Royal Parks is said to be discussing with media portrayal of cyclists using its parks
Misleading pictures published by a number of media outlets of cyclists apparently riding in groups in London’s Regent’s Park, supposedly in defiance of rules of social distancing, are leading to an increase in aggression against riders by motorists, according to a group that represents cyclists who use Regent’s Park. The Royal Parks, which is responsible for the park, is reportedly discussing with media organisations the issue of how cyclists riding there are portrayed.
As we highlighted on Monday, a number of media outlets including The Times, Mail Online, The Sun and The Mirror have used what appear to be deliberately misleading photos purporting to show cyclists riding closer together than is in fact the case.
Some of those images were taken in Regent’s Park, while The Times used one taken on Box Hill in Surrey, which is owned and managed by the National Trust.
In each case, however, the use of a telephoto lens to take a picture of a group of riders heading towards the photographer had the effect of making the cyclists look closer together than the 2 metres the government requires people to observe.
Justin McKie from Regent’s Park Cyclists told north west London newspaper The Ham & High that the pictures had led to “a spike in aggressive driving” against cyclists riding in the park, as they are permitted to do under government rules allowing one form of exercise per day.