Boris and Arnie’s romantic bike ride.

31 03 2011

I really have nothing else to add to what the Mayor of London has been up to today.

Oh, apart from Arnie’s view that Boris is great and green:


Christ on a bike.

10 12 2010

Merry Christmas from the Mayor of London. The Three Kings on Boris Bikes riding to the stable to hand gifts to the baby Jesus.

The card, designed by 10-year-old Ellie Feldman, was unveiled today and Boris Johnson went to meet her at her school and speak to pupils during the school assembly.

The card will be sent to individuals and organisations across the capital by the Mayor.

Boris said: “This tremendously fun festive card caught my eye immediately – what an ingenious idea to place the Three Wise Men on our magnificent hire bikes! It’s guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face and I’d like to thank the creative youngster who designed it for me.”

But is this actually a protest picture from our Ellie? Maybe she decided it was better for the three kings to get on bikes because nobody can rely on the tube or trains at the moment.

Smelly boys.

22 11 2010

If we ever wanted proof that boys are filthy, sweaty creatures and girls smell of  sweet Spring flowers  – take a look at my story in today’s Standard.

Only a quarter of the people signed up for the Boris bike hire scheme are women, and TfL think it is because of safety concerns and a lack of public changing/washing facilities.

Remember ladies you could always use a sink in the public loos of some dingy railway station, boys do.


By Martin Robinson

The cost of running the annual New Year’s Eve party on the banks of the Thames has been forced up because of safety concerns and clear-up costs.

City Hall says it will have to find an extra £140,000 to fully fund the 2010 event and its fireworks display, costing taxpayers £1.8 million this year.

Around 250,000 people descend on central London to see in the New Year and more security staff will be brought in to reduce overcrowding and ensure people get easily and safely home afterwards.

Boris Johnson says that there will be improved management of the hordes of revellers who will attend on December 31 this year.

The Mayor is spending more on security at official viewing areas along the Thames to ensure that they do not exceed their capacity.

Councils who clear up the mess left by the visitors are also expected to ask for more money to play their part on December 31 into January 1.

Extra money will also be spent on an event website, providing detailed information for those planning to attend, and 150,000 viewing area maps for distribution on the day.

“Due to the popularity of the event, a significant proportion of the event budget is spent on crowd management measures to ensure that access to viewing areas is controlled to ensure that safe capacity is not exceeded,” new City Hall documents have revealed.

“A year on year uplift in some costs and increased local authority charges, particularly for post event cleansing and other services provided by London boroughs have resulted in costs increasing from the 2009 event by £137,869.”

The event has been staged by the Authority since 2003, and has designated viewing areas between Lambeth and Blackfriars bridges, with the fireworks and light show centred around Big Ben and the London Eye.

But it has proved so popular that the zone could be extended further east to Southwark Bridge this year.

Of the total £1.8 million cost, £1.5 million will be paid for by the London Development Agency with the rest coming from City Hall funds.


Ring ring – get out of the way!

29 07 2010

When I was about three my Mum says I once rode my black BMX (with stabilisers) into my brother’s school playground and went straight at a crowd of mothers shouting “get out of the way ladies before I flatten you!”

So 25 years later, with little more skill on two wheels, Boris’ new bikes are now ready and waiting for me to hit the streets and probably ride straight into another great big group of people.

I was at Old Street today and saw the docking stations, minus bikes, and I must admit that it was really exciting to see it. But will I use it? I suspect I’ll probably have to enjoy watching others to be honest.

I read today that the London scheme is a fraction of the size of the Paris scheme, and of course Paris is a fraction of the size of London. Why this model then? My wife lived in Paris last year and it often wasn’t possible to find a bike to use – they were either out or many were broken.

I just have this nagging feeling that although it is brilliant in practice it might not work out that way because of the reasons above. Also, despite only living about three miles from town, my nearest bike station is about two miles away, many must be in that position. So is it just a tourist money-spinner?

Also, I guess I am not alone in being someone who would love my own bike at home but can’t fit one in my small one bedroom flat and daren’t leave it outside.

I’d love to use these bikes instead. But I’m afraid if I use one of Boris’ for a few hours regularly in a week I will be left with quite a large bill.

If you don’t include £45 membership (if you choose to do that) you are looking at around a tenner a week in charges so hundreds a year. At the moment that’s too much for me.

Barclays Cycle Hire: initial thoughts.

23 07 2010

“A small number of customers may be experiencing difficulties with the card details section of the registration form. We are fixing this now so those who have been unable to sign up today can do so successfully tomorrow. We apologise for the inconvenience.”


So surprise surprise people (including me) are interested in signing up for membership to the Cycle Hire Scheme today but not all are able to do so. It’s not as if they have been planning for this launch for years!

BTW I’ve also realised not to bother trying to find out where I can actually pick up a bike, the map on the TfL website doesn’t work and is currently just that, a map.

At least I now know where the mysterious Barbican is.

The website exclaims: “Where are the cycles?” – good point.

Oh, anyone want to go to the Ken4London pub quiz in August? Just got an invite. £10 per person. Erm, no, better save it for two and a half hours on one of these bikes, if I can find one.