Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has been accused of failing to understand basic rules of the road after it emerged he failed to leave his details with a cyclist who he knocked over with a car door because “no one asked for them”.
In an admission of the “unfortunate accident” on October 12 last year, transport minister Andrew Jones said his boss, Mr Grayling, did not exchange his name and contact number with the victim – which is customary in road accidents - as “no details were requested at the time by either party”.
Mr Jones said the Tory minister “got out of the car, checked the cyclist was okay and waited until he was back on his feet".
“He spoke to the cyclist and apologised; they shook hands," he said.
“The Secretary of State has since been in contact with the cyclist and the matter is closed.”
However, cycling campaigners seized on the admission as evidence that the Tory minister failed to grasp the “basic issue” of exchanging details after a road accident.
Simon Munk, infrastructure campaigner at the London Cycling Campaign, said: “The law is very clear – in a collision you stop, exchange details and wait for the police if necessary.
“That the Transport Secretary appears not to understand this basic issue, let alone how important cycling and funding cycling is, should be of major concern to anyone who wants a healthier, better Britain.”
Video obtained by The Guardian last October showed the Tory minister “dooring” a member of the public as the cyclist filtered along the inside lane of traffic outside Parliament.
Mr Grayling was seen opening his door into the person cycling as the minister tried to leave a black car that was stuck in traffic in Parliament Square.
He was then shown walking over to check whether the person was injured before speaking with him.
After the incident he faced calls to resign and Cycling UK said there were “questions about why Mr Grayling has not been prosecuted”.
The former chair of the MPs’ cross-party cycling group, Ian Austin, said it would not be appropriate for Mr Grayling to stay as the minister in charge of cycling.
The Labour MP, who wrote to the Department for Transport to ask why no details were exchanged after the incident, said last year: “Opening a car door in a way that injures someone is an offence and can result in serious injury and even death.
“Despite this, Mr Grayling didn’t even provide his details so he could pay for the damage.
“Anyone can make a mistake, but I don’t think you can have a Secretary of State who has injured another road user, could have committed an offence and failed even to provide his details afterwards.”
Mr Grayling – who does not cycle - has previously complained about badly designed cycle lanes.
In December, the Transport Secretary said: “I don’t think all the cycle lanes in London have been designed as well as they should have been.
“There are places where they [perhaps cause too much of a problem for road users and they could have been designed in a smarter way.”Reuse content