A Good Morning Britain presenter was accused of making a “cyclophobic” comment on air after he said cyclists “don’t do themselves any favours."
The ITV morning show on Thursday (May 20) featured a segment on the yoga teacher who was given a pay out after she walked in front of a cyclist while on her phone.
During the debate, which featured the co-founder of Stop Killing Cyclists Donnachadh McCarthy and Talkradio presenter Mike Graham, GMB host Ben Shephard said he sees cyclists in London disobey the law “a lot.”
Shephard said: “This is a big problem, because cyclists don’t do themselves any favours. Because of the proliferation of cycling, and we want more people cycling and we want to take cars off the road, cyclists don’t obey the laws of the road, which if you’re in a big city like London you see that happen a lot.”
Guest McCarthy then accused Shephard of making a “cyclophobic” comment.
The discussion was based around the news that yoga teacher Gemma Brushett was knocked unconscious after she stepped out into the road while looking at her phone was given a payout.
The judge ruled that Ms Brushett was 50 per cent responsible for the collision but still ordered cyclist Gemma Brushett to pay thousands of compensation.
During the GMB show, Shephard also said: “Enough accusations are thrown at cyclists for going through red lights. I’m sure [guest] Mike will be very keen to talk about the fact that cyclists don’t tend to obey the rules of the road."
Radio presenter Mike Graham was on the show to argue that rules for cyclists should be more strictly enforced.
On the collision between the yoga teacher and cyclist, he said: “I think one of the problems here is the speed at which the cyclist was going.”
He was then told that the cyclist was travelling at between 10 and 15mph, to which he said: “I don’t know how fast he was going because I haven’t seen that, but it’s pretty fast.
“If you’re hitting into somebody and you’re knocking yourself unconscious and you’re knocking them unconscious, then you’re going too fast. It’s as simple as that.
“If he had been driving a car and he’d hit somebody, he would also have been liable, even if she was reading from her phone.”
Graham also said: “I came here today in a taxi and I had a quick scientific poll of what all the cyclists were doing. Only one of them stopped at a red light. Everybody else was on the pavement, people were riding without helmets which they’re supposed to wear apparently.”
He was then told there is no legal requirement for cyclists to wear helmets, at which point he stopped talking.
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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