The Mayor of Penarth Cllr Jon Luxton (Labour Stanwell) (Photo Penarth Town Council )

The Mayor of Penarth Cllr Jon Luxton (Labour Stanwell) has provoked criticism in the council chamber by labelling local residents  who opt to ride environmentally-friendly electric bikes as  “lazy”.

The wheelchair-using Mayor’s provocative comment came in a discussion in Penarth Town council’s planning committee about a possible electric bike rental scheme.

The Bike Shop in Glebe St , Penarth is to set up a second branch in Penarth Marina

In the committee meeting, it was revealed that the local Bike Shop – based in Glebe St – is planning to open a second shop near the Harbourmaster’s Office in Penarth Marina – close to the  Penarth Barrage – and a route heavily used by cyclists.

Cllr Nigel Humphrey (Labour St Augustines)

The chairman of the planning committee Cllr Nigel Humphrey (Labour St Augustines) said he had been asked about the possibility of setting up an electric bike scheme”  – perhaps on similar lines to the NextBike pedal-bike rental scheme already based at the Barrage.

Cllr Humphrey said such an electric bike scheme could be “very beneficial”. There were – he said – lots of people in Penarth who commute to Cardiff . He said the Glebe Street Bike Shop was already selling electric bikes but, “we could do with an awful lot more of that – which might help relieve some of the pressure on the car park”. Cllr Humphrey said he was continuing to explore the electric bike scheme idea.

Cllr Mike Cuddy Deputy Leader of Penarth Town Council

Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines)  said the use of electric bikes was going to “increase exponentially” . What he described as “aged people” needed to get around.

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward)  asked whether the idea was that Penarth Council  would be “promoting – rather than providing ” the rented electric-bicycles? Cllr Humphrey said  he did not think the council wanted to start up a company to do this “at the moment” .

However the Mayor of Penarth, Cllr Jon Luxton (Labour Stanwell)  did not think much of Cllr Humphrey’s electric-bike notion – which he described as  “crazy”.

Cllr Jon Luxton (Labour Stanwell) is Deputy Mayor of Penarth

Cllr Luxton said “We are encouraging Sustrans [the heavily-criticised anti-car left-wing bike-promoting tax-payer-funded ‘charity’ ] and other organisations to encourage people to use bikes…right? …so they get healthy  and fit ….and there we are, encouraging electric bikes that go everywhere without any effort at all. It just seems so crazy.

Warming to his theme, Cllr Luxton said the manufacture of electric bikes  took up “raw resources” . To make a battery involved resources which were “shifted around all over the country” and “covered thousands of air miles”.   They were “not sustainable” he said.

Instead – Cllr Luxton said –  people should be encouraged to “actually cycle “ rather than to get on an electric bike. The Town Clerk Emma Boylen said “It’s about ability though Cllr Luxton.” – and pointed to the widespread use of electric wheelchairs [ Cllr Luxton’s wheelchair is a manual model].

Cllr Luxton did not move from his anti-electric bike stance.  “We should be encouraging people to cycle on [pedal] bikes  and burn more calories and get healthy”

The fearsomely steep Dock Hill is the most demanding climb in Penarth – except for Steep Street and Stanwell Crescent which are attempted by very few cyclists

Cllr Cuddy thought perhaps there could be some sort of lift system for getting up Dock Hill.

Cllr Luxton said “I used to push a bike up there when I was a child – it was fine. It’s just lazy people.”  Cllr Luxton noted there were now electric-assistance attachments which could propel manual wheelchairs. The whole issue needed to be “considered in the round and not just for people who were too lazy to ride their own bikes”.

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell) is also a Vale of Glamorgan member

But use of the term lazy”  – which twice in the proceedings had been  hurled in the direction of Penarth electric-bike users (and council-tax payers) by Cllr Luxton – was not acceptable to Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell).

Cllr Wilson took issue with calling local residents – and voters – “lazy”. He  said I would reject the use of the word lazy, Cllr Luxton”.

