Jeremy Vine has said that it is “sad” that taking space away from cars and giving it to bikes has become such a divisive issue. The Radio 2 presenter was responding to complaints made about CS9 in the wake of the recent consultation which saw those in favour outnumbering opponents by three to two.
A letter published in the London Evening Standard last week said: “It is appalling that our quality of life will be reduced on the basis of a half baked consultation.”
Vine seemed exasperated by the tone, saying: “All I want is to be able to say to my young daughters, ‘Let’s cycle to Trafalgar Square’... and be able to do the seven miles on a protected cycleway. Or even to go shopping, less than a mile. This is not revolutionary — and I’m not alone.”
He went on to cite some of the bizarre objections to the project.
“Those against the scheme, the minority 40%, were far louder,” he said.
“They complained that the cycle path will be used by ‘snatch thieves for planned heists from jewellers’; would ‘prevent high-speed police chases’; and even that it would increase rudeness.
“Some residents dread being trapped in their streets, as if passing cyclists are more frightening than the vans and buses who will now give way to them.”
Referring to the current layout, he added: “If Hieronymus Bosch had lived in 2018 he would have used the Hammersmith roundabout to inspire his painting ‘Visions of Hell’.”
A 2016 INRIX report into congestion concluded that Transport for London’s £4 billion Road Modernisation Plan, together with the £15 billion Crossrail programme, would ultimately reduce congestion by 20 per cent and characterised the ongoing construction work as “short term pain for long term gain.”
Vine views the work similarly.
“For sure, the construction period won’t be fun. But after that, surely we can look forward to cleaner air, fewer vehicles, safer streets, and less worry about our kids?”