Jeremy Vine criticises ‘anti-cycling’ London council after ‘horror show’ journey with wife

Vine brands Kensington and Chelsea council a ‘disgrace’ regarding lack of safe cycling infrastructure

A cyclist using a cycle lane in London
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jeremy Vine has publicly slammed the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council (RKBC) (opens in new tab), accusing them of being “anti cyclist”. 

In a video which he shared on twitter, the BBC presenter added a damning message attacking the “anti-cycling” attitude of the council. The video shows Vine and his wife cycling along the Chelsea Embankment from Kensington, where there is no cycle path. 

Vine said that Kensington High Street is an “absolute horror show, a chainsaw massacre” for cyclists with “not a single protected cycle path”.

In the video viewers see Vine, his wife and other cyclists struggling to turn onto the bridge in West London as they are cut up by traffic turning the same way. Car horns can clearly be heard blaring at the cyclists in the background. 

He said: “I am SICK AND TIRED of having my safety threatened by the anti-cycling attitudes of 'Royal' Kensington and Chelsea, which is the richest borough in Britain. This was my attempt to keep me and my wife safe while cycling through K&C last weekend. Something has to change.”

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The 57-year-old lives within the borough, and branded the RKBC a “disgrace” for providing “nothing for cyclists” in the clip.

"THIS IS THE RICHEST BOROUGH IN THE COUNTRY AND THERE IS NOTHING FOR CYCLISTS"

Vine also described the difficult situation in the video as an unnamed man is shown cycling on the pavement, Vine says “the layout has confused us and because there’s nowhere else for us to go we’re trapped and we have to go onto the pavement.”

Vine added, “This is the richest part of the richest borough in the country and there is nothing for cyclists”.

When contacted by Cycling Weekly in response to Vine’s comments, a spokesperson from RBKC said:

“We are committed to listening to all sections of our communities to develop long-term solutions to barriers holding back active travel.

“We have commissioned independent research from the Centre for London and will use what we learn from that report to help us understand how best to support the growth of active travel on our streets.”

They added that the road Vine is seen riding on is in fact a “Transport for London operated road” and that the council has “no say over whether there is segregated cycling there”.

The spokesperson also pointed out that any planning around cycling infrastructure is “a decision for TFL,” adding that “TFL own three east to west link roads in the borough and have the power to introduce segregated cycling on those roads if they choose to do so.”

This isn’t the first time the RKBC has been publicly slammed over its cycling infrastructure.

A cycle lane installed on Kensington High Street by the council was controversially scrapped just seven weeks after it was installed during the Covid pandemic.

Several local businesses were outraged at the installation of the cycle lane arguing it made parking more difficult for shoppers and increased traffic congestion. At the time the cycle lane was removed, Vine shared another video of cyclists trying to navigate the busy high street without the use of the lane.

In March 2021, the council confirmed that the cycle lane would not be re-installed despite the efforts of cycling campaigners in the capital.

The lanes had been installed during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic, and a spokesperson said at the time that the local authority had received 322 complaints from residents about the cycle lane- the population of the London Borough is around 160,000.

Vine has become something of celebrity campaigner for cycling safety. He previously shared another brief clip on his twitter account which shows a motorbike driving in a cycle lane in London.

When stopping at lights, the rider challenges Vine and tells him to "f**k off" for riding his bike in the path.

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