24 November 2011

How Boris got me on my bike

By Carol Freeman, Wandsworth resident

I moved to London in May 2008 and made my home in Putney, Wandsworth at the same time that Boris became mayor.  Already a very economical and well run borough, I was delighted to see services have progressively improved in the time that I have been here under an established Tory council and the new Tory Mayor.
   
Proving that efficiency savings are possible, without losing essential services, Boris froze the Mayor’s share of council tax, and in turn, the borough was able to continue to keep the council tax low. This has all been done without compromising on the weekly rubbish collection or closing libraries.
   
One of the most significant changes to have come in under Boris has been the Blue Cycle Superhighways through London. When the Wandsworth to Westminster route came in over the summer, I decided that it was time for me to get on my bike.  By no means a keen cyclist, I took to the streets with some trepidation. However, cycle highways gave me to confidence to give it a go. I have been able to cut down my commute by 15 minutes, and have been amazed at how traffic, by and large now takes note of cyclists traveling on the wide blue lanes.
   
Amateur cyclists like myself are growing in numbers week on week through Wandsworth, and the Mayor’s scheme has only served to encourage the taking up of this mode of transport. The fresh air and exercise has made a real difference to my life and I find myself getting to work every day is a much better mood. I’m delighted that the Boris bike hire scheme will soon be extended into Wandsworth as well!
   
On the occasions when the chilly weather and rain has put me off my cycle, Boris’s extension of the pay as you go oyster card system to rail services as well as the extra tubes on the District line have proven extremely helpful on my commute.
   
And as a young woman, often coming home late from work, the extra police in the borough have added to my feeling of security.
   
The Brighter Borough is a wonderful place to live, and during his time in the Mayor’s office, Boris has only served to help it be even more so!

To find out more about what how Boris is delivering for Wandsworth, visit www.backboris2012.com/where-you-live/wandsworth

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