Grayling’s belief that cyclists aren’t ‘road users’ is more proof of Tory ignorance

It looks like a rat and acts like one, but it is in fact Transport Secretary Chris Grayling [Image: Getty].

You can’t say Chris Grayling is out of touch because the bruises on the cyclist may tell a different story!

Nevertheless, the Tory Transport Secretary has managed to plant his foot firmly in his mouth – yet again! – with the astonishing claim that cyclists are not “road users”, only weeks after he knocked one down while getting out of his expensive ministerial car.

Mr Grayling had given an interview in the Evening Standard in which he had said “cycle lanes cause problems for road users”, so in Transport Questions in the House of Commons, Labour MP Daniel Zeichner tackled him on it, asking: “I was wondering if he could clarify for the house exactly who he thinks road users are?”

Here’s the response: “Where you have cycle lanes, cyclists are the users of cycle lanes and the road users are the users of the road. It’s very simple.”

Not really, Mr Grayling! Cycle lanes are part of the roads, and cyclists are just as much road users as motorists or – for that matter – people on horseback or in horse-drawn coaches!

But never fear! Here’s Olympic cycling legend Chris Boardman, who took Gold in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, to explain.

Mr Boardman, a policy advisor for British cycling, said he was “embarrassed” by Mr Grayling’s claim.

“The Transport Secretary’s comments demonstrate an astonishing lack of knowledge about how seven million people regularly use the roads in this country,” he explained.

“I feel embarrassed for him. If he truly thinks the roads are not for cyclists then what am I paying my taxes for?”

Mr Boardman added that cycling was at “crisis point” and segregated lanes were “incredible rare”, and it was going to be “impossible to meet government targets on a diminishing budget of less than £1 per head.

“This is in stark contrast to the Netherlands and Denmark where more than £20 per head is spent.

“If there was ever anyone who needed to actually get on a bike and hear about the true state of cycling infrastructure, it is Chris Grayling and I’d be delighted to go on a ride with him.”

Underpinning all of this is the frankly staggering fact that Mr Grayling is the UK’s Secretary of State for Transport. He should know all this!

He should understand that cycling is in crisis because his policies are causing the crisis!

But then, when Mr Grayling knocked over cyclist Jaiqi Liu, he didn’t even know enough to realise he had been in a road accident and needed to hand over his contact details to the injured party.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said neither party asked for the other’s details and the matter had been settled amicably since – but that’s not the point.

As Transport Secretary, Mr Grayling should have known what to do. How long must the UK put up with the ignorance of the Tories?

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:


12 thoughts on “Grayling’s belief that cyclists aren’t ‘road users’ is more proof of Tory ignorance

  1. Dez

    Obviously, like his colleagues, he needs to get out more and mingle with the plebs so that he can understand the population that he is supposed to represent….NOT

  2. NMac

    Clearly Grayling isn’t the brightest spark in what appears to be a government of thickies, but then one doesn’t have to have intelligence to rise to power in the Tory Party, just pots of money.

  3. joanna

    Where I live, most cyclists ride on the pavement, I have been bumped into, numerous times because I refuse to get out of the way of them. reporting them to to the police is useless!!

    Cyclists Should be classed as road users though!

    1. Bill Sutton

      Think of it it like this, when on a road, a cyclist is a “road user” when on a pavement, a cyclist is a pedestrian. Note the word “pedal” denoting the use of the foot for propulsion. To stand in the way of a moving cyclist is pure spite. Do you do the same with joggers and disabled people in wheelchairs? no of course not. You deserve to be bumped into madame, and one day you may live to regret it.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        No – cyclists don’t have any right to be on the pavement; joggers and wheelchair-users do.

      2. Neilth

        If they are off the cycle, on foot and pushing it on the pavement then they are a pedestrian, though possibly an inconsiderate one as pedals can catch people’s ankles. If they are riding the bike on the pavement they are breaking the rules of the Highway Code.

  4. Neilth

    Wasn’t there an article in the Guardian this week about the number of hit and run accidents and how it’s illegal not to stop and give details etc. This is in connection to the 2 little girls who were killed the other day. But there are apparently hundreds of people who just drive off after being involved in the most horrendous accidents. Allegedly many of them don’t know the law. This should be no surprise if even the Transport Secretary doesn’t know the law either, how can we lesser mortals be expected to be better informed?

  5. mohandeer

    Foot paths are for pedestrians and cycling on them is illegal so where does Mr. Grayling think the majority of cyclist cycle?
    Who the hell put some a brain dead individual in charge of transport ffs?

  6. Stu

    It’s the typical Tory “Us and Them” divisionist attitude.

    “We own the road because we pay for it and they don’t”
    That’s the same self centred attitude that’s fed the media labels of Benefit Scounger, Scrounging Immigrants, Brexit troublemakers, Trotsky Corbyn etc…

    This whole thing goes a lot deeper that just dehumanising cyclists.

  7. toocomplex4justice

    I would be surprised if he even new the Highway Code.
    Do these ministers and secretary’s not have a responsibility to at least have an understanding of what they are supposed to be working on and supposedly improving? If not could they not find themselves responsible if there was a disaster due to some error that they should have made sure was avoided?

    When the Marchioness sank the owner of the company was held responsible despite just being some rich bloke who had bought the business and didn’t expect he needed to know about boats and tides but he was subject to corporate accountability.

    Should Grayling not be held responsible for deaths caused by stupidly placed cycle lanes like the one on Vauxhall bridge, and pedestrians being run over by buses at elephant and castle suicide crossings? and therefore shouldn’t the current minister for work and pensions be accountable for deaths caused by the DWP? Or do these jobs for the boys only require the collection of large wads of wages and sitting on ones arse looking important?

  8. NMac

    Is this man being prosecuted under the Road Traffic Act for his carelessness in knocking the cyclist of his bike?

Comments are closed.