Inside Lines: Just the ticket: Boris and Jacques star in 'On The Buses'
Sunday 24 January 2010
Boris Johnson's latest Olympic wheeze is to suggest that "where possible" the International Olympic Committee bigwigs should use public transport rather than the chauffeured limos to which they are accustomed during London's Games. He has even phoned Jacques Rogge to discuss the notion, which apparently was well received. No doubt Bojo will avail himself of London's transport network so we await with intrigue the sight of the Mayor and the IOC president hopping aboard the No 26 from Stratford to the Olympic Park. More seriously the Olympic Development Authority say 75 per cent of the Games transport programme is in place. This sounds impressive, and the Tube service we are promised – high-speed Javelin trains – seems excellent, on paper. But Bob Crow and his merry men have yet to do their worst. Will the Games be held to ransom three weeks before they open? They are a perfect target to be hijacked by threats of strike action on the Tube and trains, just as BA might have been over Christmas and could be over Easter. Crow is the General Secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union which covers a multitude of possibilities for industrial action affecting 2012. If I was Seb, right now I would be sending out invites to Crow and union leaders to be VIP guests at the opening ceremony and guarantee seats for other events. Judging from his bonhomie recently on Have I Got News For You, Uncle Bob is not averse to a bit of public pampering so such a sweetener might be just the ticket.
A bridge too far
A knock-on effect of the Lake District flooding means 1,800 competitors in one of the north's most popular road races, the annual 14-mile run round Coniston on 27 March, must stretch their legs further than anticipated. This is because the hump-back Bouthery Bridge at Lowick, which is traditionally crossed by runners, was so badly damaged it has been deemed unsafe. The detour adds 2.7 miles to an event which raises £15,000 for charity and attracts runners from all over the world including record holder Fred Reeves, from Wisconsin, and 81-year-old Maurice Copeland from Norfolk. Says organiser Pam Kirkbride: "It has been a nightmare re-routing the race and trying to let everyone know that the Coniston 14 is now the Coniston 16.7. It sounds more like a dress size!"
Weight off her mind
We are pleased to report that the differences between one of Britain's brightest 2012 hopes, weightlifter Zoë Smith, 15, and the governing body World Class Lifting have been resolved with Zoë's funding restored – and backdated. Her personal coach, Andy Callard, has also been named as one of the England coaches for the Commonwealth Games.
Warren's desert song
Promoter Frank Warren is philosophical enough about his split with Amir Khan to suggest he should have included Tammy Wynette's D-I-V-O-R-C-E among his choices as today's guest on Desert Island Discs (BBC Radio 4 , 11.15am). Or how about Breaking Up is Hard to Do?
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