Oral Update on the Mayor's Report (Supplementary) [1]

Session date: 
September 17, 2014
Question By: 
Darren Johnson
Organisation: 
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

If the objective of charging for tickets for New Year’s Eve is to tackle overcrowding rather than to make money, would an alternative solution not be better, if you were to sponsor a series of local events with the boroughs throughout London, so that there are alternatives that Londoners could go to, rather than simply cramming more and more people into central London?

Answer

Answer for Oral Update on the Mayor's Report (Supplementary) [1]

Answer for Oral Update on the Mayor's Report (Supplementary) [1]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Yes.  Obviously, I should remind everybody that there are fantastic borough events.  There are many alternative attractions and many places to watch great fireworks displays across London without the need to go into the centre.  Yes, it obviously is part of our strategy to talk up the many other fireworks displays taking place across the city.

Darren Johnson AM:  Will you work with the boroughs to actually ensure there is a good series of alternative attractions around London?  That has to be a better solution, rather than trying to deliberately restrict access to central London.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  With great respect, Darren, I am not certain that the two things cannot be done together.  The point about the central London fireworks display is it is totally fantastic and people love it.  It has become one of the great fireworks displays in the world.  All the news bulletins go to London to see our fireworks display.  It would be a great shame not to do it and we are going to continue with the fireworks display, although lots of people say we should just cut it and solve the problem that way.  We are going to continue with the fireworks display.

Darren, you will have seen the pictures of the crowds going over the bridges and the sheer number of people and the close-packed nature of those crowds.  If you look at those, you have to listen to some of the experts from the emergency services and from TfL, who say the time has come to recognise that this event is now colossal and we need to ticket it.  Obviously, I regret it and I would love it to be free for everybody, but it will still be a wonderful night out.