Cyclists should be forced to use designated cycle lanes, according to the traffic lawyer commonly known as Mr Loophole. On his firm’s website, Nick Freeman calls on Transport Minister Patrick McLoughlin to make it mandatory for cyclists to use facilities “which have been paid for from the public purse.”
The lawyer acquired his ‘Mr Loophole’ nickname – which he has trademarked – after helping a string of high-profile clients escape conviction for motoring offences. He believes that a vocal cycling lobby is adopting ‘an extremely aggressive stance’ towards motorists.
“Government at both local and national levels seem hell bent on making it increasingly difficult for car users to get around towns and cities, when what they actually should be doing is making it easier.
“Instead, they are dancing to the tune of a very vocal cycling lobby, which adopts an extremely aggressive stance to roads and other road users, especially motorists. Cyclists often say roads are too dangerous for them, and I totally agree. However, when it comes to designated cycle lanes, many elect to ignore them, which is not only futile but utter madness.
“The government must introduce legislation to make the use of these lanes compulsory. If not, what’s the point in them? Each one comes at a cost to the tax payer, be it in paint and signs or, as in London’s case, constructing them.”
In August, Freeman waded into the debate about cyclists’ use of helmet cams by saying: “The time has come for motorists to fight back and film cyclists breaking the law or riding irresponsibly.”
“I’m not against cyclists and motorcyclists using headcams, far from it,” he said. “But what I am against is provocative and dangerous cycling, which is designed to goad motorists, knowing full well the responses will be captured on video and then uploaded on to the internet. Motorists can be easily identified by their registration plates, but cyclists are relatively anonymous.”
That last point is a common theme for Freeman, who has previously urged the government to force cyclists to be registered, carry insurance and be required to wear helmets and hi-visibility clothing.
“The Government must look at introducing a raft of legislation which deals with identification, visibility, compliance with road traffic regulations, insurance, cycle excise licence and compulsory use of a helmet,” he said, before adding: “This list is not exhaustive.”
While defending a driver who hit and killed a rabbi in Manchester, he also suggested that pedestrians be made to wear reflective clothing at night.