Tuesday, March 7th 2017 at 11:45AM GMT
Sir Greg Knight is the latest Tory MP to claim that it’s not motor vehicles which cause air pollution, but cycleways. In a parliamentary debate yesterday, the Yorkshire MP said:
“Is there not a case … for making local authorities take into account the congestion effects of their crusade to remove road space in favour of wider pavements and more cycle lanes? [Pollution] is going up because pavements have got wider and road space is being turned over to cycle lanes. If [the Mayor of London] wishes to reduce air pollution, he and others need to take care when they are seeking to remove highway lanes.”
Knight has previously opposed 20-mph speed limits, higher parking charges and pedestrian zones.
The MP, whom the Daily Mail has described as a “petrolhead”, is chair of the all-party parliamentary historic vehicles group (I wonder if he knows cars wouldn’t exist without bicycles?) and the owner of a number of historic vehicles, including a 1972 Jensen Interceptor. This British classic has a 7.2 litre engine and is famously thirsty for petrol, and quite the polluter.
Another Tory MP to have owned an Interceptor – and who, perhaps, wasn’t too keen on cyclists – is the Tory grandee Lord Carrington. Some years ago, the former foreign secretary said: “I remember once going up the M1 in my Jensen when I was a minister, and the police, I’m sorry to say, were unable to catch me. However, at the end of the M1 [there was] a policeman on a bicycle who said ‘I don’t know why they want you, but come with me.’”