The BBC says Jeremy Vine has breached impartiality guidelines with comments from low-traffic neighbourhoods ThePipaNews

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ThePipaNews

Jeremy Vine was spoken to by BBC bosses after breaching the company’s impartiality guidelines when he supported the introduction of a low-traffic zone in an area of ​​London.

The presenter, who hosts a current weekday show on BBC Radio 2, had criticized campaigners opposing the introduction of a scheme in Chiswick, near where he lives.

One complainant claimed that tweets posted by Jeremy represented “a campaign of abuse” against a “legitimate local campaign group”.

The BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit (EBU) said Jeremy “had primarily responded to posts from a Facebook group overseen by the complainant, which had been noticed by the member of the group, ill-wishing him and describing him in unfair terms”.

While the EBU said he “has the right to object to such personal abuse and, as he did so in terms that were not inherently offensive”, the complaint was not upheld.

However, it found that Jeremy – who is famously a keen cyclist – breached impartiality guidelines with some of the views he expressed in his comments, which they said were “inconsistent with the BBC’s editorial standards”.

The EBU said on its website: “The guidance makes clear that the BBC’s standards should be followed in personal social media activities, as well as on air, by those working in journalism and factual programmes, and the current content of Mr Vine’s program on Radio 2 brings him into that category.The introduction of an LTN [low traffic neighbourhood] was a source of sharp controversy in Chiswick at the time (mirroring controversies elsewhere where LTN has been introduced), and was the kind of subject on which considerations of due impartiality applied to the BBC.

“To the extent that Mr Vine’s Twitter activity since the relevant guidance came into force appeared to support one view on that subject and controversial another, it was inconsistent with the BBC’s editorial standards as they applied to him, and this aspect of the case was upheld .”

The EBU said the matter was discussed with Jeremy and passed on to BBC Content management.

The statement added: “To avoid any misunderstanding, ECU made clear to the complainant that the finding had no bearing on any social media activity where Mr Vine was simply expressing his personal enthusiasm for cycling or drawing attention to its potential benefits.”

Jeremy, who also hosts a morning talk show for Channel 5, has previously expressed his view that discussing cycling safety is “not a political thing”, telling the Guardian earlier this month: “If you can create a safe cycling space, you have the potential to free thousands of miles of the transport network and cleans up the city, making it safer.”

He added: “I think the general principle is that I can speak honestly and from my own point of view about issues like cycling on this street, which I do every day, or road deaths. We are not impartial when it comes to road deaths – that’s a bad thing, and bike safety is a good thing, and it’s clear that the more segregated bike lanes you have, the safer the cyclists are.”

The newspaper noted that Jeremy also said he does not publicly support low-traffic neighborhood plans that he has never seen.

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