Road safety advice for Londoners: avoid Boris’s bike

You might expect the Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority and the Chair of Transport for London to be a law-abiding, safety-conscious example to the rest of us.

Not when it’s London Mayor, Boris Johnson. At the recent “People’s Question Time” in Croydon, this was his answer to the decline of the traditional English pub:

“I have just one idea, if more people rode bicycles and fewer people drove cars you would not have to worry about the drink driving laws and I sincerely believe that. I have absolutely no prohibition about drinking a pint of two of beer and riding my bicycle where as I would not do that in a car.”

(Full transcript of the meeting here)

Here’s what Boris said last year when the alchohol ban came into force on public transport in London:

“I’m determined to improve the safety and security of public transport in London and create a better environment for the millions of Londoners who rely on it.

I firmly believe that banning the drinking of alcohol on London’s public transport will create a better travelling environment for all Londoners and that if we drive out antisocial behaviour and so called minor crime then we will be able to get a firm grip on more serious crime.”

Safety, Boris? So called minor crime?

We already knew that Boris thinks it’s perfectly fine to ride a bike through red lights and cycle while using a mobile phone.

Note to Boris: the law is being enforced, regarding the “so-called minor crime” about which you have “no prohibition”. From The Magistrate’s Blog:

“I saw a chap this week who had been arrested and charged with being in charge of a bicycle while drunk, under the Licensing Act 1874. He pleaded not guilty and arrangements have been made to hear the case in a couple of months when witnesses are available.”

(via Ian Mansfield)

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This entry was posted in London and News.


  • Julia Hayward 31st Jul '09 - 6:18pm

    Safety never was the first thing on Boris’ mind, it’s typical of policy made up on the hoof. Just as there never was any evidence of danger – except perhaps to pissed politicians cycling home? – to support his tirades against bendy buses, but away they go. I would have said “cheap pointscoring exercise” but several hundred new buses at a hundred thousand a time (and that’s before Son Of Routemaster sees the light of day) made the “cheap” bit seem peculiarly inappropriate.

  • Herbert Brown 31st Jul '09 - 6:43pm

    Hang on a minute.

    For most people, “drinking a pint of two of beer” wouldn’t take them over the limit for driving a car. We’re not talking about a “crime” here, minor or otherwise.

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