Johnson promises Boris Bikes to North London during visit to Crouch End Budgens

�Boris Johnson has vowed it is “only a matter of time” before his infamous Boris Bikes make their way onto the streets of Hampstead and Highgate.

Speaking at Thornton’s Budgens Food from the Sky project on the supermarket’s Crouch End rooftop last Thursday, the London Mayor said that the popular hire bike scheme would be extended to north London as soon as he could find the money.

He added: “It is only a matter of time before the great blue wave of velocipedes crest the hills of north London.”

Earlier, after Mr Johnson sped into the photocall on his familiar bicycle, he joked that the steep Crouch Hill had nearly finished him off – so north Londoners may need to strengthen their calves before the network of hunking, heavy blue bikes are extended north.

Despite his love for the bike hire scheme that was introduced to central London locations in July last year, Mr Johnson is too embarrassed to refer to the bicycles by their Boris Bikes nickname. “I am a bit too bashful to call them that,” he said, adding that he didn’t call them Barclay’s Bikes after their sponsor either. “I call them London Cycle Hire bikes,” he conceded.

Mr Johnson visited the huge rooftop community garden which spans the entire roof of Budgens in Crouch End to celebrate the creation of the 1000th community food garden in London. He chatted with Andrew Thornton, owner of the supermarket, and children from Highgate School who are using the garden to grow oyster mushrooms for an entrepreneurial project.


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Planning on selling the punnets of organic mushrooms grown on the rooftop for �2 a pop in Budgens, Mr Johnson gave them some valuable advice – raising the price as high as they can.

Harley Smith, 15, who chatted with the mayor, said: “He’s a different kind of mayor, he’s really down to earth, a really nice guy.”

Mr Thornton said: “It was great to meet him. He is so passionate about local food and bringing communities back to life, both dear to my heart. He even harvested some salad leaves and sold them to a customer.

“He made a real point of walking around and meeting every team member. A man with a big heart.”