For those interested in how things are progressing with my complaint about the Penguin advertisement for Jeremy I-will-run-you-down-for-fun Clarkson’s new book (see previous post So You Think That’s Funny, Mr Clarkson), here are the responses so far:
- Penguin: Confirmed receipt of complaint, no response yet
- Boris Johnson: Response (yesterday) by liaison officer, advising me to take the complaint on to TfL directly.
- Advertising Standards Authority: acknowledgement, no response yet
So top marks to my local MP Sadiq Khan, and Shadow Secretary of State for Transport who, even though it’s not actually in his remit, is the first and only person to do anything tangible so far, in that he has written to both the Mayor & the ASA on my
behalf, enclosing my email, and sent me copies of those letters, by post.
By contrast, the most disappointing response by far was from the Mayor’s office, because it came with a whole load of blurb about how the Mayor has ‘made the issue of cycling safety one of his top priorities.’ Yes, I know, and I actually began my complaint with a note of congratulation on the cycle lanes etc. How could they miss the point that I made in my complaint that this having Penguin’s ad downstairs on the underground is at odds with the Mayor’s own laudable efforts to make the roads better for cyclists? I was also hoping for some kind of consideration of the moral/ethical issues in general, but never mind.
Here’s a selection of incidents from my very average week on the road. Believe me, we don’t need dislike added to this:
- A police car nearly turning across my path assuming I’d stop because they thought I could hear the imaginary siren that they hadn’t turned on.
- People (many, many of them) looking into their laps as they text/chatting on mobile/changing hands for the phone as they turn a corner
- A bus overtaking near a traffic island, so that they leave enough room as the front of the bus passes you, but you nearly get swamped by the back end as they swerve in to accommodate the traffic island
- People in side roads accelerating towards you just so you know that you’ve got to wait for them
- Buses pulling out without a signal
- People – and don’t ask me why this is the new disease – looking left as they turn left, instead of seeing what might be coming towards them from the right.
- Taxi drivers using the cycle lane as extra headroom to get ahead of people waiting to turn right at junctions – without looking to see whether there’s anyone actually in it.
Oh and the latest annoyance – drivers behind you who decide they’re going to jump the red light, after you’ve already decided that you’ll stop for the amber.