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Janet Street-Porter continues anti-cycle superhighway campaign on BBC’s Daily Politics show

States her belief that cyclists want all other forms of transport ‘eradicated’

Increasingly a figurehead for those opposing London’s cycle superhighways, Janet Street-Porter has said that it is time for people to stand up for their rights by telling cyclists that ‘roads are also for buses, cars, lorries and taxis.’

Earlier in the year, Street-Porter penned an article for The Independent, entitled “Cyclists and their powerful backers are destroying London for the rest of us.” The piece was described by Chris Boardman as being “what you have to do when you don't have logic, evidence or a moral case to support what you want.”

Unfazed, Street-Porter has ploughed on, repeating many of her points in a personal film shown ahead of a debate on BBC Two’s Daily Politics show yesterday.

In the film, Street-Porter says that the work to create London’s cycle superhighways has made life “vile” for pedestrians before going on to question why the capital has been ‘brought to its knees’ in the name of cycling.

“I thought we lived in a democracy,” she says. “But it seems, in this city, cyclists have more clout than anyone else. Isn’t it about time that the rest of us stood up for our rights and told cyclists that roads are also for buses, cars, lorries and taxis?”

Street-Porter believes that cyclists “won’t be happy until all other forms of transport are eradicated” and claims that they “breeze through the city with little regard for anyone else.”

The debate that follows appears a frustrating one for London cycling commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, who finds himself repeatedly urging his fellow panel members to go outside and look at the cycle superhighways if they need proof that they are being used.

His claims largely fall on deaf ears and he is left visibly exasperated, at one point saying: "This discussion is a kind of example of the lack of rationality about the debate in cycling."

Street-Porter responds by saying: “The lack of rationality is that Boris said he wanted £12.50 allocated per Londoner going forward for cycling. But you’re not allocating £12.50 to pedestrians.”

Some might argue that pedestrians already have their own lanes.

Gilligan concludes by saying: “The fact is, we have 10,000 people a month joining the population of London. The only way to cope with that on the roads is two things. Either we build more roads, which is politically impossible and physically impossible, or realign the roads to make better use of them by encouraging forms of transport, like bikes, which take up less space.”

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.

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29 comments

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LegalFun | 7 years ago
0 likes

This "Ban Cycle Lanes" rhetoric seems to have infected St Thomas' Hospital too.
The petititon about the cycle lane turning bus stops into floating islands in the road claims that TFL are ignoring the needs of vulnerable road users, patients. Unfortunately the campaigners seem to have forgotten about pavements and zebra crossings!

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pockstone | 7 years ago
2 likes

We could have a bridge like this in Burley in wharfedale :

 

http://www.china-tour.cn/images/China_Pictures/Shanghai_Pictures/Yangpu_...

 

After all, bridges are for buses, cars, lorries and taxis too!

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Bob F | 7 years ago
1 like

J S-P ...."celebrity" and "media personality".... Says it all really. 

Any chance of cyclists being included in her Burley Bridge Campaign then?

 

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Dnnnnnn | 7 years ago
3 likes

Janet explained at the outset of the subsequent studio discussion that she likes cycling herself, she owns a bike and is pro-cycling

Reminds me of, "I'm not a racist but..."

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Wolfshade | 7 years ago
2 likes

I watched this yesterday and I have to say Gilligan needs some kind of award for sitting there.

The obvious solution to JSP problems is to build more roads, because we haven't tried that for the last century only to discover that the more roads are built the more congestion occurs. But she is right, if we keep building roads quicker than the lanes are being used up then we can get to a point where much of london is underneath an implausibly wide tarmac road which owing to the needed demolition of houses, business and places of interest people will want to stop going there as where they lived/worked/visited is now under blacktop.

But yeah, obviously as she likes cycling it is fine for her to say this crap.

Maybe the next new road should go through her house to see how she enjoys helping reduce congestion...

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brooksby replied to Wolfshade | 7 years ago
1 like
Wolfshade wrote:

The obvious solution to JSP problems is to build more roads, because we haven't tried that for the last century only to discover that the more roads are built the more congestion occurs.

So JSP is happy to argue this, whilsit presumably ignoring the research done which - er - proves exactly the opposite.  Building more roads encourages more people to use the roads, because there appears to be all this space capacity.  There's a finite area for roads, and I'm afraid JSP isn't stuck in traffic - she is traffic yes

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Peowpeowpeowlasers | 7 years ago
4 likes

I think I actually lost a few brain cells listening to her arguments.  What a fucking clown.

