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Regents Park Cyclists say stunt was ‘distasteful’ and ‘illogical’

Cyclists have criticised a recent protest against London’s Cycle Superhighway 11, describing it as ‘illogical propaganda’. Coverage of the protest in Ham and High featured a photograph of schoolchildren wearing face masks in reference to the pollution ‘caused’ by the proposed cycle lane.

The protest – which involved Hampstead parents and pupils and took place outside St Stephen’s in Rosslyn Hill – was co-ordinated by solicitor Jessica Learmond-Criqui.

Learmond-Criqui has previously said that CS11 will “act as a cork” to traffic, forcing cars onto narrow residential roads and worsening air pollution.

Restating her position, she said: “Hampstead is already bad and in excess of safe NO2 levels for adults and kids. The readings are off the scale.

“Hampstead and Belsize area is the biggest educational park in the world. There are over 55 schools and colleges in Hampstead and Belsize with at least 12,500 school children going to school here every day – many under seven years old. Why is the mayor encouraging TfL to force up to 475 extra cars per hour into some of our narrowest residential side roads?”

Justin McKie, of Regents Park Cyclists, rejected suggestions that CS11 would exacerbate pollution problems and took particular issue with how Learmond-Criqui had tried to make her point.

“I find it very distasteful that a photo of kids in face masks, which were in fact surgical masks and would do nothing to filter out pollution, was used in a propaganda fashion to protest at the CS11 scheme.

“Because of the adjustment made to CS11 plans, I do not believe that the mass displacement of traffic because of CS11 will happen. The issue is that hundreds of parents get into their cars every day to take their children to school. There needs to be an incentive for these people to use alternative methods of transport.

“It is also illogical. The aim of the cycle superhighways is to encourage cycling and reduce pollution.”

A 2014 study, which used MPs as guinea pigs, found that London’s worst air pollution is actually found inside cars.

Using monitors that measured the amount of microscopic carbon particles that were inhaled, researchers found that walking around Whitehall and Oxford Street, the MPs inhaled six to seven million particles per breath. At their destination, London's City Hall, levels fell to three million particles per breath. Travelling in taxis, they were found to have inhaled up to 50 million particles per breath.

A similar experiment carried out by the BBC earlier this month found that for six out of ten days, a Bath taxi driver was exposed to pollution in excess of World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommended limits. In contrast, the exposure of a cyclist travelling the same roads always remained below.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

35 comments

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burtthebike [1226 posts] 9 months ago
19 likes

Well, we all knew that the petrolheads would fight back when cyclists threatened their generations long domination of the road, but claiming that cyclists will make pollution worse is desperate indeed.  Shows that they really don't have any valid arguments at all if that's the best they can come up with.

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Housecathst [608 posts] 9 months ago
26 likes

It's amazing that Hampstead parents are blaming cyclists for causing pollution. I bet they all use a Chelsea tractor for any distance greater than the couch to the fridge. 

So there problem is that there going to be moved from polluting the main roads to polluting the side streets, it sounds like they need to close these rat runs too, problem solved. 

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wycombewheeler [1237 posts] 9 months ago
26 likes

maybe they have a point. pollution levels are too high. Just ban private cars everywhere in zone 1 and 2, and let all roads become cycling bus and lgv only. No need for cycle superhighway.

How many of the children wearing masks in this stunt are routinely driven less than 2 miles to school?

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Morat [280 posts] 9 months ago
14 likes

I'm trying to understand why you'd even own a car in within zone 2. OK I don't live in London, so I guess I don't know what it's like but whenever I've been there I certainly haven't thought "Hey, you know what? I could really do with a car about now!"

There's tube stop every few hundred metres and bus stops in between. I can't imagine an area better served by public transport. Out here in the sticks we get a bus twice a week and car ownership is a pre-requisite of living in the country even if you're an avid cyclist. In London, especially the centre... why would you bother? I exclude those with mobility issues from this, because I don't have first hand knowlege of the solutions available but for the vast majority - why would you have a car?

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ChrisB200SX [566 posts] 9 months ago
17 likes

As a petrolhead, i really wouldn't choose to sit in 2 lanes of static traffic rather than 1, I'd choose neither. Petrolheads prefer to drive in places that are enjoyable, much like cyclists, we like trafficless open country lanes etc.

I think the people opposed to this are mostly the "motons". People who believe they have a right to drive everywhere and exercising that right makes them feel more important than everyone else. Obviously, if we all choose to drive everywhere the problem of traffic and pollution simply evaporates, right?!

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KevM [47 posts] 9 months ago
12 likes

"Cyclists cause pollution." That's a new one on me...

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cyclesteffer [284 posts] 9 months ago
14 likes

Didn't someone once calculate that if you taxed bicycles £10 a year VED and then made cars pay an amount proportional to how much more Co2 and no2 they produced compared to a bicycle. Each car would pay £5 million pounds VED?

