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“Cyclists see themselves as the centre of the universe,” says actress Patricia Hodge in rant questioning why police “never” stop red light-jumping cyclists

“I can’t tell you how many continue to ride their bikes at speed, with mothers having to swiftly move their buggies out of the way,” the Miranda actress said in a recent interview after an alleged near miss with a “rude and dangerous” cyclist in London

After Dame Joan Collins last year called on London mayor Sadiq Khan to “do something” about cyclists “before the city is ruined”, Patricia Hodge has become the latest high-profile actress to launch a scathing rant about people cycling in the capital, claiming she gets “invariably screamed at” when she admonishes cyclists for “riding their bikes at speed”.

In a recent interview with Candis magazine, the Rumpole of the Bailey and Miranda star also questioned why cyclists jumping red lights or riding with no lights are rarely stopped by the police.

“I can’t tell you how many continue to ride their bikes at speed, with mothers having to swiftly move their buggies out of the way,” the 77-year-old, who lives in west London, near Hammersmith Bridge, said.

“These people see themselves as the centre of the universe and I think that’s very bad for society. I feel I have the right to say something. But when I do, I’m invariably screamed at.

“I always make sure, though, to point out that the only reason they’re angry is because they know I’m right.”

She continued: “And have you ever seen a policeman pulling a cyclist over because they don’t have any lights or because they’ve jumped the traffic lights?”

Hodge also told the magazine of one recent near-collision  with an especially “rude” and “dangerous” cyclist in the capital.

“I was crossing Portland Place in London recently, waiting on the central reservation for the lights to turn green,” she added.

“As I stepped off, a cyclist, a man in his 30s, went through the red lights and almost collided with me. But instead of apologising, he flicked me a rude sign.

“I just pointed at the green light for pedestrians and he called me the worst word in the English language. And when you get older, I think you have an obligation to speak out when things aren’t right.

“I won’t let anything go anymore. It worries me that manners are going out the window.”

> Joan Collins calls on Sadiq Khan to “do something” about dangerous cyclists before London “is ruined”

As noted above, the Jemima Shore Investigates actress’ anti-cycling rant – reported widely in the national press today – bears a striking resemblance to a similar diatribe posted on social media last year by Dame Joan Collins, after she was allegedly struck by a “masked cyclist with no lights” on the pavement in London on her way to dinner with Christopher Biggins.

 In an Instagram post, Collins said she was dropped off by a black cab driver and forced to walk to the restaurant Rules after discovering that Maiden Lane in Covent Garden was closed to traffic.

“However, that didn’t stop a masked cyclist with no lights and weaving on the pavement from crashing into me, almost knocking me over,” she wrote.

The actress then turned her attention to London mayor Sadiq Khan and called on the Labour politician to deal with what she believes to be the danger posed by cyclists, as well as the apparent inability to be dropped off at her destination by motor vehicle.

“How much longer must we live with closed roads and cyclists who consider themselves above the law?” she continued.

“Why don’t you do something, Sadiq Khan, before this beautiful city of London is ruined?”

In response to Collins’ post, a spokesperson for Khan said: “The mayor is committed to making London as safe as possible for both cyclists and pedestrians.

“Walking and cycling have boomed in the last couple of years and the mayor has built hundreds of kilometres of new or upgraded cycle routes since the pandemic, and completed work to make some of the capital’s most dangerous and intimidating junctions safer.

“The mayor encourages everyone using London’s roads to do so safely to help make London the best city in the world to walk and cycle.”

Between 2016 and 2021, 2,472 pedestrians were injured in collisions involving cyclists in the UK, accounting for just over two per cent of the total reported pedestrian casualties (122,961) in that period.

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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68 comments

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Cayo | 1 month ago
0 likes

Firstly, my heart bleeds for Ms Collins. Google Maps shows Rules restaurant is halfway along Maiden Lane and that it would take a whole minute to walk there from either end. Oh, the humanity!

There was a time Patricia Hodge was 'posh totty' but she's turned 'grumpy old woman'. That said, whenever I've been in London in the last 20 years, I've always been appalled by the standards of bike riding there. But then I've also been appalled at the standards of motor vehicle driving and pedestrian stupidity. So it's probably as unfair to single out those on human-powered two wheels there as anywhere else in the UK, and I couldn't begin to guess the percentage of bad road users in London compared to elsewhere.

