28 July 2009

BBC presenter in park-cycling outrage

BBC presenter Jeremy Vine, PA reported yesterday, was ticked off by a policewoman for cycling in "a London park" while out on a family picnic.

Hmm. But which park? Perhaps PA aren't aware that London has several. The big central ones only allow bikes on restricted parts of their pathway systems, but they're still a biking delight. Hyde (pictures), Green and St James's Park have well-marked bike paths that let you cycle almost continuously from Notting Hill or the Albert Hall past Buckingham Palace to the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square. And maybe, just maybe, things are moving our way: Regents Park, which notoriously banned bikes completely until recently, is currently undergoing a trial to allow bikes to use part of it.

So hooray for Southwark, which allows cycling in all its parks, so long as you do so responsibly. Mr Vine can trundle round Ruskin or Southwark or Burgess or Dulwich or any of the other borough parks with his family, free from jobsworth molestation. Or hazily-reported news stories.


  1. Hi it was Richmond Park. I cycled gently into the centre (Pens Pond) with my wife and two daughters, 2 and 5. I hadn't realised you had to stay on the roads/lanes. Jeremy

  2. Nice to hear from (the presumably real) Jeremy Vine. But how is it that when I click on his name a page appears about the Cambridge Folk Festival, which I'm off to in a few hours' time? Freaky....

  3. Cycling for pleasure? What ever happened to the times one could enjoy a ride on his/her bicycle? Not so long ago, I was stopped by a 'park warden', or so he claimed to be (or was he just some busy-body?) He told me that I could not cycle through my local park (Devonport park, Plymouth) or he'd confiscate by bike! I thought a park was a place of recreation, a place for all to enjoy; I thought wrong. It's a sad state of affairs these days when the only place you can legally have a relaxing ride is on dangerous, busy and exhaust-fumed roads. Devonport park is a victorian park, the very era from which bicycles emerged!
    I fear we are all heading for an 'ideal world' in which those in power want us all to live like robots. We are more predictable this way and easier for them to manage!