Jeremy Vine: "I see up to 40 motoring offences each morning when cycling to work"
Jeremy Vine, presenter of his own eponymous BBC Radio 2 show, has shared his views on cycling in a meeting with the London Assembly Transport Committee. The committee met to discuss public attitude to cycling, and the direction of the capital's cycling infrastructure.
Vine was famously on the receiving end of road rage in August 2016 while cycling in west London. Hammersmith magistrates court found motorist Shanique Pearson guilty of using threatening or abusive behaviour and driving without reasonable consideration in the incident, which Vine caught on camera and uploaded to Facebook.
Talking to the committee, Vine commented that he cycles daily as exercise, but finds that cyclists often come into conflict with drivers in London. Although holding up the Netherlands as an example of a place where drivers share space with cyclists well, he conceded that London isn't necessarily as bad as places like Madrid.
Among the reasons for relatively poor experiences in London, Vine cited the lack of dedicated cycling routes, forcing cyclists and powered road vehicles to share the same space. He routinely films incidents while he is cycling, and claims that in any one of his 13-mile commutes he can see up to 40 incidents, including situations where drivers overtake without leaving sufficient room.
Referring to the road rage incident with Pearson, Vine noted that around half of the 3,000 comments left for his video gave some blame to him. He revealed that the leading complaint was that he "shouldn't even have been there because I didn't pay tax or insurance on a car" said Mr Vine – although he does own and tax a car, and Pearson was also convicted of driving an unlicensed vehicle.
With regards to his own experiences, Vine also noted that he doesn't let his daughters cycle in the capital due to the danger involved.
Commenting that he didn't wish to denigrate drivers, Vine told the committee that he believed some drivers just don't like cyclists, and referred to Top Gear presenter Matt Le Blanc's comments about tapping the horn when cyclists hold him up: "Apparently I'm not allowed to cycle in front of Matt Le Blanc either!"
Vine also noted that cyclists bear a responsibility to adhere to the law too. He referred to those who ignore red traffic lights, and criticised cyclist Charlie Alliston who was convicted of causing bodily harm by wanton and furious driving when he struck and killed a mother-of-two.
By Andrew Evans