Sheffield magazine editor criticised over 'razor wire for cyclists' article

An under-fire magazine editor has refused to bow down to criticism of an article that suggested stringing up razor wire to garrotte people riding bikes on the pavement.

Wednesday, 3rd July 2019, 8:07 am
Sheffield city centre.

The editorial in London Road-based Grapevine magazine, which is delivered free to 23,000 homes in Sheffield each month, recounted a conversation between the editor, Ian Macgill, and an “old chum Mr Smith” in which the latter called for wire to be introduced at head height so pavement riders are “taught a lesson.”

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Sheffield city centre.

Mr Macgill expressed reservations about the idea as “if you lop the heads off cyclists our pavements will become covered in red slime and gore.”

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The editorial has come in for fierce criticism from people within the cycling community but Mr Macgill was unmoved. 

When asked for comment by The Star, he said: “Here’s what to do - reproduce my July editor’s article and ask for your readers’ comments regarding cyclists using Sheffield pavements as racetracks.

“Then send out a snapper to see how many of these idiots can be photographed in a couple of hours. Name and shame them, especially those with a camera on the helmet.

“In (the) olden days, cyclists dismounted when passing through pedestrian areas.”

The editorial did not go down well with Fulwood man Chris Maloney, who writes the Keeper of the Peak blog that provides information on cycling routes.

He wrote: “This kind of comment – joking or otherwise – legitimises the anti-cyclist hatred and rhetoric that groups like Ride Sheffield, Peak District MTB and me – as well as others such as CycleSheffield have worked hard – successfully I might add – to combat.

“And more than that, as well as legitimising the bile, Macgill has gone one step further and suggested ways in which an easily led idiot could cause serious bodily harm.

“It’s not surprising that there have been a number of people calling for the police to be involved.”

A South Yorkshire Police spokesperson said nobody has reproted the issue to the force.   

Mr Maloney also described examples where cycling trails in Sheffield and the Peak District have been booby-trapped with wire or other objects.

“If Macgill were even remotely aware of the almost weekly examples of trail sabotage cyclists see he’d have realised just how poor taste his ridiculous column is.”

The controversy comes as figures revealed hundreds of cyclists have been injured and some killed on Sheffield’s roads over the past decade – incidents that are rising in number and severity.

The figures from South Yorkshire Police were uncovered using a Freedom of Information request and showed a total of 1,445 cyclist casualties – including three deaths, 314 serious casualties and 1,128 slight injuries – had happened within the last 10 years.