‘Boris Bikes’ should be called ‘Ken Bikes’: why short-termism rules in politics

March 25, 2011 at 9:50 am Leave a comment

by Alec Patton

In February 2008, the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, announced that he would be introducing a cycle-hire scheme for London, similar to the popular scheme already running in Paris.

In May 2008, Boris Johnson replaced Livingstone as mayor of London.

In July 2010, London’s cycle hire scheme was launched, and everybody started calling the new blue bicycles ‘Boris Bikes‘.

In other words, two years and five months was too long a delay for Ken Livingstone to get any credit for the scheme that he had initiated. Under these conditions, it’s hard to blame politicians for favouring short-term wins over long-term strategy.

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Entry filed under: Innovation Policy.

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