You might think, for example, that asking TfL to make official the name, the “Rio Cinema”, which travellers often used for the bus stops on both sides of Kingsland High Street near the Dalston cinema, would take no more than a few months.
But no, the Rio was fobbed off continually. In summer 2010 it was told by “head of surface transport communications and engagement” Beverley Hall that the sign would be changed to say “Rio Cinema”. The Rio rejoiced.
Encouragingly, the panjandrum added that TfL’s “on-board audio and visual bus announcement system, iBus, would also be amended to reflect the name changes proposed… and should be in place in a few weeks’ time”.
Loving Dalston made enquiries and was told that the cinema had a “reassurance” that the two bus stops would be renamed “once the Olympics and Paralympics are over”.
And it happened: the stops were renamed. A business triumph for the Rio — eponymous bus stops are commercial gold. But as the picture above shows, two years since TfL’s promise to amend the iBus system on the red leviathans, the electronic signs have not been updated.
Alex Munden, who writes a newsletter for the Rio, said in its 14 December 2012 edition: “In 2008, we began a campaign to persuade Transport for London to add the Rio’s name to two adjacent bus stops. After four years the promised renaming had not taken place but in July this year we finally received an apology and an assurance from TfL that this would be done ‘once the Olympics were over’.”
Munden’s newsletter added the Rio’s thanks to TfL for “fulfilling” its promise. He admitted, however, that the on-board bus announcements and electronic signs “may take a little while longer to update”.
It looked as though the Rio was going to let the campaign drift into its fifth year.
Loving Dalston contacted TfL today. A few hours later back came the phone call: “The iBus announcement alteration had to be recorded. The iBus announcements will be updated this weekend to say ‘Rio Cinema’.”
* Trivia: the spoken bits are by voiceover specialist Emma Hignett.