Broadcaster Jeremy Vine has divided the internet with his opinion on the correct way for a group of cyclists to ride on country roads.

In 2014, Britain was named the worst country in the world for road rage and, with the varied responses to Vine’s tweet, it’s easy to see why, with people’s opinions varying widely.

In a clip posted on his Twitter, Vine showed a group of cyclists in front of his vehicle who were cycling in a group, rather than single file.

The caption explained why he thinks this is a good idea. Vine, himself a cyclist, wrote: “People who cycle in the country should be encouraged to ride 2, 3 and 4 abreast like this. For the following reasons:

“1. It calms the traffic behind them

“2. It makes it less easy for bad drivers to attempt dangerous passes

“3. It is more pleasant and sociable for them.”

In a follow-up tweet, the broadcaster shared an image from the video overlaid with text, saying, “If you can’t pass these safely, you can’t pass a single rider safely”.

However, Twitter users were quick to disagree with Vine and argued that riding more than two abreast obstructs the driver’s view behind them.

Some of the 6,300 comments on the footage accused the cyclists of “self-entitlement” and “blocking the road”.

One person commented: “1. Riding like that obstructs the drivers view making an overtake more hazardous

“2. The riders near the centre white line are exposed to oncoming traffic

“3. I like to give cyclists a lot of room when I overtake and this would mean passing cyclists in the centre too closely.”

Vine responded, advising the driver not to overtake in that situation.

Former England rugby union captain Will Carling wrote: “I am a cyclist. Simple rule – we are smaller than cars – so be polite, ride single file when holding up cars.”

Laurence Fox weighed in, writing that “Mamils” – an acronym for middle-aged men in lycra – should give the same respect to horse riders that they received from the car driver. He added that he was thrown off a horse in West Sussex after “a bunch Tour de France wannabes zoomed out of the shadows”.

Talk Radio presenter Cristo Foufas commented: “You’re just trolling us now!”

Some argued that Vine was encouraging followers to disobey the Highway Code. Rule 66 states riders should “never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends”. However, the Highway Code itself is not a legal document.

The Department for Transport announced last month that the Code is being updated to include a hierarchy of road users so those who “can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger they may pose to others”.

Vine backed up his argument by posting screenshots of previous tweets from Surrey Police’s Roads Policing Unit. The tweets show a diagram that appeared to back him up.

They have also previously responded to some who claimed riding more than two abreast is illegal.

Surrey Police replied: “Yes you can. We advise you follow the advice given in the Highway code and understand that if you choose not to it can be used by a court to help decide liability if an incident occurs. However there is no law that prohibits it.”

With so many differing views, is it any wonder we’re a nation of road ragers?

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