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Chris Boardman slams "myopic" Streetspace ruling (and Shaun Bailey wants to compensate taxi drivers who brought case); BMX'er unconscious after ice cream parlour roof stunt; Police recover 22 stolen bikes + more on the live blog

It's Thursday and Dan Alexander will be keeping you up to date with the best bits from the cycling world on the live blog...
21 January 2021, 20:44
"Myopic": Chris Boardman on Streetspace scheme deemed unlawful by High Court judge

Boardman has added his thoughts after the LCC released a full statement earlier (further down the page). 

He said: "Remarkable ruling when no street has actually been ‘blocked off’ and no one has had access denied. The only thing stopped has been rat running. I sincerely hope this myopic ruling is overturned."

While the ruling is been considered a blow for active travel, Mrs Justice Lang suggested that TfL and the Mayor should “substantially” revise their plans, and that even if they lose, more time can be granted before the quashing orders are issued for pop-up cycle lanes and LTNs brought in since the start of the pandemic. Those disappointed will also be enthused by plans for active travel in Paris, which were rejected by a judge before being given the go-ahead again following an appeal. 

21 January 2021, 17:01
What he said...


21 January 2021, 16:23
BMX rider unconscious after jumping from roof of ice cream parlour stunt

A Costa Rican BMX freestyler was left unconscious after a stunt that involved him jumping off an ice cream parlour went badly wrong. Álvaro Esquivel was filming for a Vital BMX video but couldn't stick the landing and hit his head on the road...He came round after being unconscious for a minute and was treated by paramedics at the scene before being taken to hospital.

"Now I’m waiting for the results of some tests. I was a little dizzy, but I feel good thanks to God," Esquivel told Q Costa Rica. "The important thing is to give the truth of what was happening, because many people will take it as a madman who jumped off the roof just because, but no, it was a very important film.

"What happened was that I was about 10 centimeters short because I fell on the very edge of the sidewalk and it threw me back, then hit my head and was unconscious for almost a minute."

21 January 2021, 15:49
Edinburgh to host a stage of 2021 Tour of Britain
Mathieu van der Poel wins the 2019 Tour of Britain (picture credit

Edinburgh will host the penultimate stage of the Tour of Britain later this year on Spetember 11. The finish will be in Holyrood Park, at the base of Arthur's Seat. A quick look on Strava found a 1.4km climb at a steady 5.8% average to the top of the landmark. Could we see a cheeky uphill sprint?

The Tour of Britain is due to start in Penzance on September 5 and will live up to its name, finishing in Aberdeen eight stages later. Edinburgh last hosted the race in 2017, when the first stage left the city en route to Kelso where Caleb Ewan won the bunch kick.

21 January 2021, 14:59
London Cycling Campaign's response to High Court ruling on TfL Streetspace plans
Park Lane Streetspace for London 01.jpeg

London Cycling Campaign (LCC) has also released a statement on Streetspace being ruled as unlawful by a High Court judge. LCC were disappointed by the outcome but stressed the decision shouldn't have any impact on current schemes. The statement said: "Judicial Reviews look at the process of decision making and how it is recorded and we believe, like TfL, that Streetspace is both necessary and justified. 

"TfL, the Mayor and boroughs should of course consider the needs of disabled and elderly people in every scheme. However, these represent a minority of trips by taxi, and while they are important to consider, it is also imperative that we give increasing priority to public transport, cycling and walking for the sake of all Londoners."

LCC also suggested that the legal challenge is the latest act of the taxi industry opposing any scheme that seeks to cut car use in favour of active travel and emphasised there is no requirement yet to suspend or remove any Streetspace infrastructure.

21 January 2021, 14:24
Police arrest 16-year-old for handling stolen goods as 22 bikes recovered

A 16-year-old man has been arrested for handling stolen goods after police recovered 22 stolen bikes. The full collection can be viewed above and includes several Bromptons as well as a BMC and Specialized road bike. If you recognise any of these you can contact the police on 101 and quote the reference number 4996/19JAN21...

Back in November a study suggested that more than 110,000 bikes had been stolen in Britain since the pandemic began. In London, bike theft accounts for 10% of all reported crime with over 3,000 bikes reported stolen in the capital in September alone.

21 January 2021, 13:57
Sam Bennett says he thinks cycling "gets trashed a lot" and that people only focus on the negatives
Specialized S-Works Ares 6 Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett says he wishes people in Ireland would focus less on the sport's negative past. Speaking at the launch of NOW TV dublinbikes, which he starred in a brilliant ad for, Bennett said: "I think that unfortunately – and it’s a part that I don’t ever like to go into but – in Ireland they only focus on the bad sides of it but there’s so much good stuff to cycling and it’s such a fantastic sport that I just feel like it gets trashed a lot.

"It hurts because I’m a genuine guy and I work so hard that I don’t like that the image is destroyed at times."

