Top QC Blasts The Times’ Cycling Campaign

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By Alex Aldridge on

Cycling-mad barrister Martin Porter QC has rounded on a safe cycling campaign launched by The Times in response to a serious injury suffered by one of its reporters.

Porter (pictured), who was recently in the news for helping to get a motorist convicted for abusing him while on his bike, has “concerns about the way in which The Times campaign may head.”

Writing on his blog, ‘The Cycling Lawyer’, the saddle-addicted silk made his point by drawing attention to an article in last week’s Sunday Times arguing that bicycles should be banned from main roads – despite the fact that the Sunday Times is a separate newspaper to The Times. Porter was on safer ground when he cited his alarm at two articles about cyclists that appeared in The Times itself a few years ago.

One, written by columnist Matthew Parris in 2007, bears the headline: “What’s smug and deserves to be decapitated?”

In it, Parris suggests: “A festive custom we could do worse than foster would be stringing piano wire across country lanes to decapitate cyclists.”

As the blogger Freewheeler reports, this custom has since been tried out in Wigan, with some success.

In another Times piece, Eleanor Mills labels bike lovers like Porter “a bandit tribe who blithely ignore the usual laws of the road.” She adds that “some are total idiots.”

In a parting shot, Porter urged his readers to “discard The Times Guide to Safe Cycling, if you got it last Saturday, and replace it with British Cycling’s Effective Traffic Riding.”