The U.K.’s Channel 4 has begun broadcasting a television series that challenges Brits to ditch their choice mode of transport and start cycling, instead. Kris Murrin, the show’s host, is The Woman Who Stops Traffic. She crusades against traffic congestion, obesity, asthma, and pollution, and asks the English to lessen their dependence on cars.
Murrin’s proposals aren’t popular, particularly in the town of Marlow, where she’s urging locals and the city government to support measures that would stop traffic—or, at the very least, cut congestion. Murrin chose Marlow because it has the highest car ownership in the country, though most journeys are less than two miles long. She’s also stopping traffic in two other British cities, Boston and Durham.
Murrin fields harsh criticism from city councilors, angry e-mails from drivers of “army vehicles” who relish running over cyclists (more than one at a time, said the sender), and defensive sneers from soccer moms who refuse to stop driving their kids half a mile to school in their minivan.
The show’s web site offers cool, interactive features that help users calculate their carbon footprint and financial savings if they were to go car-free (even part-time). Users can pledge which car journeys they’re willing to sacrifice, and estimate the amount of carbon emissions they’ll save by traveling ped, instead. The sum of these savings is represented by the UK Car Free Map. The site also makes an argument for banning cars and offers tips for how to go car-free.
To see clips, check out Channel 4 on the web. Here’s a promo video from YouTube:
For more anti-car action on British television, check out: Britain Imposes One Day per Week Car Ban.
- All Aboard the Train that Never Stops!
- Lose the Traffic Lights to Improve Our Streets?
- Traffic Costs Billions in Maryland
- Carectomy Week in Review 10
- Stopping Traffic in Billy-Burg