New Channel 5 show ‘Cyclists: The scourge of our streets?’ sparks outrage

The makers claim the programme is ‘an unfiltered look at both sides of the fence’

Cyclists wait at a red light in London (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A new Channel 5 show that asks if cyclists are “the scourge of the streets” has come under fire.

Makers of the hour-long one-off programme say they have spoken to drivers and cyclists to tell the story of “the turf war for Britain’s road.”

‘Cyclists: The scourge of our streets?,’ which airs on Tuesday night (July 9), has caused outrage among cyclists who have accused the makers of inciting aggression on the roads.

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In a statement, the makers of the new show said: “The big bike boom has caused a mighty backlash from hacked off motorists who see cyclists as rule-breaking know-it-alls, who freewheel all over our cities, hog road space and don’t have to adhere to the same laws as everyone else. But motorists themselves have a lot to answer for – when it comes to causing serious harm on the roads, it’s drivers who are mainly to blame.

“Tensions between two and four wheels have never been more fraught. We’re saddling up and belting up with riders and drivers from across the UK to tell the story of the turf war for Britain’s roads.

“This is an unfiltered look at both sides of the fence.”

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The show features London cabbies and Surrey residents who apparently “no longer feel safe to drive on the local roads,” cyclists and police targeting law-breaking drivers.

One cyclist who has weighed in on the debate is Michael Rammell, who recently spoke of the mental scars he suffered after he was knocked off his bike by a driver at a junction.

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Rammell said on Twitter: “ I appreciate that the title of the programme was always going to be inflammatory to attract all parties, but we need to understand just how damaging this programme is for all.

“This will stoke the flames of aggression, possibly in both directions. We’re all road users and need to simply get along.”

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Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

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.