Former transport minister David Jamieson today called transport secretary Chris Grayling "clumsy" for his ill-judged words in parliament yesterday on cyclists as apparent non-road-users.
Jamieson, a former Labour minister and who was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of Transport until 2005, is now the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner. The West Midlands police force is the most active police force in the country on trying to stamp out "close passes" of cyclists.
Last month Grayling was caught on camera dooring a cyclist; yesterday when challenged about this in the House of Commons he showed his ignorance over the legal definitions of road users.
In a December interview with the Evening Standard, the Minister of State for Transport seemed to deny that cyclists were road users.
“I don’t think all the cycle lanes in London have been designed as well as they should have been," said Grayling.
“There are places where they perhaps cause too much of a problem for road users …"
He should have said "motorists" not "road users". And his ignorance was highlighted yesterday when he said: “Where you have cycle lanes, cyclists are the users of cycle lanes, and there is a road alongside, motorists are the users of the roads."
"Mr Grayling’s comment was ill-informed and undermines the mutual respect all road users should have for each other to ensure our roads are safe," said Jamieson.
"There is no place for attitudes such as Mr Grayling’s, who has, in one clumsy comment, disregarded the safety of the millions of cyclists who regularly use our roads."