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Sky presenter claims cyclists ‘don’t fit on inner city thoroughfares’

Peter Stuart
11 Aug 2017

Sky News Editor-at-Large Adam Boulton reacts to Putney jogger incident with claim that cyclists should ‘find a park or track'

Adam Boulton, Sky News editor-at-large and presenter of Sky programme All Out Politics, has tweeted about the lack of space in inner city roads, in the wake of an alleged assault of a pedestrian by a jogger in Putney on 5th May coming to public attention.

Reacting to the pushing of the pedestrian into the path of a bus, Boulton claimed that ‘joggers and cyclists don’t fit on inner city thoroughfares,’ and added, ‘Find a park or track.’

Boulton was challenged by many on Twitter, including cycling presenter Ned Boulting, and reacted with a tweet claiming that ‘Inner city cyclists and joggers routinely treat others (pedestrians & motorists) inconsiderately. Lycra does not superheroes make.’

He also reacted to a challenge that cars create more congestion with the suggestion that ‘Cars have roads to go on. VED etc.’

The implication appeared to be that motorists pay for the construction and maintenance of roads, and so roads were provided more specifically for cars than cyclists.

VED refers to Vehicle Excise Duty, which is often referred to as 'Road Tax'. Road construction is generally paid for out of general taxation, and VED is calculated by the emissions of a vehicle.

As such, electric cars pay no VED. If included within the remit of this class of tax, cyclists would also pay nothing.

He qualified his statements with a further tweet, claiming ‘I just think we should treat each other with consideration rather than assert our rights to the detriment of others.’

He did not directly retract his claim that cyclists do not fit on inner city thoroughfares.

Sky News is part of Sky plc, which is not only the title sponsor of Team Sky, but technically the owner of the team, which is Britain's most successful cycling team in history.

The team is technically owned by Tour Racing Limited, a holding company owned by Sky plc. 

The incident of the jogger and pedestrian in Putney is being investigated as an assault. No cyclist was involved in the incident or pictures in the accompanying video at any time.

Update - 14/8/2017

In response to a tweet referencing our article, Adam Boulton clarified his position - claiming that 'adult cyclists should be tested, licensed and taxed like other road users.'

In our interview with Andrew Gilligan, he described encountering such rhetoric as cycling commissioner under Boris Johson, claiming it would seriously impact engagement in cycling.

In addition, as VED is an emissions based tax, cyclists would have to pay a tax rate £0 per year if they were included in such a scheme.

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