Looks like we'll see an annoying discussion on local radio this morning. Apparently some of the disabled parking spaces in Cambridge are under threat from being turned in to cycle parking, and the presenter just tweeted asking if we've got our priorities right.
It isn't about cyclists cruelly encroaching on disabled bays - I promise you, no cyclist wants it to come down to a choice between disabled folk and us. We've got four multi-storey car parks in Cambridge, but two dingy little underground bike parks - give us the ground floor of the Grand Arcade and Grafton Centre car parks other than the disabled spaces and we'll be right as rain.
Whats really lacking from such a question is any demonstrable understanding of the bicycle as a mobility aid. Riding around Cambridge you see plenty of older folk on bikes, frequently with walking sticks stuffed diagonally through the basket. The bike isn't just a form of transport for the most able bodied - its a superb tool for many who don't get around so well.
I find myself in that position now. I'm not pleading for sympathy here - suspected broken bone in hand and badly sprained ankle, I'll get better! But I am struggling to walk 20 yards right now. And yet I can get on the bike, as I did yesterday, and I can comfortably get as far as Addenbrookes hospital A&E 5 miles away on the other side of town - in fact the most painful part of the journey was getting from where I'd locked the bike into A&E. Even with the splint on my hand coming back, I could with great ease take a longer route back to enjoy the fresh air.
The bicycle isn't just a means of transport. Its a mobility aid and source of freedom for many who can't get around any other way, and its a source of exercise that integrates with our lives. And with a little imagination and some creative engineering its a boon for many who otherwise have serious mobility problems - here, take a look.
So can we have a bit less of this divisiveness please Andy? You're a good chap, you must see its not in the interests of your listeners to pitch this issue in such a divisive way?