It does make me relieved I live north of the border, even if I was a hit & run victim within a mile of home 3 years ago. Mind you, my only experience cycling outside Scotland has been 3 MTB rides and 2 road/path rides in Northern Ireland, so it was hardly a surprise it happened here.

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levestane | 1 month ago
2 likes

The universe has no centre, it is the same everywhere. 

https://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Relativity/GR/centre.html

 

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john_smith replied to levestane | 1 month ago
0 likes

Fascinating stuff.

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OldRidgeback | 1 month ago
3 likes

Oh dear, another celeb who hasn't bothered to check the DfT's crash statistics before mouthing off her Daily Mail type anti cycling comments...

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Owd Big 'Ead | 1 month ago
8 likes

I'd hazard a guess that the cyclists she encounters are Deliveroo/Uber Eats etc riders rather than the vast majority of law abiding riders.

Truth be told, they piss me off just as much as any minor celebrity would be too.

They are an utter menace that bring so much uneeded shite to every cyclists door with their mindless antics.

Unfortunately, motorists lump all bike riders together when forming their narrative when the reality is all together different.

I hope she enjoys her rant and 30 seconds of renewed "fame". Without quantifying her comments with a bit more detail, she adds absolutely nothing to the debate.

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don simon fbpe replied to Owd Big 'Ead | 1 month ago
9 likes

I often wonder whether the same people that criticise poor riding also demand that their burgers, pizzas or kebabs are delivered on time and piping hot.

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LeadenSkies replied to don simon fbpe | 1 month ago
7 likes

Very possibly. It's a common thing that people don't necessarily associate action 1 with the impact it might have on action 2, especially when the actions are disconnected in time and space and the impact is only a "might have". That isn't unique to complaining about cyclists.

Ever bought a second hand tool of any kind from a boot sale, market stall or fleabay? Any link to the epidemic of tools being stolen from work vans? Any link to the exorbitant price for tradesmen these days?

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old bod replied to don simon fbpe | 1 month ago
3 likes

dont understand why people cant get themselves down to the local takeaways on bikes i guess they are just plain lazy hence they eat takeaways

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chrisonabike replied to old bod | 1 month ago
5 likes

Perhaps we should be encouraging cycling in the following way: "can't be bothered to walk? Getting the car out / parking a faff? Save time and effort with a bike!"

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Surreyrider replied to don simon fbpe | 1 month ago
2 likes

Oh, most definitely. They'll also be the ones moaning about them congreagating in large numbers blocking roads or parking illegally in town. 

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don simon fbpe replied to Surreyrider | 1 month ago
7 likes

Indeed there were so many on the pavement outside my favourite take away that I couln't get the 4x4 safely off the road to allow traffic to flow and I had to switch the motor off while I waited my order, you know, for anti theft reasons (they look the sort I've read about in the Mail).

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froze | 1 month ago
0 likes

If cops aren't writing cyclists for running the red lights, and they see them do it, then that tells you that the city or state has some sort of law that ok's it. 

But I guarantee you that if I stopped at a red on my bike and didn't move and Joan was trying to turn right, she would be the first person to blow her horn to get me to go through the light!

Talk about a group of people who think they're the center of the universe, most actors and actresses think that way, and I'm sure Joan does. 

Being a cyclist I've seen other cyclists do some really stupid crap, and then after doing it flip someone off who they offended with their reckless actions. so I'm not going to stick up for all cyclists, but people like Joan are extremely uppity, they think they're special because they're actors and actresses and think they're the equivalent of being kings and queens and live that sort of lifestyle and expect everyone around them to treat them that way.  Well, I'm sorry, but I put my pants on the same way they do.

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Kieselguhr Kid | 1 month ago
6 likes

The irony here is that by saying this she's showing that she thinks motorists are the actual center of the universe.

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Rendel Harris | 1 month ago
10 likes

So these cyclists are riding through red lights or along the pavement at dangerously high speeds but she apparently manages, as a presumably fairly static pedestrian, to have prolonged interactions with them whilst they are doing so? Interesting.

