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Boris Johnson’s “vanity” Cycle Superhighways “clogging up” London’s streets, says Bob Geldof

Luckily the pop star turned activist rides his bike on the pavement in the heart of the capital

Bob Geldof has accused former Mayor of London Boris Johnson of “clogging up” the capital’s streets as a result of the Cycle Superhighways that he initiated, describing them as a “ludicrous vanity project.”

The pop star turned activist made his comments during Wednesday’s bizarre scenes on the Thames when he and UKIP leader Nigel Farage led rival flotillas on the Thames just eight days before next week’s referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.

Farage, like Johnson, is one of the figureheads of the Leave campaign, while Geldof was accompanied on his boat by fellow Remain supporters including the ex-mayor’s sister, Rachel Johnson.

BikeBiz executive editor and cycling author Carlton Reid was alerted to the comments, made in an interview a Mirror journalist conducted on board the vessel with the Boomtown Rats singer and Band Aid co-founder, by road safety campaigners Cosain Galway.

Geldof, who has homes in London and Kent, told the Mirror’s Mikey Smith that Johnson had “clogged up the streets of London by building this ludicrous vanity bicycle project,” adding that he thought the Cycle Superhighways were "ridiculous."

You could be forgiven for thinking that Geldof might have welcomed safe infrastructure for cyclists in London, given these photographs of him riding on the pavement in Sloane Street, although he’s been known to cycle on the road near his Chelsea home, too.

Tuesday’s so-called ‘Battle of the Thames’ was ostensibly about the insistence of each camp that it is the best one for Britain’s fishermen.

With the boats within shouting distance of each other, Geldof branded Farage, who attended just one meeting out of 42 of the EU’s Fisheries Committee when he sat on it, a “fraud” and made a ‘wanker’ gesture at him.

The Huffington Post quoted the UKIP leader as retorting: “The guy has got a big mouth, he was a crap pop star and he’s not even British as far as I understand, he’s from the Irish Republic, he hasn’t got a say in the matter.”

In fact, like any Irish citizen who is resident in the UK, Geldof – whose charity work led to him being awarded an honorary knighthood – is entitled to vote next week, and is urging those of his compatriots who are likewise eligible to vote Remain.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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42 comments

Avatar
davembk | 7 years ago
0 likes

As I Always say when misguided twats blame cyclists for clogging roads.....Lets all jump off our bikes and into our cars. That Will clog roads for sure and those twats who are now suddenly fighting with double the car numbers, will never complain again.

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Mungecrundle | 7 years ago
1 like

To be fair, it must be exceedingly annoying to be rich enough to be able to afford a really nice car only to then sit in traffic jams (caused by fellow car drivers) and to see all those horrid unfamous people,  the Morlocks who should be forced back to the underground, riding past in the fresh air. All the while fretting that you can't join them because you are too well known and couldn't go 50m without being mobbed. That sort of unrequited jealousy can make even the nicest person a bit snappy.

Didn't he run a motorcyclist over a few years back?

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Bob Wheeler CX | 7 years ago
0 likes

no disc brakes in town, no no no

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severs1966 | 7 years ago
5 likes

Bizarre how Geldof talking about bike paths becomes somehow about the EU referendum... ???

Anyway, it is such a shame.

For a long while, Geldof was most strongly associated with doing something positive for legions of vulnerable, helpless victims of a catastrophe beyond their control.

Therefore, it might be reasonable to somehow imagine that he is concerned for the vulnerable.

Not so if it's people on bikes who are vulnerable to being run over by his chauffeur-driven car. Then the vulnerable are suddenly the bad guys, and yet, while sitting in that fancy car being driven, he imagines that other people are somehow the vain ones.

It seem sthat even one's heroes all reach an age when suddenly some sort of switch flips and they become truculent, self-obsessed arseholes who think they are better than everyone else.

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Jimnm replied to severs1966 | 7 years ago
1 like
severs1966 wrote:

Bizarre how Geldof talking about bike paths becomes somehow about the EU referendum... ???

Anyway, it is such a shame.

For a long while, Geldof was most strongly associated with doing something positive for legions of vulnerable, helpless victims of a catastrophe beyond their control.