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Yorkshire wallet [1581 posts] 9 months ago
26 likes

Drives Overfinch Range Rover with massive V8 for school run - complains about environmental impact of cyclists. 

NIMBY mentality at it's finest. Don't want to be late for expensive coffee with the idle rich. 

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ashliejay [73 posts] 9 months ago
8 likes

Excluding blue badge holders, there should only be taxis and and private hire cars within zone 2/1, as like others have said you can easily jump a bus or tube to where ever you're going, or grab a boris bike, on top of that, and seeing a large amount of cycle accidents are caused by goods vehicles, they should only be allowed within zone 2/1 from 10pm to 6am, and if you need to make deliveries within zone 2/1 outside of that time, cycle courier or motorcycle courier. 

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brooksby [2711 posts] 9 months ago
2 likes

I trust then that Jessica never ever drives a car...?

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StoopidUserName [373 posts] 9 months ago
11 likes
Morat wrote:

I'm trying to understand why you'd even own a car in within zone 2. OK I don't live in London, so I guess I don't know what it's like but whenever I've been there I certainly haven't thought "Hey, you know what? I could really do with a car about now!"

There's tube stop every few hundred metres and bus stops in between. I can't imagine an area better served by public transport. Out here in the sticks we get a bus twice a week and car ownership is a pre-requisite of living in the country even if you're an avid cyclist. In London, especially the centre... why would you bother? I exclude those with mobility issues from this, because I don't have first hand knowlege of the solutions available but for the vast majority - why would you have a car?

As a born and bred Londoner I couldn't agree more. Btw more than half the traffic in central London drives in from the outside...and there is your problem. They wouldn't dream of asking for clogged main roads to be put in to the small towns and villages they live in but Londoners MUST put up with them. Human right to drive blah blah blah

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leaway2 [80 posts] 9 months ago
11 likes
burtthebike wrote:

Well, we all knew that the petrolheads would fight back when cyclists threatened their generations long domination of the road.

It is not that many generations either. I am approching 60 and it was very rare for any school children to get driven to school.

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burtthebike [1226 posts] 9 months ago
4 likes

A few quotes from the lady herself.  I was going to call them highlights, but that didn't seem appropriate.

" The folly and stupidity of the decision making around CS11 is leading to a crisis in air quality in our neighbourhoods."

"The Regents Park cycling lobby is pushing for Regents Park to become even more of a velodrome which will lead to the further dramatic, if not catastrophic, impact on local residents and on emergency vehicular access through the park. "

"To those who say that this letter is from a few NIMBYs, we reply that it is on behalf of the unaccounted carers of 11,000 non-resident school children who go to school here, the over 80s who cannot travel on public transport, the disabled and those trying to access the Royal Free."

"Our challenge to you is to examine why you are in politics and whether you have truly considered the issues around CS11 or whether you have been subsumed into “the system” where the elite and special interest groups behind the cycling lobbies have subverted the democratic rights of the population"

Read the whole article here http://www.hamhigh.co.uk/news/environment/opinion_solicitor_jessica_lear...

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beezus fufoon [956 posts] 9 months ago
13 likes

"...where the elite... have subverted the democratic rights of the population"

she's not lacking in irony, just self-awareness!

a lawyer with a name like Learmond-Criqui claims to speak for the people... she's probably a bit worried that some dark-skinned folk might cycle her way by accident

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emishi55 [172 posts] 9 months ago
11 likes
Housecathst wrote:

It's amazing that Hampstead parents are blaming cyclists for causing pollution. I bet they all use a Chelsea tractor for any distance greater than the couch to the fridge. 

So there problem is that there going to be moved from polluting the main roads to polluting the side streets, it sounds like they need to close these rat runs too, problem solved. 

 

 

At a meeting over a year ago at the same church hall, Learmond Criqui and a packed hall of hysterical motorists (most of who had turned up to have a go at the authorities threatening to deprive them of their short cut to the West End) with TfL and Andrew Gilligan, it was announced quite clearly that TfL would work with Camden council to mitigate any rat-running possibly created by the scheme.

This important point has been ignored time and time again by the duplicitous Learmond Criqui.

The CS11 scheme went on to receive overwhelming support as we know.

 

However, this hasn't stopped Le Criqui from devoting her time to repeating her alternative facts (in a manner shown by one Donald T to achieve results, where FACTS and EVIDENCE don't fit with the  world view of the grotesque and over-entitled).

 

It should be noted that London mayor Sadiq Khan, unlike his excellent namesake Janette in NY (who, during a seven year long 'Street Fight',  when she achieved some 400 miles of cycle lanes), has signalled via his deputy Val Shawcross, a willingness to listen to 'stakeholders' such as Criqui's pro-rat-running group. Shawross has announced she may consider 'cycle lanes' through the park as an alternative to the scheme that was due to go in.

