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Transport Minister’s comments have drawn a chorus of disapproval

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has become the latest prominent figure to voice criticism of Transport Secretary Chris Grayling regarding his recent comment that 'cyclists are not road users'. David Jamieson – a former transport and road safety minister – said that there was “no place for attitudes such as Mr Grayling's.”

Grayling was this week asked in Parliament to clarify remarks he made in a recent interview in which he was quoted as saying that “cycle lanes cause problems for road users.”

Grayling answered: "Where you have cycle lanes, cyclists are the users of cycle lanes and the road users are the users of the road. It's very simple."

Campaigners were quick to round on his comments. Chris Boardman summed up many people’s feelings saying: “The transport secretary’s comments demonstrate an astonishing lack of knowledge about how 7 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?”

Jamieson, who was attending a cycling forum to discuss road safety, cycling initiatives and West Midlands Police's 'close pass' scheme, was of a similar mind.

"Mr Grayling's comment was ill-informed and undermines the mutual respect all road users should have for each other to ensure our roads are safe.

"There is no place for attitudes such as Mr Grayling's, who has, in one clumsy comment, disregarded the safety of the millions of cyclists who regularly use our roads."

West Midlands Police was the first force in the country to proactively target ‘close pass’ drivers who endanger riders. The operation involves police cyclists radioing details of close-passing drivers to in-car colleagues who then intercept them.

The force has reported a 50 per cent drop in poor overtaking since they launched the operation last year.

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.

17 comments

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Batchy [378 posts] 6 months ago
3 likes

What do you expect from a Tory ! Fag packet statements and fag packet plans ! 

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guyrwood [894 posts] 6 months ago
6 likes

Huge cockwomble, please do us all a favour and resign.

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rliu [94 posts] 6 months ago
13 likes

We have a government of Mail and Express readers governing for Mail and Express readers. The millionaire tabloid owners are laughing at the moment.

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ktache [545 posts] 6 months ago
3 likes

Just posted on the other thread-

Greebo954, you have a point, but it does all depend on how you define the cycle provision.  Grayling was talking about cycle LANES, HC 63-

Cycle Lanes. These are marked by a white line (which may be broken) along the carriageway (see Rule 140). Keep within the lane when practicable. When leaving a cycle lane check before pulling out that it is safe to do so and signal your intention clearly to other road users. Use of cycle lanes is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer. 

And rule 140- 

Cycle lanes. These are shown by road markings and signs. You MUST NOT drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a solid white line during its times of operation. Do not drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a broken white line unless it is unavoidable. You MUST NOT park in any cycle lane whilst waiting restrictions apply.

Cycle lanes are on the road (carriageway), and users of them, being on the road must be defined as road users.

Now if he had said cycle TRACKS, these are  different HC62-

Cycle Tracks. These are normally located away from the road, but may occasionally be found alongside footpaths or pavements. Cyclists and pedestrians may be segregated or they may share the same space (unsegregated). When using segregated tracks you MUST keep to the side intended for cyclists as the pedestrian side remains a pavement or footpath. Take care when passing pedestrians, especially children, older or disabled people, and allow them plenty of room. Always be prepared to slow down and stop if necessary. Take care near road junctions as you may have difficulty seeing other road users, who might not notice you. 

Now, and it is my opinion, that Road Traffic regulations may still apply to cycle tracks, for example, not having working lights while on a cycle track, so that may complicate things as this comes under the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989, notice the words Road and Vehicle.   During any of these visability blitzes our forces of law and order do regularly, do they ever do them on a cycle track, shared or otherwise, and do they ever use The Law as part of the arguement on why you need lights?  Has anyone been prosecuted for such an offence, thus setting any precedent?  But I digress.

"Grayling replied: “Where you have cycle lanes, cyclists are the users of cycle lanes.

“And there’s a road alongside – the motorists are the road users, the users of the road.

“It’s fairly straightforward to be honest.”

Grayling, the former Justice secretary and current Transport secretary, should know that these terms are very specific and he should be careful which he uses.  Idiot.  Fairly straightforward to be honest.

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Leanto1961 [13 posts] 6 months ago
3 likes

Are Grayling's comments the new way to lower annual road death figures?  If I am not a road user then I guess I won't be included in the annual stats should I be unfortunate enough to be maimed or killed whilst using said roads.

 

 

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congokid [314 posts] 6 months ago
3 likes

With his misjudged comments Grayling has effectively legitimised violence against people using bicycles and demolished what little commitment the Tories could muster (per David Cameron's promises to Chris Boardman) to making Britain a cycling nation.

It's great that Chris and WMP have publicly stated their concerns, but all of us really need to voice our individual concerns en masse to reinforce to Grayling just how wrong-headed his thinking is.

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Plasterer's Radio [302 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

Well said Mr. Jamieson

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Grizzerly [364 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes

I think the Transport Secretary is having difficulty adjusting to his responsibilities.   You might say that Grayling is a fish out of water.

 

 

 

Or you might not...

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IanW1968 [318 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes

We need to put Simon Cowell in charge of the next election.

It may be cringing but at least people would have some indication of the idiots their choosing between. 

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1961BikiE [335 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

When the story came on last week I did post asking if someone from West Midlands Police would have a word with this idiot.

Thank you Mr Jameison, I for one appreciate your comments and the initiative of your force.

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The _Kaner [1094 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

I've also found that in the majority of cases - spaghetti eaters are the eaters of spaghetti!

That however, does not preclude fettucine eaters from being spaghetti eaters...or vice versa

and in some cases road users from being cycle path users...whether they be on a bike or a motorised vehicle...

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Valbrona [188 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

This story smacks of 'higher than mighty' cyclists seizing on someone's poorly chosen words.

Anyone would have thought Chris Grayling had peed on the grave of Mother Theresa.

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unconstituted [2351 posts] 6 months ago
3 likes

High and mighty? 

 

Just being a dick, but you deserve it!

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beezus fufoon [669 posts] 6 months ago
1 like
Valbrona wrote:

This story smacks of 'higher than mighty' cyclists seizing on someone's poorly chosen words.

Anyone would have thought Chris Grayling had peed on the grave of Mother Theresa.

had he done so, I would shake his hand - provided of course that he'd washed them first.

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strangerous [9 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

If I knew nothing of this man's inflammatory comment, I would have to guess him to be mental just on the basis of that ridiculous pose in the photo above. I mean, what does he think - people are going to request autographed copies? Does he fancy himslef a "pin up boy" for the ladies? LMAO   1

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davel [1334 posts] 6 months ago
1 like
beezus fufoon wrote:
Valbrona wrote:

This story smacks of 'higher than mighty' cyclists seizing on someone's poorly chosen words.

Anyone would have thought Chris Grayling had peed on the grave of Mother Theresa.

had he done so, I would shake his hand - provided of course that he'd washed them first.

Had he done so, I'd ask him what he'd set out to do: no way does Chris Grayling set out to pee on Mother Theresa's grave and nail it first take. I'd take a punt on him actually aiming for Gandhi's memorial. With a poo.

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burtthebike [884 posts] 6 months ago
3 likes

Grayling answered: "Where you have cycle lanes, cyclists are the users of cycle lanes and the road users are the users of the road. It's very simple."

Corrected version: "Grayling answered: "Where you have cycle lanes, cyclists are the users of cycle lanes and the road users are the users of the road. I'm very simple."