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Local paper runs front page story on cyclists flouting Hull city centre ban – which doesn’t exist

The story appeared on the front page of the Hull Daily Mail before being removed from the website

A paper in Hull has recieved a deluge of corrections after publishing a story claiming that people who cycled through the centre of the city were breaking the law – they were not. 

The article, which has since been removed but can still be found via archive.org, included pictures of people riding bikes through areas of the city centre the paper said were pedestrian-only. However, those areas were made pedestrian and cycle friendly in 2017. 

Hull Live originally published the story online and promoted it on social media. 

Very quickly however, Twitter users and Hull residents started to question the articles claims. 

Michelle Coldham, posted pictures of the supposedly pedestrianised areas with road signs clearly showing cyclists were allowed to ride through. 

The story was also run as the front page on the Hull Daily Mail, with images of “offending” cyclists riding through the city. 

It appears that the journalist reporting on the story, Anna Riley, was relying on an out of date map from the council and for a while there was confusion as she appeared to defend the paper's position. 

After one twitter user then complained to the paper, the article appears to have been removed from the website, and the tweets from the reporter defending the story have also been deleted.  

Hull City Council themselves got involved a day later, posting on the council's website: “Hull City Council welcomes cycling in the city centre and is committed to continuing to improve cycling infrastructure in the city.

“As part of the city centre’s Public Realm improvements in 2017 several areas, including parts of Prospect Street, King Edward Street, Jameson Street, Whitefriargate, Princes Dock Street, Humber Street and Humber Dock Street, were turned into pedestrian and cycle zones.”

It appears that in the 2014 map used and quoted by the paper, the streets named by the council used to be pedestrianised but following the city centre improvements they are now open for all.

Councillor Daren Hale, portfolio holder for regeneration and economic investment, said: “Like many European cities, we want cyclists and pedestrians to be able to co-exist, enjoy and access these areas together. 

“Obviously we expect all cyclists, residents and visitors to use the city centre spaces respectfully and with consideration for other users.”

Neither Hull Daily mail nor Anna Riley seem to have acknowledged that their story accused 55 entirely innocent members of the public of being criminals.

Riley's only response has been to complain that the somewhat robust criticism of her story, her subsequent doubling-down on relying on incorrect information and her failure to realise that the lack of "a sign explicitly banning cyclists in the area" was a hint it might not be banned, all amounted to "trolling".

A few days later the Council went a step further and announced Hull’s ambition to become one of the UK’s cycling cities.

Councillor Hale said: “The council has the ambition to make Hull a cycling city, and this is why we are investing £2m in the cycle routes and infrastructure over the next two years.

“We recognise that by creating a public environment which encourages cycling will not only improve the health and wellbeing of our residents, but also help to reduce congestion on our roads.”

It appears that a lot of cyclists and residents in Hull feel that articles like this, although not necessarily written with malicious intent, have a serious impact upon the relationship between cyclists and pedestrians trying to get around the city. 

https://road.cc/content/news/263251-channel-5-documentary-next-week-asks-if-cyclists-are-scourge-streets

Next week Channel 5 will be airing a provocatively named documentary entitled “Cyclists: Scourge of the Streets?” as it appears media organisations are still unable to ignore the interest produced by the inflammatory narratives of “us v them”. 

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42 comments

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds | 4 years ago
1 like

I'm actually taking the oldies for a cycle ride from the outskirts of the city to the estuary on Sunday, luckily for us we won't be going into the city centre so that any animosity stoked up by these liars won't have any effect on our ride.

HDM really isn't worth using as bog roll.

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Woldsman | 4 years ago
4 likes

Update: the Hull Daily Mail has retracted the story and issued an unreserved apology. 

Only kidding.  A different reporter has made a 'clarification' in which the council is blamed for having an out-of-date map on its web site and finished the article with a completely unwarranted and irrelevant statement from a local neighbourhood police inspector about "cyclists riding in a careless or inconsiderate way". 

The article ends with an apology for any distress caused, but not for publishing the story in the first place. 

https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/news/hull-east-yorkshire-news/cycling-ci...

More local colour, this from the southeast perimeter of the Pedestrian and Cycle Zone:

 

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brooksby replied to Woldsman | 4 years ago
4 likes

Woldsman wrote:

Update: the Hull Daily Mail has retracted the story and issued an unreserved apology. 

