Jeremy Vine has called for a radical change in the urban traffic system that would see the banning of cars overtaking bicycles in big cities. The popular TV personality and avid cyclist also proposed that drivers pull over to allow cyclists to pass if they see them in their rear-view mirrors.
Vine, aged 58, who frequently uses X (formerly Twitter) to highlight the challenges faced by cyclists in London, suggested that the decrease in speed limits in cities and towns have reached a point where it is more practical for motorists to make way for cyclists, who are increasingly surpassing cars in terms of speed.
He told The Sunday Times: “I’m starting to think I want cars to pull over if they see me behind them because they know I’m faster.”
Data from the London Assembly reveals a notable decline in average traffic speeds in central London over the past decade, dropping from 8.7 mph to 7.1 mph between 2008 and 2018. Inner London experienced a shift from 12.5 mph to 11.6 mph during the same period, while outer London saw a decrease from 20.3 mph to 19.3 mph.
Vine’s daily commute covers two miles, travelling from the ITN building on Grays Inn Road in London, where he hosts a morning talk show for Channel 5, to Fitzrovia for his Radio 2 lunchtime program. He has consistently championed cyclist safety concerns in the bustling London traffic, even praising the safety provided by a newly implemented cycle lane near his residence earlier this year.
Vine said: “I can only speak from my own experience. The road feels a thousand times safer than it was with four lanes of cars. There are some issues with drivers who aren’t clear about where they need to give way, but I think that will settle down. If there’s been an increase in accidents, it’ll be because so many more people are cycling now.”
Vine also revealed that he has been banned by his wife, Rachel Schofield, from using their seven-seater Kia Carens for being too ‘safety-conscious’.