So. Despite a massive win for a scheme that would involve someone in a van spending about half an hour in a van goung around and locking SOME of the gates for, SOME of the time, Criqui's demented 'gridlock' bilgewater has caused the mayor to not only backtrack, but to consider something else that would require - more meetings, more consulting, more delay.

 

The 'new' London mayor. Next month - one year into the job. 

Vacuous appeasement of a mob of Hampstead ne'er-do-wells.

 

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srchar [708 posts] 9 months ago
4 likes
Morat wrote:

for the vast majority - why would you have a car?

Are there any reliable stats about car ownership by postcode?  My feeling is that the vast majority of people in Zone 1/2 don't have a car, precisely because it's too much hassle. However, those who do, are a rather vocal minority.

Anecdotally, we didn't get a car until we moved outside the North Circular and had somewhere to park it and a road network that is actually usable (providing you pick your time of day...)

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ConcordeCX [510 posts] 9 months ago
7 likes
srchar wrote:
Morat wrote:

for the vast majority - why would you have a car?

Are there any reliable stats about car ownership by postcode?  My feeling is that the vast majority of people in Zone 1/2 don't have a car, precisely because it's too much hassle. However, those who do, are a rather vocal minority.

Anecdotally, we didn't get a car until we moved outside the North Circular and had somewhere to park it and a road network that is actually usable (providing you pick your time of day...)

vehicle ownership by type and borough here:

https://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/licensed-vehicles-type-0

the arguments this person is raising have a strong whiff of desperation, almost childish petulance, about them, as if she knows - which she must - that they're bullshit.

it might be true, I don't know, that pollution has increased in parts of H&H following the introduction of the bike scheme, but it cannot be argued that the bike scheme has caused any pollution. A simple test would show this.

1. no bike scheme; cars on the road; bikes on the road: pollution.

2. no bike scheme; cars only: pollution.

3. no bike scheme; bikes only: no pollution.

4. No bike scheme; no bikes; no cars: no pollution.

5. bike scheme; cars on the road; bikes on the road: pollution (maybe a bit more than case  1?)

6. bike scheme; cars only: pollution (+?)

7. bike scheme; bikes only: no pollution

8. bike scheme; no bikes; no cars: no pollution.

conclusions: 

cars <=> pollution

not (bikes <=> pollution)

not (bike scheme <=> pollution)

oh, and pollution => kids wear masks, therefore cars => kids wear masks, and not ((bike scheme or bikes) => kids wear masks)

 

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srchar [708 posts] 9 months ago
6 likes

Thanks Concorde. Highgate is in Camden, which had 48,000 cars in 2015 for a population at the same time of 241,000.  That is one car for every five residents, or, given an average household size of 2.1, one car for every 2.5 households (of course this won't be true as some households will own multiple cars).

When you look at it like that, it's genuinely puzzling that Khan is more worried about upsetting people who own cars more than people who own bicycles.

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Leviathan [2868 posts] 9 months ago
3 likes

The pollution is just TOO DAMN HIGH!

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zanf [966 posts] 9 months ago
5 likes
StoopidUserName wrote:
Morat wrote:

I'm trying to understand why you'd even own a car in within zone 2. OK I don't live in London, so I guess I don't know what it's like but whenever I've been there I certainly haven't thought "Hey, you know what? I could really do with a car about now!"

There's tube stop every few hundred metres and bus stops in between. I can't imagine an area better served by public transport. Out here in the sticks we get a bus twice a week and car ownership is a pre-requisite of living in the country even if you're an avid cyclist. In London, especially the centre... why would you bother? I exclude those with mobility issues from this, because I don't have first hand knowlege of the solutions available but for the vast majority - why would you have a car?

As a born and bred Londoner I couldn't agree more. Btw more than half the traffic in central London drives in from the outside...and there is your problem. They wouldn't dream of asking for clogged main roads to be put in to the small towns and villages they live in but Londoners MUST put up with them. Human right to drive blah blah blah

What makes me laugh is that its so much quicker to cycle anywhere.

A couple of years back a friend had broke her wrist where she was hit by a taxi so we had to catch a bus to meet with her friend and pick up some bike parts. Going from Holborn police station to Central Hackney took nearly an hour. We could have cycled it in about 12 - 15 minutes.

burtthebike wrote:

A few quotes from the lady herself.  I was going to call them highlights, but that didn't seem appropriate.

Quote:

"The Regents Park cycling lobby is pushing for Regents Park to become even more of a velodrome which will lead to the further dramatic, if not catastrophic, impact on local residents and on emergency vehicular access through the park. "

John Nash design Regents Park's Outer Circle to be used for exercise and 'perabulating', not as a rat run cut through for vehicles. The park is meant to be a 'lung' for London.

