An attempt by Conservative activists to promote their campaign against a new Cycle Superhighway in south-west London has somewhat backfired after a video posted online showed three men struggling to be heard above the noise of passing traffic.
Patrick Barr, a candidate in upcoming council elections, posted the video of himself, councillor Gerald McGregor, and London Assembly member Tony Arbour standing on Chiswick High Road to promote their campaign against the construction of CS9 along the road.
Unfortunately, while the three men talk about how they think the segregated cycle path will “destroy the character” of the “village high street”, they are drowned out by the sound of passing cars, vans and lorries, with Cllr McGregor’s introduction also interrupted by what sounds to be a truck reversing just off camera.
The video was picked up by Guardian writer Peter Walker, who said that you “genuinely couldn’t make it up”, before other Twitter users, including a certain Ned Boulting, weighed in with their thoughts on the video, also pointing out that getting more people on bikes would reduce pollution in the area and, as shown by studies elsewhere in London, provide increased trade for local businesses.
The video is part of a campaign against what Brentford and Isleworth Conservative Party is calling a “Bike Motorway”, the segregated Cycle Superhighway 9 which is currently being consulted on by Transport for London and will improve conditions for cyclists between Kensington Olympia and Brentford.
The plans have already been subject to a letter of protest in a parish newsletter by a Catholic priest (outside whose church the above video was filmed), with the priest saying that they would do “more damage than the Luftwaffe” to the local area.
The new infrastructure, which TfL hope to begin construction on in 2018, is part of the London Mayor’s Healthy Streets initiative, which aims to encourage Londoners to travel by foot, bike, and public transport, therefore improving air quality, reducing congestion, and making for a healthier and happier population.