Standing for mayor

August 1st, 2013 The Oldie 1 comment
It all started with a text message, as many things do these days. During the last London mayoral election in 2012, I had written an article for the Evening Standard bemoaning the dullness of the campaign being fought out by the reprise of the Ken and Boris show. Both had stood in the previous contest and were offering nothing new. Ken Livingstone banged on endlessly about low fares and little ...

The failings of Boris

August 2nd, 2012 Chartist no comments
The London mayoral election was a drab affair between two old big hitters known by their first names because they were both ‘characters’ who often seemed more interested in appearing on Have I Got News For You than running London. Their transport policies were mired in the old ‘predict and provide’ model which was all about accommodating growth and expansion, rather than trying to adapt the capital to the needs of ...

Boris airport plan will not get off the ground

January 24th, 2012 Surveyor 11 comments
They were talking about Boris Island on Radio 5 the other day. We’ve already got Boris bikes, the tortuously alliterative alternative to Barclays Bikes, which presumably the sponsor had hoped would be common parlance, and even Boris buses, the replacement for Routemasters that will supposedly bring back conductors, but Boris Island? That really does seem a little over the top. After all, it is, in fact a plan for an ...

Boris bashes the bus users

October 16th, 2009 Times 1 comment
Boris Johnson is discovering the hard way that as mayor he cannot just be the blond buffoon with the good one-liners but that running London involves making tough decisions. He faced a difficult choice between cutting back services, particularly buses which eat up £600m of subsidy per year, or putting up fares to ensure that service levels could be maintained. .  Johnson was in a hole, which he partly dug himself. ...

Boris bites the bullet to keep services

October 14th, 2009 Christian Says 1 comment
Big fares rises, especially on buses, are going to be announced on Thursday morning by Transport for London. Boris Johnson, the mayor, has chosen to impose the massive increases in order to retain services, rather than announcing a series of cutbacks. It is the right decision, though it must be galling for the Tory blond bombshell.  He probably realised that keeping the £600m subsidy for buses was important for the outer ...

Cycle hire scheme may not be the best way to boost cycling

October 12th, 2009 Transport Times 8 comments
The London mayor's cycle hire scheme terrifies me. Superficially, it sounds very exciting. There are to be 6,000 hire bikes which, it is hoped, will generate 40,000 extra cycle journeys per day in central London. The idea is to effect a substantial modal change, attracting people who would otherwise take the tube or a bus, or even possibly out of their cars.  So how can this be anything other than good ...

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Soho Literary Festival – with Andrew Martin

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