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Jeremy Vine breached BBC’s impartiality rules by publicly supporting LTNs

The BBC did acknowledge, however, that the presenter was subject to “personal abuse” by the One Chiswick Facebook group, which opposes cycling infrastructure and Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

The BBC has ruled that broadcaster and outspoken safe cycling advocate Jeremy Vine breached the corporation’s impartiality rules by publicly voicing his support for Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) and safer cycling infrastructure near his home in Chiswick.

Radio 2 presenter Vine, who regularly posts footage of his London commute on Twitter, was the subject of a complaint to the BBC from a leading anti-LTN campaigner in Chiswick concerning his social media conduct.

The complainant – believed to be a member of the One Chiswick Facebook group known for its stance against traffic-calming measures, road closures and pop-up cycle lanes, and with whom Vine has had a number of public altercations in recent years – claimed that tweets posted by the broadcaster constituted a “campaign of abuse against a legitimate campaigning group”.

> Jeremy Vine accused of 'bullying' Anti Low Traffic Neighbourhood group 

They also alleged that Vine, despite his reputation as an enthusiastic advocate for cycling and active travel, expressed a view on a controversial matter in a manner inappropriate for “a journalist who should be non-biased”.

Following an investigation by the BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit (ECU), Vine’s conduct on Twitter was found to have been “inconsistent with the BBC’s editorial standards as they applied to him”.

However, the ECU dismissed the claim that Vine had coordinated a “campaign of abuse” against One Chiswick, and instead “had primarily been responding to posts from a Facebook group superintended by the complainant, which had been drawn to his attention by a member of the group, wishing him harm and describing him in opprobrious terms.”

The ECU said that Vine “was entitled to object to such personal abuse and, as he did so in terms which were not themselves abusive, his tweets were consistent with the relevant BBC Guidance in that respect.”

> “Get off your bikes!” Anti-cycleway campaigner yells at kids using new route 

When considering whether the presenter had broken the corporation’s guidelines concerning journalistic impartiality, the ECU noted that “the Guidance makes clear that the BBC’s standards should be observed in personal social media activity, as well as on air, by those who work in journalism and factual programming, and the topical content of Mr Vine’s programme on Radio 2 brings him within that category.  

“The introduction of a LTN was a source of sharp controversy in Chiswick at the time in question, (mirroring controversies in other localities where LTNs have been introduced), and was the kind of topic to which considerations of due impartiality applied for the BBC. 

“To the extent that Mr Vine’s Twitter activity since the relevant Guidance came into effect appeared to endorse one viewpoint on that topic and controvert another, it was inconsistent with the BBC’s editorial standards as they applied to him, and this aspect of the case was upheld.”

According to a report in the Guardian, two other BBC staff have been informally warned by managers to avoid expressing public support for LTNs where they live, due to the scheme’s “politically contentious” nature.

The ECU did, however, make it clear to the complainant that Vine remained entitled to use Twitter to voice his enthusiasm for cycling in general, as well as calling attention to its “potential benefits”.

> Councillor leaked confidential security information during row over Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

This isn’t the first time that the row between Vine and One Chiswick, a group the presenter described in March as a “source of persistent malevolence towards cyclists in my area”, has reached his employers at the BBC.

Vine was reported to the BBC in May 2021 over claims that he “bullied and intimidated” the anti-LTN activists by alleging they had decapitated flowers belonging to a safe cycling campaigner.

The presenter posted an image on Twitter of “severed” flower heads which had been spread out on a resident's doormat, and explained how the woman, a safe cycling advocate, had been subjected to “so much abuse” from a local anti-cycling group.

One Chiswick then wrote to the BBC Director General, Tim Davie, insisting that Vine had made unfounded “libellous and defamatory” claims against them, though the presenter maintained that he wasn’t directly accusing anyone but said the “local anti-cycling brigade” had created an atmosphere where someone “might think it is OK to do something like this”.

> Petition calls on BBC to fire Jeremy Vine over close pass Waitrose lorry driver video

In December 2021, David Giles – a prominent One Chiswick campaigner who had been suspended as chairman of the Chiswick Riverside Ward Conservatives two months previously for describing Labour-run Hounslow council as the ‘Brentford Taliban’ – was filmed by Vine shouting at people taking part in a ride to celebrate the opening of a new section of Cycleway 9 from King Street to Goldhawk Road.

Driving his car in the opposite direction, Giles leant out of his window and shouted, “Get off your bikes!” at the riders, many of whom were children, prompting Vine to post the video on Twitter with the caption, “Words fail”.

