No-one gave him that money and you need to be smarter than your average bear to make that kind of dough.  And he isn't just "street smart".  He passed the Civil Service Exam back in the 60s and was a Civil Service Statistician in the Ministry of Education.  So he's not a dim wit.

Secondly he is also a cyclist.

So It's worse than you think.  He's not thick and he is a cyclist.  

#friendly fire

 

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P3t3 [360 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
Mendip James wrote:

The point, Alan, is making bike use accessible for the masses and to stop our streets being crowded out by motor vehicles so there is no space to move. It is not an exercise in 'how do I not die on my bike' although I'm sure everyone appreciates your guidance.

 

Nail-on-the-head there!  Roads for bikes isn't about stopping death!

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Simon E [2985 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes
oozaveared wrote:

It's worse than you think.  He's not thick and he is a cyclist.  

#friendly fire

He is ignorant.

Being wealthy doesn't mean you are clever or wise, as Alan Sugar has demonstrated so clearly this week.

It's not really friendly fire because he's not really a cyclist. He's a businessman who collects Pinarellos and occasionally rides one (presumably not in central London).

But he moans about TfL providing cycle infrastructure then adds this:

Quote:

I cycle a lot in France, for example, and I have to say that a dedicated cycle path is fantastic. There’s no question of it. It keeps you away from the traffic and you should use it"

What a complete arse.

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zanf [898 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes
Simon E wrote:

What a complete arse.

Lord Sugar wrote:

Thats "Lord 'face-like-a-prolapsed' Arse" to you!

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oozaveared [934 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes
Simon E wrote:
oozaveared wrote:

It's worse than you think.  He's not thick and he is a cyclist.  

#friendly fire

He is ignorant.

Being wealthy doesn't mean you are clever or wise, as Alan Sugar has demonstrated so clearly this week.

It's not really friendly fire because he's not really a cyclist. He's a businessman who collects Pinarellos and occasionally rides one (presumably not in central London).

But he moans about TfL providing cycle infrastructure then adds this:

Quote:

I cycle a lot in France, for example, and I have to say that a dedicated cycle path is fantastic. There’s no question of it. It keeps you away from the traffic and you should use it"

What a complete arse.

I don't think it's just this comment you are talking about is it?

You are right being wealthy doesn't make you clever or wise.  But passing The Civil Service Exam in the 60s to become a statistician does actually make you quite clever.  Making and keeping the amount of money he has made makes you both clever and wise.  

He isn't ignorant as such.  He is a Londoner.  He drives in London and he rides a bike.  My point is that he isn't ignorant of the facts.

"he's not really a cyclist."

Is this the Islamic State defence?   Well he isn't a "real" cyclist he has been corrupted by a perversion of true cycling. 

This is the "No True Scotsman" fallacy in reasoning.

No true Scotsman is an informal fallacy, an ad hoc attempt to retain an unreasoned assertion. When faced with a counterexample to a universal claim ("no Scotsman would do such a thing"), rather than denying the counterexample or rejecting the original claim, this fallacy modifies the subject of the assertion to exclude the specific case or others like it by rhetoric, without reference to any specific objective rule ("no true Scotsman would do such a thing").

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

As it happens he notches up 150 miles a week at the age of 67 (cycling weekly) So if he isn't a cyclist I don't know who the F*** is round here.

"I go out two or three times a week and try to get 150 miles done. A normal ride for me is 50 or 60 miles. Cycling is a great thing for me, and I think it should be a part of every businessman’s life. It’s good to go out for three or four hours and get some fresh air and clear your head. It lets you think things through before making a decision."
Read more at http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/lord-sugar-the-big-interview-56149#e...

 

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powergoose [7 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

Can’t believe the amount of unnecessary bile being spouted here.  Cyclists need to get over the notion that its them against the world - they are just one type of road user.  Like him or loathe him, Lord Sugar has a point – you need to look out for yourself and assume that others on the road won’t do that for you.  As a car driver AND avid cyclist, I try to be courteous and careful when doing either, but it never ceases to amaze me how stupidly a lot of cyclists choose to ride – weaving, jumping lights, not looking, dark gear, crap/no lights, no helmet, magically assuming all drivers have 360 vision!  Of course, there are lots of ignorant drivers too, but everyone has a responsibility and you just have to watch your own back.