The Irishman has named another Tour stage win as his big goal for 2021 but would also like to win a first WorldTour one-day race. Currently, Bennett is scheduled to start his season at Paris-Nice before a double-header of big one-day races in March with Milan-San Remo and Gent-Wevelgem. 

21 January 2021, 12:32
"Turbo Durbo demolition": Team BikeExchange's Luke Durbridge wins solo by two minutes as pro racing returns in Australia

It was a nice return to racing for Luke Durbridge overnight in Australia. With the rest of the world barred, the Aussies are making the most of what would usually be the Tour Down Under by racing a revised four-stage Santos Festival. Durbridge won the first stage by over two minutes having attacked solo with 80km left. The highlight of the week should be the third stage which takes in the iconic finish up Willunga Hill. Can anyone beat Richie Porte? 

21 January 2021, 12:07
New bike maintenance stands near Regent's Park
21 January 2021, 11:29
Dorset vehicle crashes caused 25 deaths in 2020
Traffic police (licensed CC BY 2.0 on Flickr by jf01350)

Dorset vehicle crashes caused 25 deaths in 2020, according to a report by the Bournemouth Echo. Although records show that 16 lives were lost, the figure doesn't include crashes on private roads, those due to a medical episode or "unvalidated" incidents that are still being investigated. With these included the number is 25. Deaths were marginally down from 27 in the county in 2019, however during the first national lockdown there was a three-month period without a death. Five deaths in vehicle collisions were recorded in July alone.

On August 19, a 70-year-old cyclist died in hospital two weeks after being involved in a crash with a Ford Mondeo driver, while two pedestrians were killed in September.

Inspector Joe Pardey from Dorset Police told the Bournemouth Echo: "We are particularly keen to tackle the five biggest killers on our roads known as the ‘fatal five’. These are: drink and drug driving, excessive and inappropriate speed, not wearing a seatbelt, driver distractions such as using a hand-held mobile phone and dangerous/careless driving."

21 January 2021, 09:46
Wout van Aert signs contract extension to stay with Jumbo-Visma until 2024

We shared the rumours about this a couple of weeks back but this morning it's been confirmed...Wout van Aert has signed a new contract with Jumbo Visma to keep him with the Dutch squad until 2024. On the deal he said: "I really wanted to extend because I have become a lot better with this team. I think everyone has seen that I have made huge steps forward as a rider in recent years. I was always in shape when I needed to. I owe a lot to the team to be able to work towards my goals. The decision that I wanted to re-sign was was made pretty pretty quickly in my mind. We have become the best team in the world. It was best for me to stay."

Yesterday, Wout showed he's got some strong form ahead of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships next Saturday...He's flying... 

21 January 2021, 10:36 lines that aged well part one...
Dr Richard Freeman (picture credit Team Sky)

Lawyers for Dr Richard Freeman tried to have his tribunal adjourned so that he could help deliver the Covid mass vaccination programme...A reminder of news editor Simon MacMichael's opening line from a story about the case back in February 2019: 'Preliminary arguments mean case involving ex-Team Sky and British Cycling medic is bound to run over the 20 days allotted to it'. 701 days later...

21 January 2021, 10:10
Bernie bike memes
21 January 2021, 09:33
Movistar's The Least Expected Day returns for a second season

In an increasingly crowded pro cycling fly-on-the-wall documentary market, Movistar's The Least Expected day was one of the better ones from 2020. The first season aired on Netflix in the spring when cycling fans most needed their racing fix and showed unseen moments of the dysfunctional relationship between Movistar's GC leaders in 2019. Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa have moved on since then and it was one of the team's least successful seasons in recent memory with just one WorldTour win all year. Season two is coming this spring...

21 January 2021, 08:47
Conservative mayoral candidate asks Sadiq Khan to compensate taxi drivers over unlawful Streetspace ruling
streetspace for london cycle lanes pop-up infra - via TfL

Shaun Bailey has gone further than just supporting the High Court's ruling that Sadiq Khan's Streetspace initiative was unlawful — the Tory London mayoral candidate wants taxi drivers to be compensated. Responding to the ruling, Bailey tweeted: "@SadiqKhan will you apologise and compensate the taxi drivers who lost business during the pandemic due to the restrictions?"

Streetspace was first rolled out in London last summer and was introduced to transform London's streets to accommodate active travel better, but was challenged by the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association and the United Trade Action Group. The two groups argued the measures were unfair on taxi drivers and that taxis had failed to be distinguished from "general traffic". Bailey claims this led to lost business for which they should be compensated.

In her ruling Justice Lang said Khan and TfL "took advantage of the pandemic" to rush through "radical changes". The Interim Guidance to Boroughs was also quashed, which means TfL and the Mayor must "substantially" revise their plans. The guidance has led to many pop-up cycle lanes and LTNs being built. 

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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