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Leviathan | 7 years ago
9 likes

Can I just have £12.50 please?

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ribena | 7 years ago
5 likes

It was difficult to follow what her complaint actually was. She started off talking about congestion due to road works then said "and my point is..." then started talking about helmets. Then she was onto bike mot's, then back on to lack of compulsion. She was meandering all over the place, just ranting.

If the BBC are looking to bring up the issue of cycle lanes at the very least they need to find someone with a coherent argument. Or maybe that makes it too easy to point out how flawed the case against cycle lanes is.

The fault definitely lies with the BBC here.

Of course, they'll be doing an opinion price explaining the other point of view??

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Bill H replied to ribena | 7 years ago
7 likes

Don't underestimate Janet Street-Porter, this is someone who turned mockney in the 1980's in a successful attempt to fit in at Channel 4. That is almost ten years before the professional politicians started changing their voices to appear more down-to-earth / electable.

Refuting her ranting with reasoned argument is the way to address her, not writing off her off as stupid or ignorant.

 

 

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rjfrussell | 7 years ago
10 likes

"Some might argue that pedestrians already have their own lanes."  Not merely "lanes"-  vertically separated carriageways, upon which it is an offence to drive.  ON EVERY ROAD!!! 

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The _Kaner | 7 years ago
2 likes

JSP...does she even know how to spell eradicated....

 

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Paul_C | 7 years ago
16 likes

the reason she got away with making this monumentally biased film was because it was a 'personal' account... the BBC should hang their heads in shame for allowing this... would anyone else be able to get away with spouting off against immigrants or other races/religions and claim it was a personal film? No they would be thrown out and pilloried in public... but apparently people riding bicycles are fair game...

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HalfWheeler | 7 years ago
17 likes

May 2016 'Cunt of the Month' competition is looking like a two-horse race between Michael O'Leary and JSP.

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QED | 7 years ago
10 likes

I complained to the BBC for giving JSP air time to air uninformed, anecdotal opinion that has been thoroughly debunked by good evidence and studies. I then compared JSP on cycling to a climate change denier on a panel with proper scientists. This is their sorrynotsorry notpology:

Thanks for getting in touch with us about the segment about cycling on Monday's Daily Politics programme.

The film was very clearly introduced by host Jo Coburn as being writer and broadcaster Janet Street-Porter's own personal take on the pertinent and current question of whether the transformation of our cities for cyclists has gone too far. As Janet herself clearly explained afterwards, the film was based on an earlier comment piece she'd written for a newspaper, thus the views were clearly her own and not those of the BBC.

That said, Janet explained at the outset of the subsequent studio discussion that she likes cycling herself, she owns a bike and is pro-cycling. Her central point was about the cycling superhighways which have been introduced in London and elsewhere, which she herself felt tipped the balance too far in favour of cyclists thus to the detriment of other road users.

Allied to this were the actions of some - not all - cyclists in terms of demonstrably not obeying the rules of the road and causing danger and inconvenience to other road users. Janet didn't say cyclists caused traffic congestion but rather that road works for the cycling superhighways did, and the point was made that even with the superhighways many cyclists still used regular roads, hence their efficacy was questioned.

This is a topical issue and therefore it was relevant to hear Janet's views. In doing so, we're not saying that hers are the only views or that we support her view or that she is right - across the BBC's programmes we regularly cover issues surrounding cycling and traffic and therefore hear and discuss an enormous range of viewpoints.

This was, as explained, an 'authored' film explaining one person's opinions, but the crucial point to bear in mind is that we then went on to discuss the matter openly and fully in the studio where Janet was pressed and challenged on her views, and we heard at length and in detail from London's former Cycling Commissioner himself as well as a former Shadow Transport Minister thus ensuring a wide range of views were heard and all the pertinent points discussed.

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surly_by_name replied to QED | 7 years ago
3 likes
QED wrote:

Allied to this were the actions of some - not all - cyclists in terms of demonstrably not obeying the rules of the road and causing danger and inconvenience to other road users.

I struggle with lots of what JSP has said on the issue of cycling in London (and agree with many of the other posts on this forum). However, this bit from the BBC really winds me up. In the interests of balance, will the BBC fund (and provide airtime for) a programme that bemoans the actions "of some - not all" motorists in "demonstrably not obeying the rules of the road" - exceeding the speed limit, using mobile phones, etc etc - in a manner which is exponentially more dangerous than cyclists failing to comply with said rules.

Thought not.

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Gus T replied to surly_by_name | 7 years ago
1 like
surly_by_name wrote:
QED wrote:

Allied to this were the actions of some - not all - cyclists in terms of demonstrably not obeying the rules of the road and causing danger and inconvenience to other road users.

