Transport for London pauses new 'see their side' campaign after backlash against advert

TfL paused the campaign after facing a backlash on social media

(Image credit: TfL)

Transport for London have paused the new 'see their side' road safety campaign that wants both drivers and cyclists to see each other's point of view after a backlash on social media.

This all comes as the Highway Code changes to give more priority to cyclists and pedestrians. But the new campaign seems to have missed the mark.

The video, which was released on Wednesday, November 17, was of a woman driving her car before slamming on her brakes after realising she was about to turn into a cyclist. An argument flared up between the two with internal monologues questioning their actions before they ask each other if they are okay and apologise.

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The video has since been taken down on Twitter and Youtube by TfL and comments have been blocked on the YouTube video, but Cycling UK likened it to the previous THINK BIKE campaign in 2016 which was described by Chris Boardman as "woefully misguided."

This has resulted in the new campaign being paused and London's walking and cycling commissioner Will Norman tweeting: "I know there has been a lot of concern raised about the ‘see their side’ advert. The campaign has been paused to consider the feedback that has been received. City Hall and TfL remain committed to improving the road culture in London and reducing road danger."

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When the film came out Miranda Leedham, head of customer marketing and behaviour change at transport for London, said in a report by Campaign Live (opens in new tab): "At TfL we want to make London safer for all. We’re incredibly passionate about this objective and 'See their side' is a film we wanted our audience to resonate with.

"The end product is a film which pulls at the heart-strings and really encourages all road users to wake up and think about the potential of their actions.

"We’re fully behind helping the mayor achieve his Vision Zero ambition to eradicate deaths and serious injuries from our roads and make London a safer place to live."

The film is focused on trying to make road users see life on the road from each others' perspective and encourages tolerance on London's roads.

But, according to Cycling UK the film "ignores the fundamental change the new Code introduces: the introduction of the 'Hierarchy of Users' or ‘Hierarchy of Responsibility’, recognising that road users who pose greater risks to others ought to have a higher level of responsibility."

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