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Conservative MP Philip Davies accused of ‘massive prejudice against cyclists’ after ‘angry email tirade’ to his constituent questioning his ‘contradictory’ road safety views and license plates for cyclists’ position
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Conservative MP Philip Davies accused of ‘massive prejudice against cyclists’ after ‘angry email tirade’ to his constituent questioning his ‘contradictory’ road safety views and license plates for cyclists’ position

A cyclist in Bradford, frustrated by his MP’s views on cycling and road safety, reported receiving an ‘angry tirade’ from the politician, showing ‘crude prejudice’ against cyclists who had emailed him to discuss his stance on making the constituency’s roads safer and the current debate surrounding dangerous traffic. bicycle proposals.

Sir Philip Davies has been the MP for Shipley in Yorkshire since 2005. The Tory politician said earlier this month that cyclists should have registration numbers and number plates to “detect those causing trouble or flouting the rules of the road”. He has also written to Transport Minister Mark Harper asking him to implement the proposals and his Twitter/X feed includes numerous retweets from Harper communicating the government’s intention to introduce “dangerous cycling laws”. feed.

> ‘Dangerous Cycling Bill’ will not become law, after UK general election announced by Rishi Sunak

A road.cc reader challenged Davies on his cycling views, telling us that the constituency is “a bit of a road safety hell” and that he has “never been very impressed with Davies’ responses”. The recent comments about number plates for cyclists and the ‘enthusiastic’ support for ‘dangerous cycling proposals’ were the final push our reader needed to email his MP.


Philip Davies tweets

However, after several replies, much of which amounted to “an angry tirade”, the cyclist became frustrated by the MP’s refusal to “engage with the arguments and facts”, instead demonstrating “rough prejudices” and “completely misrepresent my position”.

In the first reply, Davies declines the offer to join our reader on a bike ride, concluding: ‘I’m not sure what the licensing issue would be if cyclists are all saints, as you seem to suggest. Maybe you just don’t. I want cyclists to be held accountable for their actions for one reason or another. If you don’t think anyone has been seriously injured as a result of an irresponsible cyclist, then I think it’s you who needs education and not me.”


Emails from Philip Davies

In response, our reader pointed out clearly that he does not, as Davies suggested, believe that “all cyclists are saints”, and accepted that cyclists can cause harm, then made the point that his argument “is about probability, magnitude and probabilities” where the “overwhelming danger is poor infrastructure and bad drivers.”

“There are three areas of frustration,” he later told us of the email exchange. “The first is that he ignores the overwhelming cause of danger, which is motor vehicle drivers. The danger of cyclists to pedestrians and of pedestrians to cyclists is completely insignificant in comparison and that is just a matter of clearly available statistics and basic physics.

“The second point is that I have had collisions with pedestrians running into the road and there is no protection for cyclists from dangerous pedestrians. I don’t think there should be much because I’ve suffered cuts and bruises, but it’s such a rare occurrence compared to the damage motor vehicles cause as a cyclist. Pedestrians doing dangerous things is not my biggest concern compared to motor vehicles, but statistically speaking you would find it quite difficult to say that cyclists are a greater danger to pedestrians than pedestrians are to cyclists. I think that was one of my points and he just refused to address it.

“My third frustration is with the tone of the emails, which I think was very aggressive. He repeatedly says, ‘I bet you think cyclists are all saints’ and I repeatedly said to him, ‘No, it’s obvious that some cyclists are dangerous idiots’ and he simply said: I do not accept that I recognize the danger of cyclists. He completely misrepresented my position and did not address what I said, and I felt that he was a very prejudiced view of cyclists: that they are all a threat, all of them. one is a danger and they can be studied and lumped together, so that’s why I try to defend these dangerous cyclists or something to say.


Emails from Philip Davies

In response to our reader’s latest email, Davies replied: “Maybe one day you’ll come to London and stand at the zebra crossing outside the House of Commons and count the number of cyclists going through red lights. I can tell you that now it will be easier to count the number who stop at a red light. However, you can still believe that all cyclists are wonderful people who are always wronged and never wrong.”

Once again our reader tried to reason with the MP, again accepting that there are people who cycle dangerously (just as there are “many dangerous drivers” and “dangerous pedestrians who step into the path of cyclists without looking”), but the We point out that statistics do not indicate that cyclists are a major cause of traffic danger.

“I really beg you to cycle through your constituency,” our reader told Davies. “Only then can you understand the implications of the anti-cyclist infrastructure and culture. I’ve been attacked, purposefully driven into, had things thrown out of vehicles, all for the ‘crime’ of being a cyclist. Only then will you avoid the (relatively small) dangers of pedestrians, and the enormous danger of vehicle drivers, and anti-cyclist culture.”

Davies replied: “I’m afraid we won’t agree on this, and based on the question and answer sessions I have with constituents, I’m afraid it looks like the majority of my constituents don’t agree with you either is.”

When talking to us about the email exchange, our reader concluded: “I think he has huge prejudices against cyclists, that he won’t engage with what cyclists say, that he won’t engage with the arguments and the facts . It really is. strange for him, because he is very fond of civil liberties and small states, but he really wants to introduce this kind of state dominance into the field of cycling.

“It doesn’t fit his worldview: small states with a light approach, less regulation, people should be free from government interference, and then he wants to micromanage cyclists, it seems a bit contradictory to him. It was honestly an angry rant and it’s not ‘let’s agree to disagree’, I think it was just raw prejudice.”

We contacted Davies, giving him the opportunity to further explain his views on cycling, but at the time of publication we had not received a response.