I'm used to politicians saying things that I think are bonkers, but I was more startled than normal last week to hear Chris Grayling, the transport secretary no less, say that cyclists do not count as road users. This is despite the status of "bicycles, tricycles, velocipedes" being recognised as road users in the 1888 Local Government Act.
Given that many people are already too scared to cycle, a transport secretary this ignorant is not going to make it better. I've never quite understood the hatred that some drivers hold for cyclists. OK, there are some madcap cyclists who don't stick to the highway code. But there are also plenty of drivers who don't either. For example, hardly any of the cars going through Sidbury village stick to the speed limit. Many too many also overtake cyclists on the blind bends between Sidbury and Sidford. I always wonder if their hearts are in their mouths as they are on the wrong side of the road and can't see if it's clear. Mine always is as they pass me.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could all recognise each others right to be on the road, and treat others as we'd like to be treated ourselves. That way more people might get on their bikes for the shortest journeys, and we'd have fitter, healthier people, and less noise and pollution. What's not to like?!
Photo: Tejvan Pettinger