Ryan joined in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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NPlus1Bikelights | 1 year ago
chrisonabike replied to NPlus1Bikelights | 1 year ago

No contradiction.  They're pro cycling - somewhere far from Chiswick.

brooksby replied to NPlus1Bikelights | 1 year ago


We are PRO CYCLING in a safe environment which is fair to all and does not marginalise or make Chiswick more dangerous or daunting to other road users.

I always forget how much damage a cyclist can do to someone driving around in a Chelsea Chiswick Tractor.

Awavey replied to NPlus1Bikelights | 1 year ago

It's scary how theyve normalised the necessity to drive 1mile to shop so that taking that route away,becomes some attack on their freedom, I've visited Chiswick and that area loads of times, never once needed to drive

dubwise | 1 year ago

The bbc impartial... can't stop laughing at that.

Their reporting here in Scotland is far from impartial to the point that they tell lies.

M20MAMIL | 1 year ago

Is it open season on 'wishing harm' on Jeremy now? A Vine-on? He must feel aggrieved that they can lead the abuse and then get him disciplined.

qwerty360 | 1 year ago

My biggest issue is that shows with massive anti-ltn bias apparently didn't breach impartiality rules...


(see )

eburtthebike replied to qwerty360 | 1 year ago

That's reminded me that the BBC simply ignored Transport Day at COP26, despite covering all the other days 24/7.

Actually, that's not true, as it was featured on the World Service, but that's the only BBC coverage I can find.  Only ten minutes and doesn't mention public transport, cycling or walking, only electric cars, so just like the conference itself.

steaders1 | 1 year ago

You can't say anyhing on the BBC these days, far too PC 

Kendalred | 1 year ago

I can't believe David Attenborough has gotten away with insinuating that Climate breakdown is a bad thing. How very dare he.

Seriously though, the BBC, as awsome as it is, has lost the plot with regard to it's News/Current Affairs departments. This insistance on giving equality to 'both sides', no matter how derranged one 'side' is, is destroying any credibility it had. 

Hand-picked Tory DG - coincidence?

chrisonabike replied to Kendalred | 1 year ago

Good point - they were spouting propaganda for years on Blue Peter suggesting you could make things yourself rather than just buying them. They should be looking for connections to the toilet roll inner and sticky-back plastic cartels.

IanMK replied to Kendalred | 1 year ago

JV is basically supporting government policy (Gear Change) and local democracy (decisions made by elected representatives). Are BBC employees not allowed to do this? 

I'm a republican but I don't complain to the BBC everytime one of their employees says something supportive of the monarchy (or even accepts a gong from the Queen). Perhaps I should.

pockstone | 1 year ago

In other news, Gary Lineker accused of breaking impartiality rules for suggesting that sewage in the sea is not a good thing. 


mattw replied to pockstone | 1 year ago

He's already had an apology from Neil Henderson, it seems. Henderson cocked up by not knowing the different rules for News Staff vs Other Staff, which with his experiece was a bit of a pratfall.

TBF Gary Lineker was being a dick, and afaics just repeating inaccurate stuff he'd been fed by Twitter.

If he wanted to go for him, it should have been for the latter, not impartiality.

AlsoSomniloquism replied to mattw | 1 year ago

Was was "dickish" about the comments? I found Fabricant's comments more dickish personally, one of the MP's who voted that we didn't need to add more safeguards. 

brooksby | 1 year ago

Graudian wrote:

After an investigation, the BBC’s editorial complaints unit has sided with the member of the public and concluded that Vine breached impartiality rules. It ruled that taking a public side in the debate over whether LTNs are good or bad is the “kind of topic to which considerations of due impartiality applied for the BBC”.


IanMK | 1 year ago

After Emily Maitlis's comments I think we understand how laughable BBC's concept of impartiality is. They will continue to represent minority opinions with the same weight as considered and well suppoted ideas.

Gus T | 1 year ago

Pro cyclist comments - not impartial

Anti-cycling articles & programmes - impartial

So much for a balanced view on cycling by the BBC

Muddy Ford replied to Gus T | 1 year ago

Was about to comment the same. This judgement from BBC ironically underlines their anti-cycling bias.

eburtthebike replied to Gus T | 1 year ago

Pro-cycling comments?  Precious few of those, and certainly no pro-cycling programmes or segments that I am aware of. 

There is a prog on R4 "39 Ways to Save the Planet" which has never mentioned cycling; well, not quite true, as the introduction for series two is something like "We will be examining the best ways of saving the planet, including.......cycleways......" with the inevitable bicycle bell.  The only problem being that they haven't mentioned cycling so far, and don't appear to have any plans to do so.   I've emailed the presenter and the partners, the Royal Geographical Society, asking when they will be featuring the measure that is probably more beneficial than all the ones already featured put together, but no response from either.

Meanwhile Top Gear goes driving on.

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