Wednesday, 8 April 2015
Defending myself from the cycling elite.
Keith Peat, Driver’s Union, Sutton on Sea, Lincolnshire
I hope that in my defence I may respond to a couple of remarks made about me in your last issue on the matter of cycling.
Sam Jones of the CTC, just one of many anti-driver charities that want drivers jailed for long periods after an accident, is a classic example of the cycle lobby who just want a one-way debate about road cycling. It’s the cycle lobby who actually thrives from ‘tribalism’ since it’s an equalising device that, until I point out that the emperor is naked, raises cyclists to the false level of an essential mode of transport.
I am a cyclist and a walker too. But when a committee of MPs considering the demands of this loud minority fails to even ask the reasonable question on behalf of all taxpayers and drivers, ‘Why must we have road cycling?’ and supported the demand for £650m a year for cyclists from a man whose name is on expensive bikes, then yes it is clear that the liberal elitists of London, including within The Times, need reining in. See it here
All I do, and no amount of character assassination can change this, is point out that without walkers and drivers we die, and without cyclists we don’t. Thus the false premise and the naked emperor.
As for choices, cycle if you must, just as I do, but don’t attack drivers and demand too much or people like me start to ask questions. I am merely defending the UK’s 35 million drivers from demands for their road space, their taxes, their prosecution and jail by asking why must we have cyclists? It should worry everyone that simply asking a valid question draws such vilification.
I have long been concerned about the very large number of people commenting on the life and death issue of road safety who have no background in the subject. If it were bungee jumping or free fall parachuting, we would defer to experts, wouldn’t we? There are far too many charities thriving from road safety, many with a green anti-driver ideology. Rod King of 20’s Plenty is just one example of these with no relevant CV and an agenda other than road safety. Incidentally, I did not suggest that road cycling should be banned, as he has informed your readers.
I see it as a duty to road safety and major infrastructure to draw ministers’ attention away from the anti-driver lobbyists of no CV. At the moment they are only responding to anti-driver amateurs, which cannot be healthy for decisions on essential infrastructure and road safety. I trust Mike Crowhurst will share my concern. Contrary to his comments, I do not attempt to “conscript” walkers to the drivers’ cause at all, I merely respond to the cycle lobby’s attempts to align their interests with walkers.
Whether Mike likes it or not, that society must have drivers and walkers is simply a matter of fact and walkers should see it as a compliment.