Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Boris Johnson and the Cycle Friday ghost riders

Asked last week by Caroline Pidgeon AM how many people had taken part in his Cycle Friday initiative, Boris Johnson replied:

"I am pleased to confirm that well over four hundred cyclists registered for the Cycle Friday events that ran towards the end of the Summer of Cycling."

Four hundred sounds pretty poor for a London-wide "summer of cycling" to me. So how did you work out that total Boris?

But hang on, doesn't that assume that a completely different set of people turned up each week? If they didn't then Boris has double counted them no?

Surely the real number who took part could be as little as 93.

And with the total cost of the scheme thought to be £30,000, that works out as the most expensive commute it's possible to make.

Wouldn't it have been cheaper to just hand out a few hundred free bikes?







You can listen to Boris's Transport adviser Kulveer Ranger debate the scheme with Nick Ferrari and Caroline Pidgeon in the above clip:

14 comments:

prj45 said...

We certainly cycled in in great phalanxes to the "Skyride", I was part of a group of 100 and there were three groups of those sorts of number on my route.

Isn't Nick Ferrari sick making?

"The blond genius"?

It's a shame that cycle Fridays weren't as popular as I think they could've been with the right publicity; say a freesheet distributed to every hosue in London by the Mayor's office?

AdamB said...

Yep it was the fact that he thought he could do it on the cheap. Just sling down a couple of tweets and get all of London cycling through sheer force of personality.

If he really wanted to make it work then he needed to spend a great deal more than £30,000 and a great deal more than 8 days in the year. As it was, it was just an expensive stunt.

Helen said...

God, Kulveer's a bullshitter. Much like Munira being questioned by the Economic Development, Culture, Sport and Tourism Committee this afternoon. She said that they'll be doing Story Of London next year and planning it a year in advance; they came into office in May (2008) and it wasn't enough lead-in time for June 2009? Bullshit - they announced Story Of London in February 2009 and local boroughs certainly hadn't known about it before then. Today she said they'll be moving it to October and there'll be a theme - Story Of London isn't a theme? She's admitting the narrative was non-existent?

Tom said...

"We certainly cycled in in great phalanxes to the "Skyride", I was part of a group of 100 and there were three groups of those sorts of number on my route."

Agreed, I saw one at Hounslow. It does rather illustrate the difference between a one-day event on cleared roads and an every day commute shared with HGVs, cars, buses and whatever the British weather can throw out you. I'm a fan of cycling (obviously), but not a fan of zealotry, which is what Boris is displaying in worrying amounts here.

Helen, you gonna blog up Munira and co.? Calmed down yet?

Helen said...

I've blogged her well good. I'm in an even more foul mood after hearing Redmond O'Neill's died.

barry rochford said...

Yes,I got the news off a friend about Redmond. Do you remeber that sh*t Martin Bright who did that documentary attacking Ken's management and didn't give Ken any right of reply in his documentary (Dispatches)? He claimed Redmond, who was being treated for cancer at the time, didn't attend board meetings? That's the gutter journalism that some stoop to. Martin Bright has moved to the Spectator (no link with Boris, obviously.
(Sorry to take up time on your blog Adam on this one,but it is indirectly linked to the media lies that Boris has profited from)

Harold said...

Actually, I thought Kulveer sounded right for a Mayor's spokesperson. Right out the Hazel Blears school of bullshit

sarah hart said...

Yes, funny how none of the colums in the table are totalled. Maybe they haven't learnt how to use spreadsheets properly in Boris's team?

saifu03 said...

I think they know how to total. I think they also know that it would be embarassing to put totals in...

This was actually a good idea, blighted by poor execution. Makes a change from rubbish idea that sounds good unless you think about it for more than 5 seconds and then execute it poorly.

Again, this is what happens when you campaign on things you know nothing about. Publicity costs money, but publicity is necessary when you govern a city of millions. Just saying that we should stop spending so much on advertising completely ignores the point of what is supposed to be advertised.
That £30k is now a deadweight - we have learnt very little from spending it about cycling. Hopefully the listening/learning mayor will understand about publicity, but I doubt it.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Oh good grief, what a bloody shambles.

danivon said...

88 people on the most popular day? I wonder how many of them were going to cycle anyway.

If Boris is a harbinger of what a Tory government can deliver, this country is screwed.

prj45 said...

"This was actually a good idea"

Was it actually Boris's idea? I got the impression it was the LCCs' idea (a run on from the "Bike tubes" it organised during the tube strike) and Boris picked it up (and made out like it was his own).

Absolute hypocrite considering what he's previously said about the LCC.

saifu03 said...

Whoever had the idea (and i think it is likely it was already around in concept before BJ was interested), it was a good one if done well.

Dan said...

"It's a shame that cycle Fridays weren't as popular as I think they could've been with the right publicity; say a freesheet distributed to every hosue in London by the Mayor's office?"

We did have The Londoner, a free paper published by Ken and distributed across London, which could have been used for this purpose. But Boris canned this - expensive propaganda rag apparently.