Friday, January 09, 2009

Boris Watch

2 things in particular that the Mayor of London has done have annoyed me this week:

1) Motorbikes can now use red route bus lanes on TfL roads. (Borough bus lanes are at the discretion of local authorities and Lewisham has already confirmed that it does not plan to allow motorbikes to use its bus lanes). This measure is not going to encourage people to take up cycling on London's streets. Motorbikes may use less fuel than cars, but they're still dependent on fast-depleting fossil fuels and contributing to greenhouse gases. The Mayor of London should be focussing his efforts on promoting walking and cycling, not pandering to petrolheads while imposing above inflation increases on public transport fares.

2) It's also been revealed this week that he is scrapping the London Green Homes Concierge Service. Regular readers of this blog will know that I signed up to this scheme last January, and since then have been working on ways to improve the thermal efficiency of my home. The scheme was launched a year ago by the previous Mayor of London and the London Development Agency and was designed to help Londoners cut climate emissions and fuel costs by making their homes more energy efficient.

It wasn't perfect (a London-wide free insulation roll-out to every home would have been better), but it's better than nothing, which, as far as I can gather so far, is what it's being replaced with. The London Development Agency has axed the Green Homes Service from its plans for next year and beyond. This was confirmed early this week by LDA chief executive, Peter Rogers, under questioning by Darren Johnson at the Assembly's budget committee. It seems a huge waste of money to scrap something just one on, just as it was getting established.

Anyway, that's the end of my anti-Boris rant for now. You may have gathered that I'm not a fan, and couldn't quite believe that the people of London elected him as Mayor last year, but I guess that's democracy and we just have to make sure a progressive and green candidate gets more votes than him next time!

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