Cllr Luxton interjected to say he was “only joking”  but Cllr Wilson indicated that he considered the use of that word had been inappropriate.

Cllr Wilson went on to advocate the use of “kinetic energy” and said there was also an issue about bike safety – “how to ride a bike safely – especially in this town “ and also deplored the number of pot holes in Penarth which needed to be discussed with the Vale of Glamorgan Council [ of which he himself is a member].



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  1. Jp03 says:

    Doesn’t he also have a Porsche?

    • Philip Rapier says:

      Boris Johnson is reported as date of birth: June 19, 1964 (Age: 54 years as of next week)
      Height: 5’9” (175 cm)
      Weight: 171, 5 pounds (78 kg)
      12 stone 2ibs which changes little for all the bike hype he peddles..
      Says it all really
      A Boris Bike weighs 23 kgs
      The blatant lie peddled by Sustrans is cycling is better for you than walking.
      The benefits are about equal as the Government’s own Website Statistics confirm.-
      Other than a Pedestrian cannot mow you down on the Railway Path but a Sustrans subsidised Pedal Pusher can

  2. Scootergirl says:

    I consider Cllr luxton’s comments (re: lazy people) extremely rude and unnecessary. Each to their own if people feel the need to use electric bikes (due to ability) surely its up to them. If it gets people out of cars and into the fresh air, surely that’s a good thing.
    Maybe voters should recall Cllr luxtons (labour) comments, when it’s election time.

  3. Racist Mark (aka Mark Foster) says:

    You need to take action against these twisted people before they kill a child with their bicycles on the Railway Path.

  4. Grey local says:

    I am appalled at Cllr Luxtons remarks! He should offer an apology right away. Many disabled people are now able to cycle due to the invention of electric bikes. I wonder what he feels about electric wheelchair users? Does he feel they are lazy as well. His remarks were ill considered and inappropriate. I hope it was jus an error due to the heat of the day!

  5. 92 and a social butterfly says:

    A shuttle bus up the hill with a bike basket at the back is needed from the marina up to town.

  6. Louis says:

    I agree with Mark Wilson, the use of the word lazy is a bit strong, not to say offensive.

    I think Cllr Luxton should pay more regard to the people who elected him to the privileged position he holds.

  7. Andrew Worsley says:

    Note how Cllr Luxton immediately reacts to being challenged on using the word lazy ……He says it was meant as a joke although he said it twice to emphasis it………… was no joke and he knows it ..and his response was to defend himself not apologise …………. just shows how high the Council are setting the bar these days for appropriate Mayoral candidates ……….almost at gutter level it seems .!!!???

  8. Alan Thompson says:

    Has Counseller Luxton ever ridden an electric bike ?

  9. Mike Miggs says:

    Are not electrically powered cycles in fact a “motorcycle” and should be treated as such?

  10. AK says:

    The new ‘Boris bikes’ (we really need a more local name!) seem increasingly popular – but I’d only ever ride them on a dedicated cycle route, not on Penarth’s half assed road share routes.

    Great idea if it gets people out exercising, and out of the car.

  11. Frank Evans says:

    Electric cycles are a real danger. One just passed me on the cycle track doing about 30mph. The rider? He was about 60 and should have known better!

    • RD996 says:

      But that’s not true, is it Frank? E-bikes are limited to a top speed of 15mph. But hey, just make things up to suit your own agenda.

  12. Andrew Worsley says:

    Yes an electric bicycle passed me one doing about 60 mph some time ago and in a built up area, if Frank can tell fibs so can I!.

  13. Chris David says:

    Liveforphysic’s “Death Bike” 80-MPH
    Liveforphysics, tired of frying fragile and lightweight RC motor setups, has discovered a magical combination of massive axial flux motors intended for E-motorcycles, Sevcon controllers, and Nano-Tech Hobby King LiPos strapped onto a custom built non-suspension frame. He is achieving speeds never seen before on an electric bike, all the while keeping his bike’s weight down under 200lbs. . That beats your 60 heh.

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