Council Mocked for Car Free Day Cancellation

Some question whether calling off event was appropriate tribute to the Queen

Previous King Street Car Free Days were popular with cyclists. Picture: H&F Council

Hammersmith & Fulham Council has been mocked by residents and celebrities after delaying its ‘car free day’ to honour the Queen’s death.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council postponed the event this Sunday (11 September) and instead decided to keep King Street open to motorists.

The borough announced on Twitter: “Please be aware that, following the passing of Her Majesty The Queen, today’s scheduled Car Free Day celebration in Hammersmith has been postponed. As a result, King Street will now remain open to motorists.”

But the announcement was immediately mocked by some Hammersmith residents and attracted national attention.

Comedian James Felton wrote sarcastically: “The right call. I shall join this touching tribute and needlessly rev a gas guzzler in her honour.”

Journalist Owen Jones quipped, “What a touching, moving gesture to mourn someone’s passing!”

Another Twitter user joked, “Contender for best tribute” while a second said: “The Queen is dead. Long live the King Street.”

Hammersmith residents initially thought the post was satire and many joked about the decision.

One Hammersmith resident said, “A beautiful tribute. I’m watching the traffic jam between TK Maxx and the William Morris with a patriotic tear running down my cheek.”

A second added: “Will the Car Horn Symphony Orchestra be giving us some delightful renditions of the Queen’s favourite tunes as well?”

A third said: “There’s nothing that shows greater respect than a traffic jam on King Street. If we can get it to extend onto Queen Caroline Street and Fulham Palace Road, we’ll have the full set.”

Hammersmith and Fulham is not the only local authority to be mocked for its tributes to Queen Elizabeth II after her death was announced on Thursday, 8 September.

Norwich City Council closed a cycle lane to mark a period of mourning. The council warned it would confiscate bikes left on the cycle path over the weekend.

A Hammersmith and Fulham spokesperson said the event is likely to be rescheduled for early October following the mourning period for the Queen’s death. The council hosted its Proclamation event on Sunday in Ravenscourt Park to mark the start of the reign of King Charles III.

Jacob Phillips - Local Democracy Reporter

September 12, 2022