By Claire French
Yesterday he was snapped frolicking around London on a bicycle with Terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger. Today, London Mayor Boris Johnson has become the face of the ‘Big Bouncy Society’.
As part of the ‘Green Travel’ drive in Brighton and Hove, Johnson and Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas have unveiled the new carbon neutral transport service outside the Town Hall.
But how safe are these so-called ‘Boris Bouncers’? With Conservative councillors having already attempted to remove a cycle lane in the city (at a cost of £1.1million), it could be said that Brighton is not quite ready for what critics call ‘a menace to drivers’.
During a pilot scheme held in Wilson Avenue last year, space hoppers were shown to be three times more dangerous to cyclists than cars for their slow reaction times and heavy impact.
While conventional modes of transport in the city face cutbacks, ‘Boris Bouncers’ and the forthcoming bike hire scheme are likely to have new funding allocated to them. For those with mobility problems, the news may not come as a welcome surprise. Nor will it be well received by local Labour or Conservative groups who much prefer sitting on buses.