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Transport Minister Enrages Cycling Community

21 Oct 2015, 2:44 PM

Transport secretary Chris Grayling has sparked outrage by implying that cyclists don’t count as road users.

In an interview with London’s Evening Standard newspaper, the Epson and Ewell MP said: “I don’t think all cycle lanes in London have been designed as well as they should have been.

“There are places where they perhaps cause too much of a problem for road users and they could have been designed in a smarter way.”

James Pritchard, of Macks Solicitors, was left perplexed by the minister’s comments. “Cyclists most certainly do count as road users because riding on the pavement is illegal,” he said.

“I can only hope that what the Secretary of State for Transport said doesn’t further inflame tensions between cyclists and drivers who often find themselves competing for space on our congested roads.

“I’ve had to deal with some shocking cases where cyclists were not respected on the road. However, I know that the majority of drivers treat cyclists properly and with care.

“Cycling is a great way to keep fit and reduces your carbon footprint, making it an activity that politicians of all side should be going out of their way to encourage, not to disparage in the way Mr Grayling appears to have done.”

The comments prompted a furious response from pressure groups and cyclists.

Former Olympian Chris Boardman invited Mr Grayling to join him for a ride together so he could show the minister the poor condition of the country’s infrastructure for cyclists.

Mr Grayling hit the headlines last month when he knocked cyclist Jaiqi Liu off his bike by opening his car door on him just yards from the Houses of Parliament.

Although the minister stopped and spoke to Mr Liu before shaking his hand, he was criticised for failing to leave his details with the injured victim.

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