Ever since Boris Johnson gave up on his promised no-strike deal with tube unions we have been submitted to a long list of headlines claiming that the "Boris Bike" scheme has "beaten the tube strike."
Now I enjoy a good "Boris Bike" ride as much as the next person, but if there was one vehicle keeping Central London moving during the tube strikes, it wasn't the one painted blue and sponsored by Barclays.
No the real vehicle moving masses of stranded Londoners around was the soon to be extinct London bendy bus:
|*Figures for 2nd November for the evening of the 2 November through to 3 November inclusive.|
Figures I've obtained via Freedom of Information reveal that on the last strike day recorded, more journeys were made on the supposedly "loathed" bendy buses than on all of London's trams or the DLR.
And this is despite the fact that five of London's bendy bus routes have already been taken off the road.
By comparison on the last comparable strike day (04/10/2010) "Boris Bike" journeys made up just 0.3 per cent of all public transport journeys (river travel and taxis excluded).
And according to one report most of those journeys would have been made by hire bike in any case.
Because the truth is, the bike hire scheme whilst great fun will never be a mass form of transport in London.
Walk around Central London today for half an hour and I bet you will see more people on just one bendy bus than on all "Boris Bikes" put together.
So while I'm sure I'll enjoy my next ride on a "Boris Bike" I won't fool myself into thinking I'm "beating the tube strikes" or taking part in a "cycling revolution."
I'll just be taking part in a niche activity enjoyed by a lucky few. Unlike riding a bendy bus of course, which is a mass activity objected to by an obsessed few.