Former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson says Jeremy Vine was ‘selfish’ for cycling down the middle of the road in the moments before he was verbally abused by a driver.
Vine, a BBC broadcaster, recorded his altercation with the motorist last week after she drove close to his rear wheel on the one-way street, which had cars parked down both sides.
The Radio 2 presenter took the position to stay out of the ‘door zone’ and to prevent motorists from attempting a close pass, but Clarkson said Vine’s position was “deliberately blocking the cars in his wake”.
Writing in his column in The Sun, Clarkson said: “He can be seen cycling down the middle of the road, deliberately blocking the cars in his wake, and when one gets too close he stops — still in the middle of the road — so he can record the woman driver’s foul-mouthed tirade.
“The message is clear. He’s been verbally assaulted while on a noble quest to save the polar bear.”
He added: “But hang on a minute, Vine. How did you know that the woman in the car behind wasn’t rushing to see her injured child in hospital? How did you know there wasn’t a pregnant girl on the back seat who was about to give birth.
“Can you imagine how frustrating it would be to be stuck behind a sanctimonious cyclist when you really are in a genuine, tearing hurry?
“Of course, it is not illegal to cycle slowly down the middle of a narrow street. But it is selfish and annoying for everyone else.”
Of course, Clarkson is paid to give controversial opinions in his newspaper column and Vine took it all in good humour.
“I love Clarkson and I laughed all the way through his brilliant column,” he told the Evening Standard.
“Obviously I didn’t hold the lady up – after her violent reaction I let her pass, and, sure enough, caught up with her at the next lights.
“I live in hope that one day road users can all co-exist without this sort of thing.”