JEREMY Clarkson has proposed banning either buses or bicycles in order to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on Britain’s roads.
“My views on this are crystal clear,” he told Driving. “You can’t have buses and bicycles on the roads at the same time. You say to the poor: you can either go on a bus or you can go on a bicycle. But you can’t give them a choice, because it’s too dangerous.
“It’s a nightmare now, when you’ve got buses and bicycles competing for space in a 6ft-wide, 8ft-wide gap. It’s just going to be carnage.”
At present cyclists share bus lanes in most cities, along with taxis and, in some instances, motor cycles.
According to Department for Transport figures, 18,477 cyclists were killed of injured in reported road accidents in 2016, including 102 who were killed and 3,397 who were seriously injured.
Asked which of the two modes of transport he would ban, if he had to, Clarkson said buses would be his choice due to the immediate impact on reducing harmful nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter found in diesel exhaust emissions.
“All of the NOx, all of the particulates; it’s almost all from buses and trucks”
NOx and particulates (soot particles small enough to enter the bloodstream via the lungs) have been found to inflame the lungs, cause respiratory diseases such as asthma and have been linked to a raised risk of heart attacks, strokes and cancer, leading to the premature deaths of more than 38,000 people a year around the world.
Clarkson said: “I’d go buses, personally. You know all of the NOx, all of the particulates; it’s almost all from buses and trucks. You can’t do anything about trucks because we have to have deliveries, but you can get rid of buses and you just tell everyone, if you can’t afford a car just get a bicycle.
“It’s like China. That’s what [Jeremy] Corbyn would do.”
Clarkson, 57, was speaking to Nick Rufford, Sunday Times Driving’s editor, for this weekend’s exclusive special edition of the Sunday Times Magazine on the second series of The Grand Tour, the Amazon Prime Video motoring show co-presented by James May and Richard Hammond.