The 1.8 million registered users of a leading automotive website were yesterday emailed with news that city centre motoring is history. A polemic penned by BikeBiz executive editor Carlton Reid warned motorists that "Whether you like it or not, the future will see ever greater restrictions on the use of privately owned motor cars in central business districts."
Defending the publication of an "anti-car" article on a petrolhead’s website, motoring.co.uk’s co-founder Chris Green said: "The article … is a very real view of what is happening in our major cities, and the effects it will have on motorists in the future."
Reid’s article featured a Toby Jacobs photograph of a car behind a great many cyclists in London and warned: "Take a long hard look at the photograph. That’s your future. Can’t see yourself as one of those on a bicycle? In that case you’ll be the one stuck behind them in your car."
Reid added: "No city on earth believes the answer to future mobility is more cars."
The polemic was penned to promote Reid’s latest book project, Bike Boom. This is currently nearing twice its funding target on Kickstarter.com. The piece – "If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em" – has had 263 likes on Facebook and 410 retweets. However, it has yet to go quite as viral as an earlier piece Reid wrote for motoring.co.uk – "Why do cyclists ride in the middle of the road?" has had 90,000 Facebook likes and 3842 retweets.
For those motorists who can’t kick the habit Reid suggested taking baby steps: "Buy a folding bike and keep it in the boot. Park on the outskirts of the city and cycle the rest of the way in. You’ll save a fortune in parking charges, burn off a spare tyre’s worth of blubber, and get to appointments on time for a change."