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ChairRDRF [366 posts] 9 months ago
13 likes

Regrettably, it is quite normal for motons to blame anybody or anything for any problems they cause - apart from the (ab)use of motor vehicles.

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spen [199 posts] 9 months ago
13 likes

475 extra  vehicles per hour is 8 cars a minute or one extra car about every 7.5 seconds.  100 extra cars an hour is just over 1.5 extra cars per minute or one every 36 seconds!  

 

Interestingly she provides no evidence, not a single figure, to support a claim that air quality will be negatively impacted then claims not to be a nimby whilst overlooking the congestion reduction if local residents used CS 11, walked or used public transport.

 

Don't think I'd want her to be handling my legal affairs if this is typical of her attention to fact.

 

 

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srchar [708 posts] 9 months ago
14 likes
zanf wrote:

What makes me laugh is that its so much quicker to cycle anywhere.

This - so much this. I don't think drivers allow themselves to realise how much quicker cycling is in London. They just get wound up as they see cyclists making progress, but it doesn't often seem to translate into a "lightbulb" moment for them.

Similarly, many able users of public transport in my office say they would never ride <10, 15, whatever> miles to work as it would take too long.

I broke my wrist a couple of years ago and had to switch from cycling Muswell Hill to Canary Wharf, to using public transport. A reasonably pleasant half-hour journey became 1h15 (on a good day) of pure hell.

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bialbero124 [4 posts] 9 months ago
14 likes

With 55 schools and colleges in the area it would only take 9 pupils per establishment to cycle using the proposed infrastructure, rather than be driven, to negate the fear of increased motor traffic. Not an improbable target.

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hsiaolc [367 posts] 9 months ago
9 likes

When school is on holiday my bike commute is a bliss.  Virtually hardly any traffic on the roads. 

 

Till now I still amazued and or puzzled why thats the case. How can during school term time there are so many traffic as opposed to when they are on holiday. 

 

Based on that observation I can only saw that school is causing all the polluants and not the cyclists. 

 

 

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bassjunkieuk [49 posts] 9 months ago
5 likes

On the subject of "bike lanes cause pollution" it's demonstrably untrue given the London Air Quality Network have monitoring along Upper Thames St (part of the excellent CS3, where a lane was removed to add in fully protected cycle lanes) and guess what? It doesn't show any noticeable increase since CS3 fully opened!

Recently got into a bit of an argument with a taxi driver over this very fact and despite posting the graphs and links to their website to obtain the data himself the best he could come back with where links to a Daily Mail article and an unsubstantiated tweet from Robert Wilson claiming the new cycle lanes had increased pollution by a factor of 7!

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hoffbrandm [39 posts] 9 months ago
15 likes

So I happen to live in the area. Cycle through it often daily, many friends there etc etc.

 

shes a fucking loon.

The parents drop the kids off when they don't need to. There are plenty of buses going around but they are too good for buses.  So am I frankly. But I cycle.

and they all drive around in, as many are hypothesising - Chelsea tractors. And they all already use all the rat runs and side streets. The problem, in my experience, is not that there aren't enough roads. There are too many mums dropping their kids off around here. 

 

"With 55 schools and colleges in the area it would only take 9 pupils per establishment to cycle using the proposed infrastructure, rather than be driven, to negate the fear of increased motor traffic. Not an improbable target."

yeah none of the kids cycle  

 

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Guanajuato [84 posts] 9 months ago
4 likes

Excellent opportunity to educate the readers of that rag.  Go on, post loads of comments pointing out the insanity of the argument.  I'm pretty sure I'd not want someone with so many screws loose dealing with anything that requires a solicitor.

I wonder, just what does she solicit?angry

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dottigirl [808 posts] 9 months ago
6 likes

 A thread from I Love Hampstead - NW3 has just popped up on my Fb tl. I've never read such illogical nonsense in my life.

https://www.facebook.com/ilovehampstead/posts/1480910258599996

EDIT: just discovered that the person behind the page is the primary anti-CS11 activist, sponsored by the driving lobby. Her love for her motor vehicle is more than her town then...

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hsiaolc [367 posts] 9 months ago
2 likes
hoffbrandm wrote:

 

yeah none of the kids cycle  

 

 

To be fair I wouldn't let my kids to ride to school myself, it is just too dangerous. 

To be fair I commute to work 26 mile round trip to London 3-4 days a week but it cross my mind that one day I might not make it home or to work. 

Until the government make proper segregated cycle lane and make it 100% safe, I doubt any parents will let the kids cycle to work. 

All my non cycling colleagues thinks cycling is too dangerous and we can't really argue with them.  There are so many close calls it is not funny and we are very experienced in both as a driver and cyclists. 

Its a ticking time bomb with increasing motorists and not enough infrastructure to cater to the demands and it is just a vicious cycle. 

 

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