Steve Dinneen
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BETWEEN BoJo’s bikes and the craze for cycling to work, two wheels are very much in vogue. So it makes sense to take out insurance for your new mode of transport, right? Wrong. Not if a new campaign by insurer Aviva is anything to go by.

Britain’s biggest insurer was so sure it was offering a vital service to bike owners it decided to put its money where its mouth was. Last week it left bikes unsecured in theft hotspots across London, hoping willing criminals would give them a bit of positive PR.

The only problem was London’s underworld seemed to have taken an early bank holiday weekend. Bikes worth £300 were left sitting pretty outside some of the city’s most notorious areas for would-be thieves for up to two days. Disheartened PRs outside Euston station were eventually forced to ride home themselves, as were Red Consultancy workers (the firm behind the failed stunt) at another undisclosed location outside an office block in central London.

Perhaps the site of ungainly office workers wobbling down the road, mud-stained suit jackets blowing in the breeze, has been enough to convince the “yoof” that riding a bike was very last year.


IT seems the lure of Salford Quays has finally taken hold of senior BBC executives who, after intense criticism for their dogged refusal to budge north of the Watford Gap, are suddenly accepting their fate and heading north.

Top brass at Auntie had turned their noses up at lucrative offers of free carpet and curtains at the home of The Smiths. But word that director general Mark Thompson is ready to take to the war path seems to have been enough to convince the likes of Peter Salmon and Richard Deverell that now is indeed the time for a change of scenery.

•Victoria Bates is away