GMB: Mike Graham slams new Highway Code cyclist rules
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Good Morning Britain presenters Susanna Reid and Ed Balls were joined by double world pursuit champion and former president of the cycling federation Tony Doyle and broadcaster Mike Graham to discuss their views on the new highway codes. Mike branded the rules as “madness” while Tony believed motorists have “no respect” for cyclists.
Kicking off the debate, Susanna said: “Controversial new road rules designed to keep cyclists safe are going to come into effect later on this week.”
Ed continued: “Previously road positions of cyclists were not mentioned at all in the highway code but now under new rules.
“Cyclists are advised to ride in the middle of the road; I think it’s actually the middle of the lane rather than the middle of the road.”
“Motorists have always been told to give cyclists plenty of room when overtaking, but from Saturday, drivers are told to leave a distance of at least one and a half meters,” Susanna explained.
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Ed added: “Cars have always had priority over pedestrians at junctions, but now drivers and cyclists about to turn must give way to pedestrians at the crossing or waiting to cross.”
Asked his thoughts on the new rules, Tony began: “I think you have misunderstood the proposal.
“They are not telling cyclists to ride in the middle of the road, but they are just saying when a cyclist is approaching the junction, that’s when they should be in the middle of the road.”
Susanna asked: “What is it like at the moment being a cyclist on our roads?” to which he replied: “Generally, it is better now than when I was a youngster myself.
“We have more people who cycle, more of the drivers actually ride a bike at weekends, and so compared to 30, 40 years ago, I think the roads are a bit safer.
“Even though there is more traffic, but of course, the trouble is people tend to leave everything to the last minute, and they dash around, and we all need just to calm down.”
Susanna pressed: “So if it’s safer and you think things are getting better and you generally have good relations with motorists, what is the need for the change to the code?”
He explained: “One of the problems is that motorists don’t allow enough room when they do overtake, so motorists need to slow down and give you more space when they do go past.”
Moving on to Mike, Ed asked: “So Mike did I misinterpret you when I said in the link that you think this is totally mad?”
Mike confirmed: “No, you are absolutely right it is completely mad because, unfortunately, most people behave well, most people who drive cars don’t hate cyclists.
“But the problem with these new rules is, it creates a lot of doubt for people so, for example, I spoke to a lawyer about this yesterday.
“If you are on a roundabout in a car and a cyclist wants to come onto the roundabout from one of the entrances, you have to stop in the middle of the roundabout and let the cyclist out.
“That surely is a recipe for disaster, Tony is not entirely right to say you’re not recommended to ride in the middle of the lane.
“They have actually said cyclists should if they wish to, cycle to slowly in front of cars, which could slow cars down,” he fumed.
Tony continued: “Let’s not forget we have spent hundreds of millions of pounds creating cycle lanes for cyclist to be able to ride safely in lots of parts of the country.
“They are now saying they want room back on the rest of the road that we are all squeezed onto, that’s why people are rushing around so much because congestion has increased.”
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV.
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