Labour MP and former Minister for Sport Kate Hoey, who once launched a diatribe in a national newspaper against cyclists she described as “law-breaking Lycra Louts,” has been fined £240 – for illegally driving her car through a traffic signal while it was red.
Hoey, an MP since 1989, was stopped by police after driving her Mini through the red light on London’s Victoria Embankment on 3 July this year, reports BikeBiz.
The 67-year-old pleaded guilty by post to City of London Magistrates’ Court, which imposed the fine.
In a 2003 article for the Mail on Sunday, Hoey claimed that “The real menance on Britain's roads are selfish, aggressive, law-breaking and infuriatingly smug Lyrca Louts."
The original article no longer appears to be available on the Mail Online website, although it is referred to here.
According to a post at the time on the website CycleBanter.com, Hoey went on to say: "Lycra louts don't just break the law; they often do so in an aggressive and threatening manner.
"How many times have you seen a cyclist deliberately riding in the middle of the road, preventing any car passing and then screaming abuse at the poor driver who dares to try?
"Another trick of theirs is to slip through on the inside just as you try turning left, or flying by so near that they knock against the wing mirror."
The Belfast-born MP’s tirade was apparently triggered on an RAC survey that claimed that 50 per cent of cyclists in London ignored red lights.
A Traffic Note published in 2007 by Transport for London’s Road Network Performance & Research Team following observation of 7,502 cyclists at five locations in London found that 16 per cent ignored traffic signals – but 84 per cent obeyed them.
An opponent of the hunting ban introduced by her party when it was in power, Hoey, who is MP for distinctly non-rural Vauxhall in inner London, is chair of the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance, which has its offices in her constituency.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.