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Ex-Mayor Livingstone

Trick cycling

£10.5 million - cheap as chips!The Mayor is at his dissembling best again today, this time talking about the Tour de France. He says:

The Grand Départ not only boosted cycling in London, but also brought rewards to the economy with an estimated £88 million being spent by spectators, teams and race organisers in London and the South East during the race weekend.

A quick look at TfL’s own report reveals that this absurdly inflated number includes £5 million spent by London taxpayers on the Tour de France. The document states:

The organisational spend of £5 million brought the total up to more than £73 million in London.

Add £15 million of spending in Kent to get the £88 million figure.

So £5 million of this £88 million was our own money. And who really benefits from the other £83 million? Does it bring in more business rates that can be spent on more services? No. Does it bring in more profit for private businesses who are capable of promoting themselves thank you very much? Yes, but … Does it really make any difference to London’s economy if someone buys an ice cream watching the Grand Depart or buys one in their local park?

And if you think £5 million was the total bill paid by public bodies for the Grand Départ you would be wrong. The answer is £10.5 million, see previous posting.

£9.2 million, the largest part of this bill, was paid by Londoners. At least TfL was sporting enough not to count the whole amount in their schedule of benefits, leaving out items such as the £3 million spent on adverts and the £1.5 bribe paid to the race organisers.

The Mayor brags that 3 million people came out to watch the Grand Départ but omits to mention that he gave them £3 per head. This might be great for fans of the dope on wheels circus that is the Tour de France but the rest of us might rather that the fans paid their way and we didn’t have to pick up their bill.

In his delusional press release the Mayor goes on to link this wasteful use of public money with his proposals for cycle commuting in London. Its like saying that the London Marathon has some kind of relationship to walking to work.