Only kidding.  A different reporter has made a 'clarification' in which the council is blamed for having an out-of-date map on its web site and finished the article with a completely unwarranted and irrelevant statement from a local neighbourhood police inspector about "cyclists riding in a careless or inconsiderate way". 

The article ends with an apology for any distress caused, but not for publishing the story in the first place. 

https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/news/hull-east-yorkshire-news/cycling-ci...

More local colour, this from the southeast perimeter of the Pedestrian and Cycle Zone:

 

That really is a "sorry; not sorry", isn't it?

OTOH if I hadn't read it I wouldn't have seen the story about some bloke who put up a Jolly Roger flag in his garden for the TdY , left it up, and has now been told to apply for planning permission or else take it down.

That story's credited to their senior live reporter. Local news, eh?

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HoarseMann replied to Woldsman | 4 years ago
2 likes

Woldsman wrote:

Update: the Hull Daily Mail has retracted the story and issued an unreserved apology. 

Only kidding.  A different reporter has made a 'clarification' in which the council is blamed for having an out-of-date map on its web site and finished the article with a completely unwarranted and irrelevant statement from a local neighbourhood police inspector about "cyclists riding in a careless or inconsiderate way". 

The article ends with an apology for any distress caused, but not for publishing the story in the first place. 

https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/news/hull-east-yorkshire-news/cycling-ci...

More local colour, this from the southeast perimeter of the Pedestrian and Cycle Zone:

 

And they've forgotten to turn comments on for that article, how odd.

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Kieran0885 | 4 years ago
0 likes

I’m confused as to why this particular story was deemed worthy of a front page spread apart from to spread hate. I only live 15 miles away from the dump that is Hull. Worst place in the UK. The Yorkshire wolds just outside the city however are excellent for cycling. 

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hawkinspeter replied to Kieran0885 | 4 years ago
0 likes

Kieran0885 wrote:

I’m confused as to why this particular story was deemed worthy of a front page spread apart from to spread hate. I only live 15 miles away from the dump that is Hull. Worst place in the UK. The Yorkshire wolds just outside the city however are excellent for cycling. 

Have you never been to Stoke?

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ktache | 4 years ago
3 likes

Nice Woldsman, of course drivers are going to drive over a pedestrian crossing, you know, drivers...

You would think that they might have painted those posts something a bit brighter, for the visually impaired pedestrians, not just the scroflaw motorists.

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Woldsman replied to ktache | 4 years ago
3 likes

ktache wrote:

Nice Woldsman, of course drivers are going to drive over a pedestrian crossing, you now, drivers...

You would think that they might have painted those posts something a bit brighter, for the visually impaired pedestrians, not just the scroflaw drivers.

I tried to add three images to my last post, but only one was accepted. Here’s the crossing. The city centre is much more open plan than it was before Hull was made City of Culture 2017. The clutter-free crossing was meant to be an open and inviting welcome to those walking in to the city centre IIRC, but impatient motorists put a stop to all that and the posts have been there ever since  2

Avatar
David9694 | 4 years ago
3 likes

Alarming rise in Humberside cyclists wearing cardboard boxes instead of helmets, one shocked onlooker said ‘some of them don’t even have proper eye holes”

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Woldsman replied to David9694 | 4 years ago
1 like

David9694 wrote:

Alarming rise in Humberside cyclists wearing cardboard boxes instead of helmets, one shocked onlooker said ‘some of them don’t even have proper eye holes”

I think we’ve had quite enough fake news just lately, David you cheeky chappy.  There will never be an increase in Humberside cyclists of any flavour: there is no such place as “Humberside”.  Just saying. 

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HoarseMann | 4 years ago
3 likes

I wonder if they could divert some of these funds for tackling fake news in Eastern Europe to eastern England?

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2019/07/06/jeremy-hunt-pledges-18...

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burtthebike replied to HoarseMann | 4 years ago
0 likes

HoarseMann wrote:

I wonder if they could divert some of these funds for tackling fake news in Eastern Europe to eastern England? https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2019/07/06/jeremy-hunt-pledges-18...

Wow!  That seems to be totally irony-free, in the Torygraph laughno

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Glyno | 4 years ago
2 likes

"There is not a sign explicitly banning cyclists in the area"
Hmm... I wonder why?

