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Boardman: I'll show transport secretary Grayling what it really means to be a road user

Transport minister says he hasn’t cycled since he was a student

Chris Boardman has expanded on his criticism of Chris Grayling after the Secretary of State for Transport made a distinction between cyclists and ‘road users’ earlier this week. British Cycling’s policy advisor says that Grayling “needs to get on a bike and experience the roads for himself,” offering to join him on a typical London cycle commute.

Boardman’s initial reaction was to say that he felt ‘embarrassed’ for Grayling, describing his comment as demonstrating “an astonishing lack of knowledge about how 7 million people regularly use the roads in this country.”

Writing in The Guardian, Boardman expands on this. He explains that not only is a cyclist’s right to use the road enshrined in law, it is also, more often than not, the best option available to them.

“If Grayling has any understanding of the concerns of the 7 million people who regularly cycle on Britain’s roads, then he would know that the vast majority of cycle lanes are inconvenient, poorly maintained and often dangerous. It is why most cyclists choose to cycle in the road. It is also the reason why just 2% of journeys are cycled, despite British Cycling having evidence that two-thirds of people would cycle if it were made safer.”

Grayling has previously said that he has not cycled since he was a student at Cambridge in the early eighties and Boardman believes that a little first-hand experience would go a long way.

“Grayling needs to get on a bike and experience the roads for himself. Only last month he complained about the hugely successful new segregated cycle lanes in London, now found on the Embankment and Blackfriars Bridge. They have increased the number of people cycling on these roads by over 70%, giving people safe, secure routes across central London, as well as getting people out of their cars and off public transport, and easing congestion on the roads and overcrowding on the London Underground.

“I would like to take Grayling on a typical London commute from zone 2 to his office in Westminster. We would experience cycling on busy roads without safe cycle lanes before feeling the difference made by the new segregated routes. He would see thousands of other people doing the same and see how it is quicker, more reliable and less stressful than being stuck in Clapham Junction during a rail strike, as he was this week. Then he will know what it really means to be a road user.”

Grayling’s comments have also been criticised by West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, who said: "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."

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.

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17 comments

Avatar
Greebo954 | 7 years ago
0 likes

None of you have read the interview have you?

 

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bassjunkieuk | 7 years ago
1 like

I very much doubt Mr Grayling has the testicular fortitude to take Chris up on his kind offer....

Would also be a terrible shame if Mr Grayling's path was obstructed by a car door.

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burtthebike | 7 years ago
2 likes

"Boardman: I'll show transport secretary Grayling what it really means to be a road user"

What's he going to use?  a baseball bat?

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steviemarco | 7 years ago
1 like

More cyclist  (not road users though)= less funds from congestion charges, cars purchased therefore less revenue tax on purchasing a vehicle and from fuel and road fund license. No wonder he doesn't like cyclist, the government will lose a fortune in taxes. 

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wycombewheeler replied to steviemarco | 7 years ago
6 likes
steviemarco wrote:

More cyclist  (not road users though)= less funds from congestion charges, cars purchased therefore less revenue tax on purchasing a vehicle and from fuel and road fund license. No wonder he doesn't like cyclist, the government will lose a fortune in taxes. 

But save a fortune in other costs. all countries with mass participation in cycling find that cyclists are a net benefit to the economy while motor vehicles are a net loss.

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Bluebug replied to steviemarco | 7 years ago
3 likes
steviemarco wrote:

More cyclist  (not road users though)= less funds from congestion charges, cars purchased therefore less revenue tax on purchasing a vehicle and from fuel and road fund license. No wonder he doesn't like cyclist, the government will lose a fortune in taxes. 

Many cars particularly Uber taxis driven in Central London are zero rated for vehicle excise duty and don't pay the congestion charge. They also use very little fuel or electricity so no tax gains there. The money comes from those who drive further out in London and the rest of the country. Even then cars, vans,lorries and buses are subsidised by general taxation as everyone pays for the roads and air pollution. So getting more people on bikes for local journeys regardless of where they are in the country would actually save the taxpayer (us) money on road repairs and healthcare costs.

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handlebarcam | 7 years ago
8 likes
Quote:

Grayling has previously said that he has not cycled since he was a student at Cambridge in the early eighties

Seemingly he hasn't used his brain much since graduation either. There does seem to be a breed for whom an Oxbridge degree is a laurel on which they feel they can rest forevermore. And the thing is, they're right; our craven, backward-looking society hands such people safe seats and directorships and media careers on the basis of their ability to successfully cram for exams at the age of eighteen, pick a clique to join during freshers' week, and toe the line thereafter.

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Leanto1961 | 7 years ago
2 likes

Thanks Halfwheeler.  An e-mail has been sent! 

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HalfWheeler | 7 years ago
3 likes

What might be useful is to email Grayling's office, keeping it clean, and ask him to accept Boardman's challenge. Takes 2 mins... 

pocorrespondence [at] dft.gsi.gov.uk

 

Avatar
Simon E replied to HalfWheeler | 7 years ago
4 likes
HalfWheeler wrote:

What might be useful is to email Grayling's office, keeping it clean, and ask him to accept Boardman's challenge. Takes 2 mins... 

pocorrespondence [at] dft.gsi.gov.uk

CB has retweeted Ned Boulting's (very sensible) proposed letter at https://twitter.com/nedboulting/status/820022756624498690

Transport and Health, two hugely important portfolios, each fronted by a complete and utter moron demonstrating indescribable levels of ignorance of the real world. I wonder just how much worse it can get... (my fear is: a lot!)

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Giles Pargiter replied to HalfWheeler | 7 years ago
0 likes
HalfWheeler wrote:

What might be useful is to email Grayling's office, keeping it clean, and ask him to accept Boardman's challenge. Takes 2 mins... 

pocorrespondence [at] dft.gsi.gov.uk

 

 

email sent. - and received apparently. . .  "we aim to respond within 20 working days"!!!

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ktache | 7 years ago
16 likes

If were stealing comments from the Guardian, I liked this one-

"Motorists are angry because they never have pictures of cars stuck in traffic in the brochures."

by FullTimeNorthener

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Dr_Lex | 7 years ago
16 likes

"You should go and have a chat with Mr Grayling, Chris. Where cyclists are concerned he's very accessible - he has an open door policy."

(shamelessly stolen from the Grauniad's comment section)

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monkeytrousers replied to Dr_Lex | 7 years ago
0 likes
Dr_Lex wrote:

"You should go and have a chat with Mr Grayling, Chris. Where cyclists are concerned he's very accessible - he has an open door policy."

(shamelessly stolen from the Grauniad's comment section)

 

As CB is a scouser, inviting him to "go and have a chat" might be interpreted as something different !

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Housecathst | 7 years ago
6 likes

I'm afraid it's a waste of time, Grayling is the worst type of Tory scum. I'm sure his comments about cyclists not being road users is more his aspiration. 

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ktache | 7 years ago
22 likes

We love you Chris!

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ooldbaker replied to ktache | 7 years ago
6 likes
ktache wrote:

We love you Chris!

The right one I trust.

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