Lightweight journalism is always to be expected during the silly season. Even so it’s rather amusing to see the six-months-old modal share figures from the Census, headlined by Hackney’s big leap in cycling, being passed off as ‘news’ by the BBC, ITV and LBC. We casually drew attention to these figures way back in February, as did the Evading Standards and numerous other outlets, traditional and indy.
The penny seems finally to have dropped with the broadcasters thanks to a well-spun (and well timed) press release by Dr Anna Goodman publicising her newly published research article Walking, Cycling and Driving to Work in the English and Welsh 2011 Census: Trends, Socio-Economic Patterning and Relevance to Travel Behaviour in General. It’s a technical but fascinating analysis of work-related travel trends throughout England and Wales, in which Hackney is mentioned a couple of times for bucking the nationwide trend that where affluence increases, car dependence increases too. So congratulations to Dr Goodman for her research, and for waking up the Johnny-come-lately journos. Actually, the BBC TV package isn’t bad at all, and stars our own Charlie Lloyd drawing attention to the beneficial effect of Hackney Council’s controls on HGV through-traffic.