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Muddy Ford | 4 years ago
0 likes

Hull city council response and ambition is excellent. Kudos to them, I wish my local council had similar ideas.

The newspaper and the journalist are twats. Intentionally attempting to stir up hatred of a minority group and being libellious in the process (if any of the cyclists are identifiable)

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Woldsman | 4 years ago
6 likes

Tweets from Anna “I’m a cyclist myself” Riley containing the out-of-date map have been deleted, but we didn’t have to wait long for another scoop on the following Tuesday...

https://mobile.twitter.com/annarileynews/status/1146010192649359360

The newspaper published without comment the letter below in response to last Saturday’s front page story, but as far as I can tell there has been no official apology or clarification. 

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Gus T | 4 years ago
4 likes

HDM is my local rag, it's an insult to genuine newspapers with no understanding of  the english language or grammer. This person regularly runs anti-cycling pieces without checking facts or the law and is an oygen thief of the highest order, and that is complimentary to her abilities.

Avatar
ConcordeCX replied to Gus T | 4 years ago
4 likes

Gus T wrote:

HDM is my local rag, it's an insult to genuine newspapers with no understanding of  the english language or grammer. This person regularly runs anti-cycling pieces without checking facts or the law and is an oygen thief of the highest order, and that is complimentary to her abilities.

Facts don't matter any more, and that's a fact.

 

Avatar
brooksby replied to ConcordeCX | 4 years ago
1 like

ConcordeCX wrote:

Gus T wrote:

HDM is my local rag, it's an insult to genuine newspapers with no understanding of  the english language or grammer. This person regularly runs anti-cycling pieces without checking facts or the law and is an oygen thief of the highest order, and that is complimentary to her abilities.

Facts don't matter any more, and that's a fact.

 

And 96.854% of people agree with that statement  3

Avatar
burtthebike replied to brooksby | 4 years ago
1 like

brooksby wrote:

ConcordeCX wrote:

Gus T wrote:

HDM is my local rag, it's an insult to genuine newspapers with no understanding of  the english language or grammer. This person regularly runs anti-cycling pieces without checking facts or the law and is an oygen thief of the highest order, and that is complimentary to her abilities.

Facts don't matter any more, and that's a fact.

 

And 96.854% of people agree with that statement  3

Sorry, but I have to call fake news on that; the figure was rounded up and is actually 96.8536%

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Rick_Rude replied to Gus T | 4 years ago
8 likes

Gus T wrote:

HDM is my local rag, it's an insult to genuine newspapers with no understanding of  the english language or grammer.

YOU'RE NICKED. WE'RE THE GRAMMAR POLICE, SON!

Avatar
ConcordeCX | 4 years ago
2 likes

What motivated her in the first place to think this was the story she should be writing? Is Hull so free of crime that this imaginary sin was the most important thing going on, and deserving of her great journalistic talents? Is this what George Orwell would have chosen to write about, had he been lucky enough to live in Hull? Woodward and Bernstein - would they have abandoned the Watergate story for this? Does she think Zola would have turned his thoughts away from Dreyfuss and wrote J'Accuse! about trespassing cyclists? Is this the stuff of Pulitzer prizes? Is this what her childhood dreams were made of, moaning about people riding bicycles? 

Avatar
brooksby replied to ConcordeCX | 4 years ago
2 likes

ConcordeCX wrote:

What motivated her in the first place to think this was the story she should be writing? Is Hull so free of crime that this imaginary sin was the most important thing going on, and deserving of her great journalistic talents? Is this what George Orwell would have chosen to write about, had he been lucky enough to live in Hull? Woodward and Bernstein - would they have abandoned the Watergate story for this? Does she think Zola would have turned his thoughts away from Dreyfuss and wrote J'Accuse! about trespassing cyclists? Is this the stuff of Pulitzer prizes? Is this what her childhood dreams were made of, moaning about people riding bicycles? 

BTBS is the road.cc Hull correspondent, IIRC...

Avatar
ConcordeCX replied to brooksby | 4 years ago
5 likes

brooksby wrote:

ConcordeCX wrote:

What motivated her in the first place to think this was the story she should be writing? Is Hull so free of crime that this imaginary sin was the most important thing going on, and deserving of her great journalistic talents? Is this what George Orwell would have chosen to write about, had he been lucky enough to live in Hull? Woodward and Bernstein - would they have abandoned the Watergate story for this? Does she think Zola would have turned his thoughts away from Dreyfuss and wrote J'Accuse! about trespassing cyclists? Is this the stuff of Pulitzer prizes? Is this what her childhood dreams were made of, moaning about people riding bicycles? 

