Ian Macgill, editor of the Grapevine magazine, which is delivered free to 23,000 homes in Sheffield each month, wrote an editorial that implied razor wire across pavements might deter cyclists.
The original article recounted a conversation between Macgill, and an “old chum Mr Smith” in which the latter called for wire to be introduced at head height, so pavement riders are “taught a lesson.”
In what is presumably meant to be a 'humorous' editorial, Macgill expressed reservations about the idea touted by “Mr Smith” and said his companion had eventually calmed down and agreed that his plan was a bit too radical.
The editorial ended with the line: “if you lop the heads off cyclists our pavements will become covered in red slime and gore which raises all kinds of health and safety concerns.”
Sheffield daily newspaper The Star subsequently published a reaction piece from the city’s cycling community, in which Macgill was accused of “legitimising hatred” against cyclists.
Sheffield-based cycling blogger Chris Maloney told The Star: “This kind of comment – joking or otherwise – legitimises the anti-cyclist hatred and rhetoric that groups like Ride Sheffield, Peak District MTB and me – as well as others such as CycleSheffield have worked hard – successfully I might add – to combat.
“And more than that, as well as legitimising the bile, Macgill has gone one step further and suggested ways in which an easily led idiot could cause serious bodily harm.”
In May of this year a cyclist in Swansea described how he came off his bike after riding into a fishing line stretched across a popular cycle route – and warned that had a child ridden into it, the consequences could have been much more serious.
Instead of apologising Macgill confirmed his position and told The Star: “Here’s what to do – reproduce my July editor’s article and ask for your readers’ comments regarding cyclists using Sheffield pavements as racetracks.
“Then send out a snapper to see how many of these idiots can be photographed in a couple of hours.
"Name and shame them, especially those with a camera on the helmet. In (the) olden days, cyclists dismounted when passing through pedestrian areas.”
According to The Star, the controversy comes as figures revealed hundreds of cyclists have been injured and some killed on Sheffield’s roads over the past decade.
The figures from South Yorkshire Police showed a total of 1,445 cyclist casualties – including three deaths, 314 serious casualties and 1,128 slight injuries – had happened within the last 10 years.