Dalston Borough Council unveiled plans today for the Dalston Cycle Superhighway #1, which, the scheme’s backers say, will promote health, decrease journey times and ‘quite literally save planet Earth’.
Despite everyone asking her not to, Council leader Ms Consuela Ahmadinejad donned lycra to launch the DCS#1 at a lavish town hall event this morning. Helped up to the podium by several strong men, Cllr Ahmadinejad wheezed through her presentation like a Day-Glo sea-cow that had misplaced its inhaler. [Council spin doctor Alastair Tucker later explained to the Mercury that her performance was merely an effective means of illustrating to the public why cycling is good and being driven around in a Jag, eating lard, is bad.]
The proposed DCS#1 would run the entire 56 metre length of Dalston’s Acacia Avenue, which, coincidentally, is home to Cllr Ahmadinejad, Mayor Miles Toob, the editor of a national tabloid and fourteen other borough councillors. And someone who used to be in Eastenders but isn’t any more.
‘Even the most virtuous omelette requires the breaking of a few eggs,’ said Cllr Ahmadinejad at the launch, ‘and the creation of the DCS#1 will require a minor realignment of traffic flow in the area.’
‘Specifically, this would require shifting all the cars, vans, buses and six hundred-odd trucks, HGVs, construction vehicles, pantechnicons, scaffolder’s lorries and fire engines off Acacia Avenue and on to neighbouring streets. The playgrounds of two primary schools would have to be sacrificed as part of a road widening scheme, but these are currently a cost burden to the borough, what with all the shrub pruning and everything, so they won’t be missed. And, anyhow, instead of wasting time pointlessly running around having fun, pupils will now be able to enjoy vocational courses in oil-sump drainage and tire-pressurology.’
Cllr Ahmadinejad told her audience that any environmental damage caused by the scheme would be more than offset by plans to plant alongside the DCS#1 an avenue of noble elms, a cherry orchard, a herb garden and a small, sustainable rain forest. Also a gazebo and some sort of water feature. Maybe a few deer. Property prices along the route are unlikely to be affected, she said.
The councillor assured concerned residents that the scheme would go through a process of public consultation before being put to a popular vote, and ‘if the people vote against the plan, we will abide by their misguided decision. For at least three months.’
‘Then we’ll do the whole damn thing over again. And again. For as long as it takes until they come to the correct position. Correct for Mother Earth, I mean.’
Then she said something about ‘the future’ and ‘a boot stamping on a human face forever,’ but we don’t think we were supposed to hear that bit.