January 14 2017
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.