Speaking today (July 22) at BASE London Boris Johnson compared life in London to a romanticised version of British country life.

The mayor said Londoners need to look past the idea of country life as cities were the ‘best inventions ever’.

And, instead they should bring the best elements of the country to the city like cycling.

Talking directly about the London cycle hire scheme, he said: “What says village more than people who can’t ride bikes wobbling down the road.”

Mr Johnson also announced that in one year of operating only eight bikes had been stolen from the London scheme and all of them had been recovered.

He compared that to a city he would only refer to as the ‘capital of France’ to spare its blushes where around 2,000 bikes had been stolen in the same time.

Mr Johnson also had a more serious side to his speech setting out the massive economic potential from his drive to make London’s buildings energy efficient on an unprecedented scale.

The mayor called on the third sector to step up investment into a range of City Hall-designed programmes, kick-started using public funds to cut carbon and ensure buildings are more energy efficient.

Already 9,000 London homes have been retrofitted with energy saving measures under the Mayor’s RE:NEW programme , each saving up to £154 a year off fuel bills and from next month, 50,000 more are set to be offered the service by May 2012.

Luke Walsh

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