Therefore, it might be reasonable to somehow imagine that he is concerned for the vulnerable.

Not so if it's people on bikes who are vulnerable to being run over by his chauffeur-driven car. Then the vulnerable are suddenly the bad guys, and yet, while sitting in that fancy car being driven, he imagines that other people are somehow the vain ones.

It seem sthat even one's heroes all reach an age when suddenly some sort of switch flips and they become truculent, self-obsessed arseholes who think they are better than everyone else.

just love your post, don't forget his self promotion through band aid! He's a joke now.

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earth | 7 years ago
6 likes

I'm going to keep it short.

Fuck off Geldof.

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Jimnm replied to earth | 7 years ago
1 like
earth wrote:

I'm going to keep it short.

Fuck off Geldof.

spot on

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brooksby | 7 years ago
5 likes

Helmet helmet helmet 

(pause, looks around)

You know, I do believe Willo has left the building...    3

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levermonkey replied to brooksby | 7 years ago
2 likes
brooksby wrote:

Helmet helmet helmet 

(pause, looks around)

You know, I do believe Willo has left the building...    3

I have a suspicion that Mr L.Willo, former troll of this parish, may have met the Great Big Billy Goat Gruff.

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tritecommentbot | 7 years ago
2 likes

Problem with TTIP is that our government would just as likely acquiesce to it even if we weren't in the EU.

 

Anyway yes, personally I'd prefer not to descend too far into politics. I'm very left wing though sympathetic to the right and their issues, but most people in all political spectrums talk in trite soundbites that cannot be verified, but they will argue their point in unrelenting fervour. 

 

So what's the point. No-one really knows anything, that's the generation we live in. Massive amount of information at our disposal, but no-one actually knows anything. Isn't it called meta-modernism or something?

 

Accept it and ride. And always b-slap Willo. We all have that in common.

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brooksby | 7 years ago
3 likes

"Pop star turned activist" - I lose track: what is he an activist *for*, nowadays? (also: how long is it since he was last a pop star?)

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Batchy | 7 years ago
2 likes

"This is what WE WILL DO" according to Farage and Johnson. Unfortunately these two twats are not in a position to do anything until they have been democratically voted in to power.

FFS give me Europe anytime ! !

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700c replied to Batchy | 7 years ago
4 likes
Batchy wrote:

"This is what WE WILL DO" according to Farage and Johnson. Unfortunately these two twats are not in a position to do anything until they have been democratically voted in to power.

Which is the way it should be!

Batchy wrote:

FFS give me Europe anytime ! !

..which is a far poorer version of democracy!

At least in the UK parliament you can choose to vote for the other guys and hold them to account.

Europe is dominated by big (often German) business - case in point is how it's failed us cyclists on emissions. The car industry got it's own way for years on policy relating to CO2/ NOX emission levels, not to mention the ones installing cheat devices!

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antigee | 7 years ago
1 like

don't forget that he penned a little song that blamed social ills on a popular pedal design 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wQxn0XeExE

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Bill H | 7 years ago
3 likes

I do wonder if older cyclists like Bob Geldorf dislike the new lanes because it has made riding in parts of London un-noteworthy.

Years ago folk would look genuinely surprised when told that I cycled in from the suburbs. It was generally viewed as unwise, a little bit foolish even, and it made you standout a little from the crowd, whereas now it is just accepted.

 

 

 

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brooksby replied to Bill H | 7 years ago
1 like
Bill H wrote:

I do wonder if older cyclists like Bob Geldorf dislike the new lanes because it has made riding in parts of London un-noteworthy.

Years ago folk would look genuinely surprised when told that I cycled in from the suburbs. It was generally viewed as unwise, a little bit foolish even, and it made you standout a little from the crowd, whereas now it is just accepted.

Actually a valid point. As a commuter cyclist in Bristol, watching that video of the London cycling superhighway today looks so completely alien, like footage from Amsterdam or something: so MANY cyclists!

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atgni | 7 years ago
2 likes

Unelected body - like the HSE, House of Lords, Judicary, every parliamentary committee?

 

Some of the video clips of the Cycle Superhighways do look quite busy and could be described as clogged with people on bikes.  Lucky they don't all turn up in cars!!