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Jacobi [171 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

I think Boris shouls retaliate first and slap some sense into Sugar.  1

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Beatnik69 [370 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
Simon E wrote:
oozaveared wrote:

It's worse than you think.  He's not thick and he is a cyclist.  

#friendly fire

He is ignorant.

Being wealthy doesn't mean you are clever or wise, as Alan Sugar has demonstrated so clearly this week.

It's not really friendly fire because he's not really a cyclist. He's a businessman who collects Pinarellos and occasionally rides one (presumably not in central London).

But he moans about TfL providing cycle infrastructure then adds this:

Quote:

I cycle a lot in France, for example, and I have to say that a dedicated cycle path is fantastic. There’s no question of it. It keeps you away from the traffic and you should use it"

What a complete arse.

I'd say you don't get to the position he is in without being clever, however he is, as you say, ignorant. He is a cyclist (other posters have given his weekly mileage), but he's not a cycle commuter and as such is ignorant of the challenges facing cycle commuters from motorised vehicles.

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KnightBiker [80 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

I can't judge London that well as a cyclist, him complaining about delays because of roadworks for a cyclingpath is one for the general voters. He should just go commuting by bike to see what it's like. Cycling in rush hour is much different from cycling in the country side, and much of france doesn't have cyclepath's, he should know that.

As to what he says about that accident can be avoided: yes, in holland cycling accidents are rising because of mobile phone usage (young urban commuters) and electical bikeusage (elderly who can't hanle the speed)

It's always good to be able to think ahead as a cyclist, when your in traffic keep  your head at it, but the same accounts for car drivers also, and car drivers need to think of cyclist as an equal part of traffic, one that is volnurable at that too. It's too damned shortsighted to put everything with the cyclist: there are plenty dangers you can't see: opening doors, car drivers not indicating changes of direction etc.

Part of the thing might be that a great part of london has highway's up until the centre of town, blending with the centre, a car driver should have the feeling of entering a whole other domain when going into town, one where traffic is divers and vulnurable and slower.

To make london more liveable  there should be a big penalty for driving cars into town too, those contributing to our enviroment should get more right of way: commuting cyclist are our enviroment hero's. dedicated super cycling hihway's should in the long run make everyone happy.

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Simmo72 [637 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

I agree in that I view every other road user as an unpredicatable idiot who can do anything without warning but I argue his daft figure of 99%.  The number of accidents involving dangerous driving, texting, alcohol, drugs is on the rise and you can be the most aware person on the roads, but its not going to help.  

 

 

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congokid [302 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes
powergoose wrote:

Can’t believe the amount of unnecessary bile being spouted here.

It's simply people calling an over-privileged tosser out for a blanket and inaccurate victim-blaming statement that appears to be based on nothing but half baked assumptions and not much relevant experience.

We all know he does some leisure cycling and gets bunged incredibly expensive sports bikes - but does he do much regular utility cycling in London? Judging by his earlier comment from the back seat of his chauffeured limousine I doubt it.

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mike the bike [874 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

 

I just wish you would all stop being horrible to my daddy.  He is a very nice daddy and buys me loads of nice things and when I see him over the Christmas hols in Tobago ( it might be Necker again, I forget) I will tell him you have been really nasty and are probably just jealous.  I expect he will  come round your house and take back his Amstrad, then you will be sorry.

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powergoose [7 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
congokid wrote:
powergoose wrote:

Can’t believe the amount of unnecessary bile being spouted here.

It's simply people calling an over-privileged tosser out for a blanket and inaccurate victim-blaming statement that appears to be based on nothing but half baked assumptions and not much relevant experience.

We all know he does some leisure cycling and gets bunged incredibly expensive sports bikes - but does he do much regular utility cycling in London? Judging by his earlier comment from the back seat of his chauffeured limousine I doubt it.

 

Even "over-privileged tossers" that have made £1.4b by working their way up from council flats in Hackney are allowed an opinion....he's just injecting a a bit of honesty into the debate - most cyclists just continue to blame everyone else!  I'm a regular city rider and see more idiotic behaviour by cyclists than drivers!

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