A councillor who dubbed sportive riders as “cycling Taliban” and joked about putting tacks on the road has dismissed his own comments as “a bit of banter”.
Independent Cllr Graham Down, of Monmouthshire County Council, made the comments about the Velothon Wales sportive, in which 12,000 people took part.
He asked on Twitter how to rid Monmouthshire of “pesky cyclists” before calling them the “cycling Taliban” and joking about throwing tacks on the road.
Video: Fixie rider crashes hard at Velothon Wales
In response to a warning about tacks being left on the road by “Velothon protestors” the day before the event, Cllr Down said “Nothing to do with me. Honestly! My bag of tacks is for 2mrw”.
During the 2015 Velothon Wales event one cyclist suffered cuts and bruises after tacks were sprinkled on the road. One person said Cllr Down’s comment was “threatening” and inappropriate for a councillor, while another responded by asking for his resignation.
In response to outrage on Twitter Cllr Down said: “Should I be surprised at the childish vitriol and bile from the Cycling Taliban? Probably not. Just proves I was right about them all along.” He then went on to list cycling misdemeanours he claims to see on a daily basis.
Cllr Down told the South Wales Argus: “I had a concern about the fact that the world is supposed to stand still for these cyclists,” he said.
“When I’ve been walking I’ve nearly been run over and on the roads cyclists in general don’t show a lot of consideration.
“As many of my councillors know I’m thick skinned and I will happily enter debate with anyone. It was just a bit of banter, a bit of fun that some people took the wrong way.”
However, cyclists felt differently, some are concerned the comments will stir up anti-cycling sentiment, while others say they are filing a complaint against the councillor.
Jason Dodd wrote: “Not only is it sad, but it deeply worries me that you have a position of authority. Your comments have been a disgrace.”
Monmouthshire County Council’s social media guidance advises employees to “show respect for all”.
It states: “You should be respectful of the authority and your fellow employees. Derogatory comments are always wrong.”
“You must make sure that what you say is factual and avoid unnecessary or unproductive arguments,” it adds.
Thanks for your input. I read the whole article all by myself, and noticed that.
Anger issues on the road? Downgrade 'em. Drivers lose driving privileges, cyclists can walk. Less punishment, more health and safety basics.
KE = 0.5 MV^2 shows that 30 has 2.25 times the energy to dissipate than 20.
Conspiracy by the Freemans (and their Clarks) - to sell us more shoes, innit? It's a battle for the soles of this once proud (checks) Bridgestone...
Exactly this. When I started cycling with the other half, it was shocking how much agression she received from motorists just by being there....
road.cc understands that footage of the incident was captured by a drone operator and that the driver has been reported to the police...
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Read as: profitable and delayed....
I bought this light after reading this review and it worked well for 2 or 3 months. I started to experience problems with the light running low...
It says she took up the sport aged 40 - six years ago - but I haven't been able to google how long ago she transitioned.