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Rich_cb replied to atgni | 7 years ago
2 likes
atgni wrote:

Unelected body - like the HSE, House of Lords, Judicary, every parliamentary committee?

 

Some of the video clips of the Cycle Superhighways do look quite busy and could be described as clogged with people on bikes.  Lucky they don't all turn up in cars!!

The House of Lords is also undemocratic.

HSE does not write laws, it enforces them. The democratic responsibility for those laws lie with the directly elected MP's who voted for them.

Parliamentary committees generally contain MP's who are directly elected. If an MP uses their committee position to advance an unpopular agenda they will have to answer to their constituents.

And yes, the cycling superhighways do look busy, this is hopefully the start of a virtuous circle where better infrastructure leads to increased demand leading to better infrastructure...

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atgni replied to Rich_cb | 7 years ago
5 likes
Rich_cb wrote:

HSE does not write laws, it enforces them. The democratic responsibility for those laws lie with the directly elected MP's who voted for them.

 

Very few H&S laws - mostly HSE guidance and Regulation.

 

Elected might be better but elected is not all good as Michael Eavis neatly pointed out recently:

2) The Iraq War is the worst foreign policy decision of the last 50 years. Where was that decision made? In our very own parliament. If only we had consulted with our friendly European neighbours, who were dead against the war. Just think of all the horror that followed - and is continuing to this day

 

Anyway  - cycling  1

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efail | 7 years ago
4 likes

"like left-wingers he has no idea about what he is supporting. " 

 

This is a bit of a rant.

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700c replied to efail | 7 years ago
4 likes
efail wrote:

"like left-wingers he has no idea about what he is supporting. " 

 

This is a bit of a rant.

Yes, but I think the point is that there is also a left wing/ left-of-centre argument to leave. It isn't just a right-wing Tory argument, even if those voices seem to shout loudest.

I'm not convinced that Corbyn is fully behind 'Remain'. In fact I'm not sure really what his position is, but whilst the Tories bicker, he can make political capital.

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rojre | 7 years ago
5 likes

why does anyone listen to this giant ego that exists in the body of a person

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DanTe | 7 years ago
20 likes

Boomtown Twat

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Municipal Waste | 7 years ago
20 likes

Bob Geldof talking about vanity?

POT
KETTLE
BLACK

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tritecommentbot | 7 years ago
10 likes

Vanity. That's a new one. Usually reserved for massively  expensive buildings and unnecessary infrastructural changes. But a couple of hundred mil for cycle lanes. Way off base. 

 

See: Edinburgh trams. Less than 9 miles for over 3/4 of a BILLION. 

 

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Pub bike | 7 years ago
14 likes

I presume he means clogging up the streets with the massive influx of cyclists who have taken to patronising them that outnumber motorists on the stretches of road.  In which case he should be pleased.

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Colin Peyresourde | 7 years ago
7 likes

Is this article about the Brexit? I thought it was  bike website.

Avatar
kie7077 replied to Colin Peyresourde | 7 years ago
8 likes
Colin Peyresourde wrote:

Is this article about the Brexit? I thought it was  bike website.

It was of course EU rules that mandated more good quality Cycle Lanes, The EU is so great, they also made sure we kept pollution low. No wait, the didn't, why not?

But at least they made sure everyone had the minimum wage and set the level, the Tories would never increase the minimu wage. And they put the brakes on immigration whilst we built more houses and to stop a race to the bottom for wages..... Oops, they didn't. But at least they are against privatisation of our essential monopoly services... errr no, they are rabidly pro-privatisation, the laws (Lisbon treaty etc) pratically stipulate it.

So they make sure we have good standards... no, with TTIP it's a race to the bottom, we get the worst standards, the gov't will get sued if a company can't compete because of a higher standard, when being pressed hard to remove ISDS all they want to do is fiddle with it.

So, I have now lost respect for Bob Geldof, like left-wingers he has no idea about what he is supporting. I like what Boris did for cycling in London but I couldn't vote for him and I don't like any of the other brexiters either and there's this bizarre argument going along we shouldn't vote brexit because of what the brexiters would do if we did exit, but the simple fact is that most brexit campaigners are not running the gov't so won't be doing anything if we brexit.