BTBS is the road.cc Hull correspondent, IIRC...

I look forward to reading Ms Riley's thoughts about cycling helmets.

 

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burtthebike replied to ConcordeCX | 4 years ago
3 likes

ConcordeCX wrote:

I look forward to reading Ms Riley's thoughts about cycling helmets.

From her previous story, I'm guessing it would be a logical, well researched, authoritative, referenced quality critique, something along the lines of "Helmet saves man's life in 120mph collision shocker" complete with picture of shattered helmet and smiling survivor, with a serious looking paramedic, with a police person for good measure, finishing with a demand for a helmet law.

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Woldsman replied to brooksby | 4 years ago
5 likes

brooksby wrote:

BTBS is the road.cc Hull correspondent, IIRC...

Anyway, for the benefit of those in the road.cc community who don’t live in Hull I rode through Hull city centre’s ‘Pedestrian and Cycle Zone’ for the first time today. 

I’m not defending the journalist who put out the original article, but signage at whichever point the zone is entered ranges from explicit to implied to non-existent. 

The cyclist arriving by rail is likely to head east and cross a main road in to the city centre when leaving Hull Paragon Station. (The road is Ferensway where unsightly posts weren’t in place originally when the Public Realm works in that area was completed; motorists took to doing an illegal U-turn in the road and the posts were hurriedly installed before anyone was run over on the crossing.) 

Once on the other side there is nothing to tell you that cycling is allowed. Presumably this is why the Dutch couple in the original article felt they had to push their bikes.  

However there are signs at the far side of the Cenotaph. They inform you that you are leaving the ‘Pedestrian and Cycle Zone’ even though it’s not obvious that you were in it in the first place. And the signs on the reverse don’t state that you are about to enter the zone. They are standard ‘No Entry’ red circle with white rectangle signs. 

So I rode down Jameson Street for the first time since it was pedestrianised years ago. Thankfully, I had just enough time to snap the last image, the legality of which I would seriously doubt  1

BTW, my route out of Hull to Beverley through back street off-road cycle lanes and back in from the west via the Trans Pennine Trail: https://www.strava.com/activities/2512375842

Avatar
Rick_Rude | 4 years ago
2 likes

The problem with this drivel these days is these aren't quality reporters or journalists like those of yesteryear.  Ones with actual journalistic qualifications and hard-served apprenticeships.  This is just the equivalent of someone taking some crap pictures with no composition or colour balance and declaring themselves a photographer. Most of these dopes will submit this stuff for free to try and get a foot in the door but all that happens is they replaced by another dope looking to get a foot in the door. Digital media has ruined the quality and wage levels of so many things. 

Typical millennial crybaby respsonse of 'stop bullying me, I'll tell on you' as well. 

 

 

Avatar
burtthebike | 4 years ago
3 likes

My favourite quote from the article "Riders were recorded between 3pm and 4pm and many of the cyclists were caught on camera weaving in and out of pedestrians in just one hour."

Must be one hell of a pedestrian area take an hour to cross on a bike.

I'm thinking this is one very junior, inexperienced reporter, and hopefully she's learned her lesson.

If you scroll to the bottom of the article, you can vote!

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Legs_Eleven_Wor... | 4 years ago
0 likes

'Riley's only response has been to complain that the somewhat robust criticism of her story, her subsequent doubling-down on relying on incorrect information and her failure to realise that the lack of "a sign explicitly banning cyclists in the area" was a hint it might not be banned, all amounted to "trolling"....'

Next up: accusations of 'sexism'.

After all - how the fuck dare you criticise a woman?

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FluffyKittenofT... | 4 years ago
8 likes

It's the way she responds by playing the victim that really infuriates.  It's pretty standard behaviour though, the bully pretending to be the victim.

 

I'd boycott the paper, if only I lived in Hull.  Maybe I'll move there, just in order to boycott it!  That'll teach 'em!

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Legs_Eleven_Wor... | 4 years ago
1 like

British newspapers doing their best to out-Stürmer, der Stürmer.

#jewsOfTheRoad

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