I struggle with lots of what JSP has said on the issue of cycling in London (and agree with many of the other posts on this forum). However, this bit from the BBC really winds me up. In the interests of balance, will the BBC fund (and provide airtime for) a programme that bemoans the actions "of some - not all" motorists in "demonstrably not obeying the rules of the road" - exceeding the speed limit, using mobile phones, etc etc - in a manner which is exponentially more dangerous than cyclists failing to comply with said rules.

Thought not.

But they do regularly every year, they call the evidence Top Gearangelangel

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willythepimp | 7 years ago
6 likes

She is half right, though. I would have a ban on cars/vans in city and town centres. 

I love the fact that she sees cyclists breezing through cities with what on the outside appears to be little regard for anyone else, but in reality is happy in their mode of transportation. Reduce the stress even further and only allow peds bikes and green public transportation. 

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brooksby | 7 years ago
11 likes
Quote:

"Isn’t it about time that the rest of us stood up for our rights and told cyclists that roads are also for buses, cars, lorries and taxis?”

Yes, because it's the buses, cars, lorries and taxis which are restricted to the edge of the road, hemmed in between painted lines barely the width of the vehicle, isn't it, Janet?

It's the drivers of buses which keep getting killed by left turning cyclists? (those recumbents can be pretty chunky, I guess).

Its the 'motoring advocates' who get bricks through their windows, or abuse shouted at them, isn't it, Janet?

You used to be radical (back in the 80s...), but you're not so radical now.  So do be quiet.

 

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jollygoodvelo | 7 years ago
8 likes

Can we just deprive her of oxygen please?

 

Sorry, the oxygen of publicity. 

 

I don't mean we should make her stand on Oxford Street until she dies of asphyxiation or lung cancer.  That would be cruel.

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bogbrush | 7 years ago
2 likes

36:15 for those looking for the segment on the Daily Politics, JSP's propoganda is shown immediately before

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bikebot | 7 years ago
14 likes

The JSP position on listening

//i.imgur.com/UeqYLeO.jpg)

Rent-a-gob, best ignored.

The BBC on the other hand, is deserving of much criticism. The film was comissioned based on her earlier written column. The editoral staff of a politics program, read that much criticism factually inaccurate nonsense, and decided it was a good comment piece for their show.

I very much doubt they'd invite Katie Hopkins on to talk about immigration, but when it comes to cycling the BBC is very comfortable going completely Daily Mail.

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Rapha Nadal | 7 years ago
9 likes

Watch out, Janet, we're coming for you...

In other news, it completely blows my mind that she thinks that cyclists simply don't use any other form of road based transport at all.  No cars, no taxis, no buses.  What a fucking moron.

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MattEdd | 7 years ago
9 likes

Couldn't we just eradicate Janet Street-Porter?  In a nice way of course, maybe by ignoring her?

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benb | 7 years ago
14 likes
Quote:

But you’re not allocating £12.50 to pedestrians

That's because streets in London already have dedicated pedestrian infrastructure.

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step83 replied to benb | 7 years ago
4 likes
benb wrote:
Quote:

But you’re not allocating £12.50 to pedestrians

That's because streets in London already have dedicated pedestrian infrastructure.

 

Comes under the council tax im if not mistaken.  the £12.50 was for the new system of cycle ways.

JSP is one of those people who are never happy, if it were trams she would be complaining about them being an eyesore causing accidents etc. 

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OldRidgeback | 7 years ago
13 likes

I think that Janet Street-Porter is the one with a lack of rationality.

If she doesn't understand why more urban cycle commuting means less car commuting and reduced traffic density and less congestion then she's a real dimwit.

And that's without factoring in the benefits from reduced urban pollution, better public health through increased exercise (and lower pollution) and a massive saving on the NHS budget from not having to spend so much on tackling obesity or illness caused by pollution.

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davel replied to OldRidgeback | 7 years ago
8 likes
OldRidgeback wrote:

...she's a real dimwit.

Ever seen her on anything like Question Time or Have I Got News For You? Guaranteed to come across as the dimmest light on the panel.

She's one of those people whose main talent seems to be over-exploiting the very little actual talent they have.

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Dnnnnnn replied to davel | 7 years ago
3 likes
davel wrote:

She's one of those people whose main talent seems to be over-exploiting the very little actual talent they have.

Her talent may be for self-promotion and raising her own profile. She might get a few free black cab rides off the back of this but I don't think too many people take her very seriously.

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