Jeremy Vine has made the case for drivers being told not to overtake cyclists in major cities, adding that he would like to see motorists pull over if they see him behind them "because they know I'm faster".
In comments made to the Sunday Times, the BBC and Channel 5 broadcaster and presenter outlined his views on urban cycling, covering overtaking, dangerous driving, infrastructure, the frustration of motorists, recording close passes and more, starting by saying he used to be "anti-cyclist" before he started commuting by bicycle, but is now a "totally paid-up member of the cycling fraternity because I just found it wonderful".
The part of the interview that will make the headlines is Vine saying he believes "we shouldn't allow any overtaking of bicycles in big cities".
"That's one step. And I'm starting to think I want cars to pull over if they see me behind them because they know I'm faster," he added. "You look at it from their point of view: they bought this vehicle that they saw advertised speeding around a mountain at 120 miles an hour, and they can only move at seven. And they can't accept the fact that cyclists are faster."
Vine, an outspoken proponent for safe cycling infrastructure, also said that proper segregation is crucial, telling the newspaper that "painting a lane just doesn't work".
"Drivers ignore it. They sit in it, they park in it, they veer into it. We need to have segregated lanes, and there just aren't enough of them. There are 15,000km of roads in London and 175km have a segregated cycle lane, so we're nowhere near having as many segregated lanes as we need," he continued, pointing out that he believes many more people would cycle if they were not forced into frightening situations with dangerous drivers.
"At the moment, they think: 'No way am I putting my life in the hands of some van driver who's been up until two in the morning taking drugs' or whatever. They just don't like the odds. At some point they'll realise the odds have shifted in their favour and they'll start cycling.
"My wife has told me I'm not allowed to drive any more because I drive too slowly. This is a very unusual situation in a marriage. And the reason I drive so slowly is that I'm suddenly so aware of the danger of two tonnes of metal that will go at 60mph if I just touch my right foot.
"The thing that makes the roads dangerous isn't even the cars, it's the driver's mind. And drivers, a lot of them, are still in the 1970s. They still believe they literally own the road. So we get this stuff about 'We were here first' or 'We pay tax and you don't'. And until we change that mindset, we haven't got a chance."
The Vine on 5 host also spoke about camera cyclists recording footage of bad drivers, topical given this week's comments from Nick 'Mr Loophole' Freeman — the lawyer who specialises in defending celebrities in court for their traffic-related cases, often by using legal technicalities.
Freeman spoke about CyclingMikey, real name Mike van Erp's reporting of motorists using their phone behind the wheel, accusing the cyclist of making an "industry" of submitting footage and sharing it on social media.
"Using a mobile phone in a car is dangerous and it is right that it's prohibited. But I don't think we want to live in a snitch society. I'm not saying the public don't have a role to play but, really, isn't that the role of the police?" Freeman asked.
Speaking on the matter, Vine said he had reported "between 40 or 50" videos to the Metropolitan Police website himself and called CyclingMikey a "brave guy".
"He sent me [a video] and said, 'What do you think of this? I'll put it on my YouTube, but you put it on your Twitter.' And I think the last time I looked it was at 18 million views, so it's the most viewed thing I've ever put out. And it's not even mine. It's infuriating."
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.