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Cycle Superhighway advert criticised for showing no cars

Peter Stuart
28 Sep 2018

Radio host Nick Ferrari has claimed that he will report the advert to Advertising Standards Authority for not showing enough cars

LBC radio host Nick Ferrari has claimed that he will report a recent TfL advert featuring a group of cyclists using the Cycle Superhighway because it shows no cars and a commuting cyclist is shown not wearing a helmet.

Ferrari is a longtime critic of cycling infrastructure in the capital, arguing that it has increased congestion. He also claimed last week that the cost of the latest Cycle Superhighway extension was £62,000 per person using it, based on increase of daily users against the £47m project.

His objection to the Evening Standard advert (below) appears to be that it doesn’t accurately reflect the modal share of traffic in London, as it shows several cyclists using the track but fails to show the major users of the road system – motor vehicles.

As a result he says he will be complaining to the ASA.

‘It's broad daylight and behind her is what is left of the road space for vehicles, that is to say taxis, cars, lorries, motor, bikes etc. Nothing, not a single car,’ claimed Ferrari on his morning show.

‘It's a busy part of London, not a million miles from the River Thames that takes you up to King's Cross. There is not a vehicle in sight in broad daylight in this ad. Really?’

He claimed that he would speak to a representative from the ASA as, ‘That, to me, is a wholly misleading claim and image.’

It’s not clear why he believes the density of traffic affects the validity of the claim that ‘there’s never been a better time to get on your bike.’

Ferrari also took objection to the failure of the advert to show cyclists wearing helmets.

‘Secondly, you see three cyclists in this photograph. The one in the foreground is definitely not wearing a helmet,’ he said. ‘I know it's not mandated that you should, but every safety guidance says that you should. And I'm fairly certain the third cyclist isn't wearing one either.’

The arguments surrounding the construction of segregated cycleways is becoming an increasingly heated political issue, with many arguing that progress has stalled, despite claims from Sadiq Khan that he has built 140km of cycling infrastructure.

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