Mayor of London's welcome for the New Year
With Londoners across the capital attending a host of celebrations to say farewell to 2014 and welcome in 2015, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:
“2014 has been a spectacular year for our city with all sorts of records being claimed. More people are using the buses than before, more people are using the Tube and more people are cycling – 580,000 journeys by bike every day. Crime is down. We are building record numbers of homes, more than in any year since 1980, and on course to build 100,000 affordable homes by 2016. We've successfully reopened Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and welcomed even more visitors to the city than in 2013, when we knocked Paris and New York off the top spot.
“Next year promises to be even better. We will begin constructing the first Tube extension in 15 years on the Northern Line. We are planning for the beautiful Garden Bridge, as well as the cultural quarter that will be Olympicopolis in Stratford. We're also starting work on two massive cycle superhighways, east to west and north to south and, for the first time in its history, we will see the Tube running 24 hours at weekends.
“I have no doubt that London will continue to be at the forefront of our country's improving economy. We are seeing more and more jobs being created and I have just announced more funding to boost apprenticeships, which along with training, will give more Londoners the skills they need to play their part in our city's future prosperity. It is critical that all Londoners can benefit from the recovery - that's why I'm urging more companies, large and small, that can afford to pay their staff the London Living Wage, to do so in 2015.
“We've seen a massive uptake in firms paying the living wage as employers realise the benefits - from increased productivity to improved employee loyalty. For some of the lowest paid Londoners it's made a real difference, putting money back into the pockets of thousands of families across the city.
“Of course we face huge and continued challenges, which I as your Mayor, along with my team at City Hall, will continue to work hard to tackle head on. As we say goodbye to 2014 and welcome in 2015, I wanted to take this opportunity to wish every one of you a very peaceful, fulfilling and above all a very happy New Year.”
The Mayor has also recorded a video message, which can be found at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3LQVTslHHA.
Notes to editors
1. London New Year's Eve fireworks display. Since first being staged at the London Eye on the South Bank in 2003, the numbers of people heading to see the acclaimed pyrotechnic and lighting display have mushroomed from an estimated 100,000 people in its first year to an estimated 500,000 last year (2013). Last year around half a million people are estimated to have headed to see the display, putting enormous strain on transport and ability of the emergency services to move around.
2. After extensive consultation with the Metropolitan Police, emergency services, Transport for London, local authorities and other key partners it was decided that ticketing the event was the best way to ensure the safety of those attending and to help secure the long term future of what has become an iconic London event.
3. Each ticket carried a £10 administration fee, which covers the costs of running the ticketing scheme. No profit is being made and every penny of the fee is being used to cover the costs associated with the scheme, including printing, distribution, on the ground ticket checks and extra infrastructure including additional fencing, stewards and toilets.
4. The capital's amazing night life is world famous and there are a multitude of ways to celebrate as establishments all over the city will be pulling out all the stops to make New Year's Eve 2014 one of the most memorable ever. Visit London has compiled a list of the ten best dining experiences on the night, from medieval banquets to black-tie dinners at the Royal Opera House. Many London pubs and gastro pubs are staying open past midnight, or you could visit a comedy club, or catch a matinee performance at a West End theatre. The city is also one of the clubbing capitals of Europe and there are a host of specially organised club nights in unique locations around the city. To find out more about what is going on visit www.visitlondon.com/nye.
5. Public transport will be the best way to get about. TfL will provide free travel between 23:45 and 04:30 on the bus, Tube, tram, DLR and London Overground. Revellers are advised to plan their journeys and checkwww.tfl.gov.uk for travel information.
6. The London New Year's Eve fireworks display is being produced by London based Jack Morton Worldwide for the 11th consecutive year. Jack Morton is a global brand experience agency. For more information, please contact [email protected] on 020 8735 2000 or 07850 186 199, or visit www.jackmorton.co.uk.