Following on from the fairly negative report in Channel 4’s Dispatches program on Monday, and the resignation under dubious circumstances of one of his colleagues yesterday – comes a report that he is promoting a parliamentary bill which would make it harder to use bicycles in London.
The new bill in UKâ€™s parliament would give Transport for London and the cityâ€™s 33 councils the power to seize bicycles without warning if they’re parked outside specific bike parking areas. This would include bikes chained to railings or lampposts.
Now, I do actually think that clamping down on people who “dump” their bicycle in the middle of a pavement by strapping it to a lamppost deserve to have their bike removed as a lesson in good manners – but equally, the councils need to provide a sensible quantity of official parking spaces, and be a bit more lenient when people park their bike in a place which is not causing a public nuisance.
I’d much rather they stopped shops half blocking the pavements with their signs and shopfront creep – which ironically is what the new law was originally designed for. But just as the shops try to creep onto the pavements, this new law seems to have crept up to include bicycles in its remit.
A bicycle inappropriately parked is (usually) a temporary nuisance – a shop putting out an A-Board every single day is a permanent nuisance.