TfL issues Mayor's propaganda over cost of Borisbikes
TfL was one of Ken Livingstone's main propaganda tools. Now it appears to have become the same under Boris Johnson, and is busily rewriting history in the Tory Mayor's favour.
Yesterday evening TfL released new Borisbike usage figures under embargo to the media. (I'd asked for them two days earlier but TfL released them to the world to deny a Standard exclusive - thanks guys). 250,000 journeys have now been made by Borisbike, by 59,500 registered members.
But contained within the press release is the following piece of mischief: "The creation of an easy to use cycle hire system was a key pledge of the Mayor's manifesto. Just over two years since his election, Barclays Cycle Hire is now transforming the way that people make short trips around central London."
Am I alone in believing this smells rather fishy? After all, what Boris's manifesto actually promised was that a cycle hire scheme would be introduced at "no cost to the taxpayer".
It will actually cost £140m (though Barclays has provided £25m in sponsorship). Also, the proposed extension to the scheme will cost another £81m.
I'm told that JC Decaux, which runs the VeLib scheme in Paris, had offered to run the London scheme for free but was rebuffed because of its need to cover the city in advertising hoardings (as if there weren't thousands already....)
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