Will the economy take a hit if we brexit, I think short term it will, we will be punished by people who hold enough power to punish us, the emergency budget is exactly this, a threat of punishment. Democracy is more important than the economy IMO, the EU is clearly not democratic, the commission are no more democratic than any other quango and that is very much what they are, a quango.

Avatar
Gus T replied to kie7077 | 7 years ago
8 likes
kie7077 wrote:
Colin Peyresourde wrote:

Is this article about the Brexit? I thought it was  bike website.

It was of course EU rules that mandated more good quality Cycle Lanes, The EU is so great, they also made sure we kept pollution low. No wait, the didn't, why not?

But at least they made sure everyone had the minimum wage and set the level, the Tories would never increase the minimu wage. And they put the brakes on immigration whilst we built more houses and to stop a race to the bottom for wages..... Oops, they didn't. But at least they are against privatisation of our essential monopoly services... errr no, they are rabidly pro-privatisation, the laws (Lisbon treaty etc) pratically stipulate it.

So they make sure we have good standards... no, with TTIP it's a race to the bottom, we get the worst standards, the gov't will get sued if a company can't compete because of a higher standard, when being pressed hard to remove ISDS all they want to do is fiddle with it.

So, I have now lost respect for Bob Geldof, like left-wingers he has no idea about what he is supporting. I like what Boris did for cycling in London but I couldn't vote for him and I don't like any of the other brexiters either and there's this bizarre argument going along we shouldn't vote brexit because of what the brexiters would do if we did exit, but the simple fact is that most brexit campaigners are not running the gov't so won't be doing anything if we brexit.

Will the economy take a hit if we brexit, I think short term it will, we will be punished by people who hold enough power to punish us, the emergency budget is exactly this, a threat of punishment. Democracy is more important than the economy IMO, the EU is clearly not democratic, the commission are no more democratic than any other quango and that is very much what they are, a quango.

If that is so why do we elect people like Nigel Farage to the European Parliament, you know that's a democratic organisation don't you.. As for Geldorf, he's an attention seeking knob who took the glory for the work that was mostly done by Midge Ure and others and was given an undeserved knighthood to try & shut him up.

 

Avatar
Rich_cb replied to Gus T | 7 years ago
3 likes
Gus T wrote:
kie7077 wrote:
Colin Peyresourde wrote:

Is this article about the Brexit? I thought it was  bike website.

It was of course EU rules that mandated more good quality Cycle Lanes, The EU is so great, they also made sure we kept pollution low. No wait, the didn't, why not?

But at least they made sure everyone had the minimum wage and set the level, the Tories would never increase the minimu wage. And they put the brakes on immigration whilst we built more houses and to stop a race to the bottom for wages..... Oops, they didn't. But at least they are against privatisation of our essential monopoly services... errr no, they are rabidly pro-privatisation, the laws (Lisbon treaty etc) pratically stipulate it.

So they make sure we have good standards... no, with TTIP it's a race to the bottom, we get the worst standards, the gov't will get sued if a company can't compete because of a higher standard, when being pressed hard to remove ISDS all they want to do is fiddle with it.

So, I have now lost respect for Bob Geldof, like left-wingers he has no idea about what he is supporting. I like what Boris did for cycling in London but I couldn't vote for him and I don't like any of the other brexiters either and there's this bizarre argument going along we shouldn't vote brexit because of what the brexiters would do if we did exit, but the simple fact is that most brexit campaigners are not running the gov't so won't be doing anything if we brexit.

Will the economy take a hit if we brexit, I think short term it will, we will be punished by people who hold enough power to punish us, the emergency budget is exactly this, a threat of punishment. Democracy is more important than the economy IMO, the EU is clearly not democratic, the commission are no more democratic than any other quango and that is very much what they are, a quango.

If that is so why do we elect people like Nigel Farage to the European Parliament, you know that's a democratic organisation don't you.. As for Geldorf, he's an attention seeking knob who took the glory for the work that was mostly done by Midge Ure and others and was given an undeserved knighthood to try & shut him up.

 

The European Parliament doesn't actually write the EU rules/regulations and has no power to repeal them.

That is done by the EU commission, it is an unelected body and as voters we have no say in its composition.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Commission

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