TfL board member: Cyclists contribute nothing to roads

Conservative Brian Cooke goes on Twitter tirade against cyclists
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Brian Cooke, a part time board member for Transport for London and taking home £18,000 a year from – yup – a transport body – seems not to know that roads are funded by general and local taxation. He has tweeted: "Cyclists as cyclists pay virtually nothing toward road funding."

BikeBiz executive editor Carlton Reid replied: "Motorists as motorists pay nothing toward road funding. Roads are paid for by taxation."

Last week Cooke – who describes himself as "strong Conservative" and was sacked as boss of TravelWatch for making a pro-Boris political statement in the last mayoral election – tweeted that cyclists don't pay for a "road fund licence": the road fund was abolished in 1937.

Today's social media exchanges began when @hounslowcycling tweeted about a bus that, earlier today, had driven into a cyclist in Feltham. Despite the bike being shown under the front wheels of the bus, Cooke responded to the tweet writing: "more reasons for compulsory registration and insurance for all cyclists", without explaining how such measures could stop a bus from running into a cyclist.

Councillors have previously called for the stretch of road to be made a 20mph zone. Cooke didn't like that either, asking "what evidence says 20mph would help?" When various respondents gave him links to evidence, he blanked them. Last week he had a twitter spat with cycle racer Tom Staniford, calling him a "liar" and threatening to sue him for "deformation." (Staniford has two law degrees, and after Cooke learned this he blocked him on Twitter.)

In another Tweet from today Cooke says: "Make more cyclists obey law and Highway Code." He also called JustMandyH a "rude lying cow."

UPDATE: Cooke deleted the "cow" tweet on Wednesday evening and earlier today deleted his Twitter account.

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Just the kind of chap we need influencing policy and infrastructure decisions at Transport for London, eh?

Grab some popcorn and follow the unfolding madness here...

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