Drivers must reclaim the road if traffic is to flow smoothly so cyclists should only have a ‘narrow place’, lawyer Nick Freeman suggested. He is not anti-cyclist, though. He simply argued that there are far, far more drivers on the road so they must have priority. Motorists account for about 96% of traffic, he confirmed.
Mr Freeman told the Express: ‘I am not saying we should disbandon cycle lanes – but I suggest they have a place. It should be a very narrow place, ideally in a protected environment by a kerb or bollards. It does not have to be wide. They can cycle in single file. Let us hand the road back to motorists who urgently need it.’
The lawyer also suggested that there must be more emphasis on removing obstacles that make cars, vans, and lorries stop unnecessarily if traffic is to flow smoothly. ‘Let us get rid of everything that prevents traffic from flowing’, Mr Freeman emphasised. ‘I do not say at a vast speed but just at a constant steady flow. To do that you have to free up road space’, he stated.
He also argued that better traffic flow minimises a number of problems. Pollution, for instance. Why? Because vehicles that have a combustion engine and sit in traffic – yet barely move – still emit pollutants that damage the environment. Such pollution also causes numerous health issues. Breathing difficulties, for example.
Mr Freeman also said that better traffic flow is good for motorists’ mental health. It is stressful to be consistently delayed, after all. He also refereed to the ‘constant wear and tear’ to the road caused by stop-start traffic. There is the ‘cost to the economy’ too, he said. Why? Because lost time is lost money.
Make cyclists accountable
The lawyer added that cyclists should be identifiable rather than anonymous, so they are held to account. He argued: ‘It should be compulsory for every cyclist to wear a hi-vis jacket with a registration number (akin to a number plate). There should also be compulsory insurance and a points system for rule breakers. Sharing the road with motorists means sharing the law’, Mr Freeman claimed.
The lawyer then summarised his position. ‘People will still be allowed to cycle but they should have a place. It should be a small place because they represent a tiny minority. However, they are entitled to a space – in my view only – if they are properly regulated. We should be able to identify them’, Mr Freeman claimed.