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chrisonabike replied to Rendel Harris | 1 month ago
3 likes

Well obviously they're in such a hurry they have to stop for 5 minutes and have it out with anyone they think has momentarily impeded them, just like a few bad drivers...

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don simon fbpe | 1 month ago
5 likes

Didn't she used to have a career?

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gnarlyrider replied to don simon fbpe | 1 month ago
2 likes

a self important one maybe

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eburtthebike | 1 month ago
4 likes

“These people see themselves as the centre of the universe and I think that’s very bad for society. I feel I have the right to say something. But when I do, I’m invariably screamed at.

“I always make sure, though, to point out that the only reason they’re angry is because they know I’m right.”

She means drivers of course.  Or does she absolve them of all blame because they are in a car, and she drives cars and doesn't ride a bike?  I think getting her to ride for an hour around any major city might just achieve a change of attitude.

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kittybag | 1 month ago
16 likes

I might be more inclined to pay some credence to these whinging celebs if they ever made similar comments about the many more inconsiderate, dangerous, and law-breaking motorists in London. But I suspect the problem is they spend all their time travelling around in taxis, listening to black-cab drivers most of whom, as we know, have a pathological hatred of anyone on two-wheels. 

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chrisonabike replied to kittybag | 1 month ago
4 likes

Saw Whinging Celebs at the Hebden Bridge Trades Club back in the day!  Where are they now?

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pockstone replied to chrisonabike | 1 month ago
1 like

Sadly still touring, and louder than ever.

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lonpfrb replied to kittybag | 1 month ago
0 likes
kittybag wrote:

. But I suspect the problem is they spend all their time travelling around in taxis, listening to black-cab drivers most of whom, as we know, have a pathological hatred of anyone on two-wheels.

In 3.5 years of cycling to work in central London I was only put at risk by 2 black cabs and no buses. So based on what people do rather than say, it seems that black cabs are overwhelmingly driven professionally with due consideration of vulnerable road users.
Uber and minicabs are different and my experience of them was the exact opposite. Addison Lee especially.

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leaway2 | 1 month ago
6 likes

If the road was closed, what was she doing on it? Ah she probably means closed to cars. Cars never hurt anyone, do they.

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MTB Refugee | 1 month ago
14 likes

Just rode into town and back, 10 minutes each way. I witnessed 4 cars go through very red lights and not a single one of the drivers was arrested. Didn't see a single cyclist go through a red light (in truth only saw 5-6 cyclists). So what the f**k is the old trout whinging about?

I’d be delighted if every cyclist and driver going through a red light was fined/prosecuted, but that’s never going to happen.

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mitsky replied to MTB Refugee | 1 month ago
8 likes

" I witnessed 4 DRIVERS go through very red lights..."
http://rc-rg.com

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timscottellis | 1 month ago
23 likes

I once came across a very rude actor, absolutely no manners and an incredible sense of entitelment.  Obviously, just like all actors and I have never been to the theatre since.

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ubercurmudgeon | 1 month ago
12 likes

Minor celebrities who focus on bad cyclists and ignore bad car drivers do so because they use cars, so price-in their negative effects as just a part of modern life. We cyclists focus on bad car drivers and ignore bad cyclists because we use bicycles. These are understandable biases for private individuals. But journalists (and politicians) should focus on statistics to determine what is the real danger before publishing anecdotal accounts as attacks on entire subgroups. They should, but won't. I'd say maybe when hacks who work for the likes of Candis magazine are replaced with AIs things will improve, but the AIs are being trained to replicate their lazy, phoned-in efforts.

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belugabob replied to ubercurmudgeon | 1 month ago
5 likes

You may do that, but I fully accept that some cyclists do stupid stuff, and I will criticise them for it.
I can relate to the complaints that people (celebs, or not) make, but am frustrated by their tendency to see the cyclists misbehaviour whilst failing totally, to see that it's all types of road users.
It's just "othering" - to put it politely

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marmotte27 replied to belugabob | 1 month ago
0 likes

That's what makes it so problematic.

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Jem PT | 1 month ago
8 likes

She's an actress - she makes things up for a living. Next!

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