London, Apr 25 (ANI): London Mayor Boris Johnson, who is a cycling enthusiast, is set to present the royal couple, Prince William and Kate Middleton, a bicycle made for two.
Johnson, 46, who will be presenting the couple the tandem bicycle next week, caused a row when he demanded Transport for London (TfL), which is funded by passenger fares and taxpayers, pay for the 500 pounds bike.
TfL managers objected on the grounds that it would be wrong to use taxpayers’ money in such a way.
Serco, the company that runs the London cycle hire scheme, subsequently agreed to pick up the bill for the customised bike.
A senior Whitehall source said the tandem would help raise the profile of Johnson’s cycle scheme.
“It is typical of Boris to want to give a tandem as a special gift, but TfL didn’t want to pay for it out of public money,” the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.
“They said it would set the wrong precedent and give out the wrong message,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Johnson has organised free live screenings of the Royal Wedding in Hyde Park and Trafalgar Square, and he has also encouraged communities in the capital to hold street parties.
“The Mayor is determined to mark the historic event to show London’s support for the happy couple. He is planning additional celebrations and surprises,” a spokesman stated. (ANI)