Today TFL launch their latest spurious health promotion/congestion tackling campaign “Why not walk it” urging London motorists to leave the car at home and take Shanks’ pony to their destination.
Londonist sees straight through this ruse. We all know that motorists just won’t. It’s well established that people love their cars and, given the choice and adequate free parking, will drive them to the corner shop. Only the Portuguese walk less. FACT.
So this campaign is utter tosh unless it’s a veiled exercise in expectation management for public transport users. You know the scenario:
Your destination is a 25 minute walk. You know that if you time it right, the bus will come along and get you there in 10. But if you’re unlucky, you’ll be waiting at the bus stop for 15 and swearing at yourself for not just walking in the first place. If you start walking the bus will come along and you will miss it but if you continue waiting, the bus will come along full and you won’t be able to get on it. Either way, you’re going to be late, grumpy and sweaty so you might as well just go back to bed.
This campaign confirms what we suspected all along; forget public transport – it’s quicker to walk.
Adrian Bell, from Transport for London said: "Walking can be a great way to make short journeys and this advertising campaign highlights that.”
Yeah, thanks, Adrian. Public transport users walk all the time: when buses terminate unexpectedly, when bus stops are shut, for tube evacuations and hopeless delays or when there’s just such standstill congestion that walking is the only sane way. Remember tube strike days? How many of us walked all the way home without batting an eyelid? London knows from bitter experience that walking is often the best option so this campaign is yet another money waster from the TFL folks. It’s up there with “Tube tips for women” in its "light-hearted" condescension.
Getting to the heart of the matter, Jenny Jones, the Mayor's green transport advisor, said: "Every pedestrian is one less person going for that final seat on the bus or tube…"
That’s more like it. TfL can’t cope with London’s demand for public transport.
"Why not walk it?"
Because we pay almost £100 each month for a Travelcard, you bastards.
Image courtesy of Drift Word’s Flickrstream